The flu hit on Wednesday afternoon. I haven’t been sick, knocked-down-dragged-out-unable-to-function, in longer than I can remember. I thought, “This will be better by Thursday.”
On Friday morning I gave up and called my daughter to take me to the ER. I was dehydrated and knew I had to get some fluids in me fast. OK. By Saturday, I should be good to get back to life, right? Up for an hour then down for twice that many in deep sleep.
In the worst throes of it, I bargained with the devil. “I’ll be a better person. I’ll give up all my bad habits. Please just make this stop!”
Though I have no one to blame but myself and I revel in my life of reclusiveness, there came a point where I was full of self-pity. I was beyond the point of feeling so horrible I just wanted to be alone. Kind companionship would have been a salve to my solitude. Someone to brush back my hair, plant a kiss on my forehead and assure me it was going to be alright. A cup of tea set beside my bed; a cool wash cloth to wipe away the sweat. I am a motherless child, something we all come to in life, but I missed her acutely. Sometimes life without a partner is not an easy choice.
There are friends I could have called, family who would have come running had I asked. Alice’s concerned looks and insistence on being close was comforting, though lacking in conversation. The storm waging in my guts churned the usually calm waters of my thoughts into dark wallows of self-indulgence…a dangerous territory. Hours alone with illness are hazardous for one’s sanity.
A shadow crossed the window. A trick of light? There it was again, someone was passing by on my front walk. I jumped out of bed with more energy than I’d had in 72 hours. Alice sounded the alarm. It was my neighbor Kate delivering a “care package” of books, cold drinks, homemade soup and bath salts. Perhaps I am not as alone as I think.
Focus on positive changes. Job offers are beginning to blossom, my hard work of the last few months is finally bearing fruit, the season has fully clicked forward into warmth and growth. Health will return and life will go on…