So I’ve been sick for about ten days with some killer, government-created, genetically-modified supervirus that strolled over to my microbiology beach and kicked protoplasm in the face of my flu shot. To say this is getting me down would be an understatement. Those scenes from Beaches with Barbara Hershey lying around the house, barely able to braid her daughter’s hair keep coming to mind.
The problem here, you see, is that I’m sick on top of sick. I never really like to think of myself as sick, but I’m basically sick. When I was 25, I somehow ended up with fibromyalgia. It’s a bummer of a disease because 1) it hurts, and 2) it’s historically been such a wastebasket of a diagnosis that it’s become a joke, and frankly even I can’t keep a totally straight face about it. They even made fun of it on Glee a few weeks ago (“And the momma cannon can’t work because she has fibromyalgia.”).
Anyway, so I have this crappy “syndrome,” and on top of that I have this weird nerve pain on the left side of my face that kind of makes it feel like someone’s sort of stabbing and burning me at the same time. So it’s. . . unpleasant. Generally speaking, I work my way past all of this stuff and just power through because, well, what else am I supposed to do? I’ll admit there are plenty of times when I’d really like to just crawl in a hole and die. Or at the very least, have someone put me in a coma for a few days (which is, incredibly, not off the table as far as remedies).
But for the last few weeks, my resolve has been waning. This happens — it can’t be helped, I just get tired of fighting all the time. Put it this way. Think of how hard it is to get out of bed on your worst morning. Now imagine if the only time you actually felt good was when you were asleep. Now imagine trying to convince yourself to get up. That’s basically my morning. And, unfortunately, sort of how I feel all day.
So now that I’m sick-with-the-deadly-government-virus sick, I’ve really taken a turn for the worse. For most of last week, I could hardly do anything. I drove the kids to school one morning, and it pretty much destroyed me for the rest of the day. Fortunately my dad took care of them the rest of the time when my husband was at work. I haven’t been eating or showering or even watching TV. The one oddity — I’ve gotten on the computer. Because there I can be funny. And upbeat. And normal. And no one knows the difference.
Except for now, of course. I keep asking myself why I need to write about this, and I guess it’s just because I’m sad. And scared. And those are the things I always write about. Seventeen years ago, I had so much taken away, and I feel like I’ve made my life the best it can be in spite of those circumstances. I know logically that if for some reason, this current fatigue sticks with me, I’ll learn to work around it, and I’ll be fine. But I just really don’t want to. I really, really don’t want to. . . (very un-Buddhist of me, I know).
I’ve been trying to focus on what I still can do. Read with the kids. Sit and talk with everybody. Help make grocery lists. And on the upside, it’s forced the kids to take on a lot more responsibility (I guess it’s why the children of absent, ill, or negligent parents know how to cook, clean, and do laundry. This is the best Montessori school ever — I should’ve become an invalid a long time ago). But it’s so hard when I look around my house and see all of the stuff that needs to get wiped up, put away, or folded, right in front of my face. The kids, apparently sensing that I’ve been feeling like a useless piece of crap, made cards for me the other day. My daughter, Elfie, wrote, “You take good care of us.” And my son, Newt, wrote this:
Newt and I hugged each other and cried after I read it. The two of us are famous for crying during the sappy part in movies. Or when we’re talking about something sad. Or when something beautiful happens. Like a child reminding his mother that she’s still worthwhile.
Because that’s exactly what I need to believe right now. So that’s just about as beautiful as it gets.