Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Infirmary

I think we have the plague. No, make that The Plague. Just when I think one of us is getting well, some other microscopic nastiness invades the house and lays us all low. Last week R. was dizzy but after a few days of sleeping all day long, she was back in fine fettle. In the meantime, her bugs were incubating in the rest of us. Unrelated to her dizziness, T. managed to fall off the couch (he was asleep) and hit the corner of the slate-topped coffee table on his way down. He narrowly missed his eye and sliced the heck out of the skin right at the very corner of his eye. He bled like a stuck pig but since slacker mom (me) examined him closely and saw that there was nothing in the eye itself, I tucked him into bed with us and suffered the most uncomfortable night since any of the crew were infants. In the morning, T. declared that he was seeing fuzzy out of his eye and proceded to walk dizzily into a wall on his way to the bathroom. Not a good morning for this since R.'s bug had obviously planted a flag and conquered my normally fairly robust immune system. As my neighbor so colorfully says, I felt like "hammered dog sh!t." But off to the Urgent Care, where I looked like a neglectful and terrible (and sicker than sick) mother for not bringing him in the previous night. However, the doctor dismissed the dizzies and the cloudy vision and sent us on our way.

I had just ensconced the wounded smallest in front of the tv (world's best babysitter) and climbed my feverishly cold and shaking self into my bed when W. called from the nurse's office with a fever of 99.9. I wanted to cry and beg the nurse just to keep him sleeping on the cot at the middle school until it was time to come home (what's a mere 5 1/2 hours?) but I hauled my weak self to the car, prayed I wouldn't get dizzy driving, and dragged off to get him. He has now been home with his fever and the sweats for 2 days. I knew it was bad today when the disappearance of T. from the family room, he having returned to school, meant there was complete silence and no tv on. This is not the W. I know.

Not to be left out, R. had a headache last night and finished the last of the kiddie Motrin we had on hand. As I dragged my still fever-wracked body to the store to replace it, I considered buying stock in it. Yes, I am still sick too but there's no one to take care of mom (well, D. did get pizza for dinner last night but...) and now D. says he thinks he's coming down with it. Oh joy of joys! I am so weak feeling and my joints ache so badly that walking to the mailbox (all of 25 yards from the garage) left me winded. And heaven knows I had to get the mail and see what books might be in there for me! When I went to the grocery store, because if I didn't we weren't going to eat tonight, which would have been a-ok by me but not so acceptable to the few walking wounded with appetites left around here, I had to lean heavily on the cart as I shuffled around the store like a glassy-eyed drug addict. The only plus about feeling like dirt is that I had no interest in anything tasty and bad for me while at the store. I blithely stumbled down the cookie and cracker aisle and turned away with disinterest. Perhaps I've found my new weight loss plan! Yeah, now you know I'm sick: not interested in sweets or salties (the one indulgence I bought was a thing of berries swirled with whipped cream and boy did that taste good). And I wonder, only semi-facetiously, how much my lungs weigh because I am shortly to hack one up and out of my body permanently so that'll register as a loss on the scale.

I am at the point where I want to camp out on the doctor's doorstep and beg for drugs, knowing full well that what I have and what the kids have (had) is a virus and therefore untouchable by modern medicine. Wonder if alternative medicine can do anything to get rid of the unwanted house guest? Clearly it's hell to get older because the older the person in the house, the worse we have been laid low by this opportunistic, obnoxious germ. And I just know it is stripping me of all that hard-won, healthy, in-shape status. I am likely to be quite pitiful when I try to get back to working out, despite the fact that I got myself some spiffy brand-new cycle shoes right before I crashed. I'd say that was a sign to quit cycle classes but I can't even muster up the oomph to care what the universe is trying to tell me right now.

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