Saturday, October 9, 2010

a little perspective

I have had a series of autumnal maladies since 4 a.m., Sept. 23. By my count, that's 16 and a half days -- about 16 days too many. I still try to do things -- go to church and to meetings and to the grocery store and to my nephew's birthday celebration. Things necessary or otherwise essential.

When you are using too many Kleenexes or spending too much time in the bathroom, it is pretty easy to feel sorry for yourself.

When my brother called to invite me to the birthday party, I told him I had been ill for more than a week and was very tired of being sick.

All he said was, "We know what you mean."

Good lord! He and his wife most assuredly know what I mean. They have been dealing with her progressive Parkinson's disease for nearly THREE YEARS. She is now pretty much confined to a wheelchair. My brother has had to learn to cook -- and go to the grocery store -- and generally do all the things necessary to keep their house in working order . . . plus keep 24-hour watch over my sister-in-law.

Another friend is caretaker for her husband, also a Parkinson's victim. Another 24-7 responsibility.

It's the old "I cried when I had no shoes ..." story.  At least I have Kleenex and indoor plumbing and cats to comfort me.

It is so hard to look beyond our own perimeters. And when ill, it is far too easy to condense our world around our own skeletons.

We all do this. When we get a flat tire, or break a fingernail, or lose our keys. Are these things really catastrophes? Or inconveniences.

My blunder-- a short whine to someone facing real problems--was an important reminder. Yes, it's unpleasant to have the flu or a cold, but it's a temporary setback.

I will (I hope) get better.

And I am grateful.


  1. Hope you're feeling better soon. We all need to whine a bit from time to time. It helps remind us just how fortunate we are the rest of the time. Besides, after 16 days of feeling bad you deserve a good whine. :)

    Take care,
    Thoughts in Progress

  2. Thanks! I'm hoping my doctor doesn't take Columbus Day off.

  3. I agree with Mason. Even though there are many out there who will not get better and face many more challenges then you and I face, it doesn't make us well knowing that they are suffering more then us. My heart goes out to your brother and sister-in-law and their struggles that we can't even imagine. My heart also goes out to you struggling with feeling miserable for way too long. Lots of rest, lots of liquids and know that others wish you a speeding recovery.

  4. Thank you! It is most kind of you to send your good wishes. [Believe me, I am awash with liquids.] I could not get in to see my doctor until tomorrow morning. In the meantime I've sprayed Lysol on everything except my cats. Inevitably, by the time the doctor sees me, most symptoms will have vanished. But that will do. I have absolutely no fondness for any of my symptoms.