Thoughts from a sick bed

Thoughts from a sick bed

Last week, Melanie started coming down with something. This was a sure sign of trouble for the whole family for when mom gets sick, everyone does. She probably picked up when she was at the hospital visiting her sister, Theresa, who lives with us. Theresa had gone to the emergency room 10 days ago with sharp pains in her side. Long story, short: she had an emergency appendectomy. And since we’re all the family she has in the area, Melanie went to the effort to pack up all the kids and bring them to visit her. Which was a very nice thing to do, don’t get me wrong. It was the right thing to do.

But hospitals being full of, you know, sick people, it was probably inevitable that my usually sheltered family would latch on to something untoward and drag it home. By Saturday Melanie in the midst of it and Isabella, Sophia, and Benedict were all showing signs of the flu, as did Theresa, who had just come home from the hospital. As Melanie had been unable to do the regular food shopping on Friday, I bustled out on a dark Saturday night to do the food run. (Incidentally, while I did not have kids in tow as Melanie always does, I still think my trip illuminated how even in shopping men are naturally hunters and women are grazers. I stalked every item on the list, killed, bagged it, and mounted it to the wall. Metaphorically. If Melanie passes something on her list, she doesn’t go back for it. She’ll get it next time. Maybe. Not saying one’s better than other. Just different.)

Anyway, by the time I got home, I was feeling a little peaked too, which I laid down to fatigue and hunger. But a Saturday night of interrupted sleep, vomiting children, and feverish, well, everyone, Sunday morning saw a household too far under the weather to chance spreading our special kind of infection at Mass. What follows are some disconnected thoughts that occurred to me over the succeeding feverish days.

      

  • Twitter can be a useful tool for tracking temperatures you’ve taken and when. Also for dosages of medicine and the time taken.
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  • Nothing prepares you for a two-year-old standing in her crib in the middle of the night crying as vomit spills over her and bed.
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  • The older I get, the harder flus and colds knock me down. The longer it takes me to get back up again.
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  • When I’m feverish, congested, and coughing, sleeping in my bed isn’t an option as it would wake Melanie and Benedict. So in the past week, I’ve spent the nights wandering around the house trying out various chairs and couches and even Bella’s favorite corner of the office floor where she piles blankets and naps. Desparate times, my friends.
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  • The flu ruined our Thanksgiving plans as I’m sure it’s set back many others’. We were supposed to go to my brother’s house as we do every year so Melanie had only bought a frozen turkey and none of the usual side-fixings. By Monday we knew that we didn’t want to the Typhoid Tommies at the tryptophan turkey fest. Unfortunately, it means no Thanksgiving Day dinner. Which could be a blessing in disguise as it means no gorging on too much, albeit yummy, food, especially desserts.
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  • When I worked from home, the flu or cold would knock me out for a day or two, at the most, and then I’d be back at it. I wouldn’t be 100%, but I could work. Working in an office, there’s not just the personal energy required to get myself to work after only one or two days, but also the added concern of infecting others. I’m much more likely to take more time off when I’m sick now. If I’d had a way to telecommute, I would have been back to at least some level of productivity a lot sooner this week.
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  • Almost the worst part of being sick, more even than the fevers and chills and nausea is the weeks of hacking coughs caused by post-nasal drip that rack my body and leave me with a headache and raspy throat.
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  • Sick time is apparently a good time for me to read. I prefer to use my computer sitting up at a desk or table, so when I’m laying down or sitting in an easy chair, a book is better. So this week, I made a serious dent in a large book. I hope I can keep my momentum going.
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  • There’s no better appetite suppressant than having everything taste like metallic ashes in your mouth. I lost all interest in food for three days because everything tasted awful. The kids had the same problem I think. Bella spit out a banana and reiterated her demand for a banana. Try explaining to a feverish and cranky three-year-old that this is her banana and it tastes awful because of … her mouth?

That’s it for now. If I have any more crazy thoughts from my sick bed, you’ll be the first to know.

 

 

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli

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