I would say I get sick about once a year. It is rare that I get just a cold. If I get sick, I get really sick – like can’t leave my bed for a week, and unfortunately this past week was that week.
It started out thinking that it might be a cold. And then I was in class, and as the day went on, I just felt worse and worse, probably with a fever. I thought I had bronchitis (the usual suspect) and went to the doctor, got medicine and then stayed in bed over the weekend. By Sunday I was feeling ok, not 100%, but doing ok, and Sunday I had no fever. So Monday I went to work, but only a few hours in, I felt pretty awful again. I went home early from work, and low and behold I had a fever again and was coughing pretty badly…but I had been taking antibiotics since Friday. So Tuesday morning, when I woke up feeling awful and feverish, I went back to the doctor. They checked, and I didn’t have the flu or pneumonia, and because I had just finished zpac, they sent me home and said to rest, drink, and if I still have a fever in three days to come back. Well, I had a fever through Thursday. I laid in bed coughing terribly, both hot and cold, and just well, feeling awful. I couldn’t move. I had no energy. And unless I was drugged (and sleeping) I was coughing, and there was nothing I could do. Because of all this, I had to cancel my trip to California, where I was supposed to go to a chaplain conference – but there was no way I could travel feeling that way (it was actually good that I canceled, even though I am sad that I missed out on a fun time). Finally by Friday, I had no fever – but I still felt sick, this time like I had a head cold. Saturday, I was feeling a bit better, now just a cold. And today Sunday even better, it feels just like the end of a cold – but I am still trying to take it easy.
It was a really long and exhausting week. And well, I had a lot of time to think about a lot of things. I’ll start with the good things:
- I am very thankful that my parents are alive, well, and live close to me. That they were checking in and worried about me, even though I am an adult. That they were willing and able to come into the NY to pick me up and take me to their house for Shabbat, so I would be able to just rest. That they were understanding that all I needed to do this weekend was to sleep and eat, and that is what they let me do.
- I am very thankful that I have friends and colleagues that checked on me daily. It really meant a lot that people wanted to make sure that I was ok, taking care of myself, and willing do things if I needed it.
- I am very thankful to my roommates, who although I sounded like death, didn’t send me away. And also offered to help take care of me – even going out of their way to buy me soup and food to eat.
- I am thankful to having good health insurance that covered my medications and doctors visits. [I know that is, unfortunately, a luxury here in the US – and I pray that somehow that can change in the near future]
- I am thankful to having medications that are able to fight things, help people get better.
- I am thankful to the internet for having movies so I was occupied during the day. And also that there are so many ways we can be connected nowadays, and so even though I did feel alone at times, it was also easy to try to reach out to people.
Things that made me sad:
- All I could think of is how similar I am to those who go to the hospital with no family. That if God forbid I had to go to the ED or get admitted, there would be no one that would sleep at my bedside. That I would spend most of the time alone. Or it would be my mother at my side – not my husband or boyfriend.
- That although people offered to get things for me and do things for me, no one actually showed up. My roommates never knocked on my door to check on me. There was no one I was really willing to let in from the outside to see me in my grossness or lack of underwear. There was no one to make me tea or bring me food in bed. (yes, I know those are all extras – but I still wanted them).
- I felt really lonely. Like really, really lonely. All I wanted was to talk to people, but I didn’t know who to reach out to. I didn’t even really have the energy to talk, but I wanted to not feel alone.
- Because I had so much time, and not so much energy, I think I spent too much time swiping on dating apps. But it made me realize I have been swiping for a while and paying for this website for a while – and I still have not gone on any dates. Really what is wrong with me?
- I also had not a lot of energy to do real things, so I watched a lot of romantic comedies. I really miss being kissed and touched. And why won’t those stories happen in real life? (or at the very least, just a date – maybe a bit of kissing? When I’m not sick, I don’t think I’m that awful to look at)
- Going to my parents was really an amazing thing, and I am very thankful. But at the same time it reminded me that I don’t have a partner. I felt like a little girl again. Not really because of anything that my parents did. But here I was sick and the people taking care of me were my parents. That every time I come to their house it is just me alone sleeping in the bed. Every time they mention that someone else is married or had a baby, I feel like a pin goes into my heart, reminding me that I am not yet doing that for them – and I’m not even close. That I am still their little girl. That I have a job, but it’s unclear what will happen next. Or that they are trying to clear out storage – and there is stuff of mine, but I don’t want to take it because I have no where permanent (or semi-permanent) to bring it to.
I guess in short – being sick made me realize that I have much more than I thought I do here, and I am very thankful for that. But at the same time, it made me feel really alone.