Friday, February 29, 2008

The Great Influenza Outbreak of 2008

Sunday night. 9:38 p.m. (R. and C. are lying in bed watching an episode of "The L Word.")
C: (Turning to reposition herself). Ouch.
R: ... (saying nothing because in the middle of television shows you say nothing...not until a commercial break, and when it's a premium channel there aren't breaks).
C: I think I pushed it too hard running today. I'm really sore.
R: ... (says nothing again, but gives brief sympathetic glance, followed by look which says, "I hear you, and I care, but wait until the show is over, okay, my sweet beloved?" before returning to watch television).

Sunday night. 9:59 p.m. (R. and C. still lying in bed, credits just finished rolling.)
R: How are you feeling?
C: Bad.
R: What's going on?
C: I think I caught "it." ("It" being the creeping crud which both girls had been struggling with in previous days. "It" being the nebulous monster which causes high fevers and even higher anxieties).
R: Oh no.
C: I know. Now, get ready cowboy, it's gonna be a long ride. (Okay, I didn't really say this but added it for dramatic's sort of ominous in a playful way).

Monday morning. 6:50 a.m. (C. takes the first trip out of bed to slowly, oh-s0-very-slowly walk to the bathroom where she finds a thermometer in the drawer and notes that, oh, it's 102.9. She then tries to sit on the toilet which is so cold she practically faints. She puts on a sweatshirt, and bed jacket, and another pair of socks, and adds a blanket to the bed and crawls back under the covers.) She does not emerge until the following Friday evening. When she has some soup.

The Great Influenza of 2008 reminded me of several things. My life, on the whole is pretty blessed. After five days of being unable to lift my child, to even lift my head, I marvel at what it means to walk up and down the stairs in one's own home. I have a husband who is tender in his own quiet way and who has borne my savage grumpiness. Furthermore, he experienced my "high fever squirrelies" (throughout my life I've been prone to hallucinations and delusions when my temperature tops 103 or so. For example, I'm still horrified at the sight of Peeps marshmallow cream bunnies and chicks after they chased me in a fever-induced state when I was eight). Robert calmly listened to my concerns about Carol Burnett stealing the havarti cheese from one of my Hospice patients by patting my hand as if he understood exactly what I meant.

I had to miss yet another session of the class I'm teaching at the college, which I think makes me the worst professor in the history of the institution. And, I fear Grayson may be forever scarred by the "week when Mommy was attacked by blankets."

But, it's over now. It's blessedly done.

And the not eating for a week, and then not being able to taste for the week afterward, did propel me back into the world of pre-pregnancy weight, which was sort of the only bonus to a lost week.

Spring is just around the corner. And, oh, but we are so ready this year.

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