The Bug, The Bedroom, The Boredom



The norovirus stomach bug ripped through the house this month.  The grandbaby got it first, still no telling how … we suspect maybe a shopping cart. Next Dad, Mom and several days later Grandma … that would be me.  With each new casualty we dug deeper into Google to find out how to kill the virus in the house and how to prevent further people coming down with the wretched illness.

 
There are details of course, fears abound, exhaustion all around and other points of interest that might be interesting if they were happening to someone else and not me or my family.  If there was any success to our madness the buck stopped here and we managed to save the rest of our crew including visiting great-grandparents and paternal grandfather from the tummy tornado.  Primarily through isolation.
 
Strict … Stay in the dressing room don’t come out for days … Isolation.
 
My idea of solitude is when people are all around me and working on laptops, iPads and cell phones with earbuds.  I’m not keen on the — leave-me-alone I’m sick slogan.  My daughter who had almost recovered was working literally around the clock attending to me in addition to her own family and trying to keep our village afloat.  Everyone pitched in for certain as the credits at the end of the movie would point out.
 
It was just hard.  On everyone.
 
Truth is, a week+ since diarrhea-day and I have not returned to my post as chronically sick grandma or my usual routine.  While the virus left (silent prayer of gratitude) my auto-immune system likely picked up or activated an opportunistic hitchhiker virus.
 
And though I have moved back into my bedroom, I have not made my way back into the main house.  I am grateful for a few moments at our almost-koi pond.  And a few days ago I sat at the pool for a spell.  But even that much “excitement” overwhelms my autonomic system and kicks the dysautonomia into high gear.
 
Much time then is spent resting.  Mostly just propped up, re-hydrating as best I can.  Too sick even for my laptop, but occasionally I can pick up my Android phone for a bit of SJW on social media.  I am passionate even as I struggle to not pass out.
 
This is what the practice looks like from the sick room … Watching stories storm in about being too old to recover from a POTShole, feeling the adrenaline try and rally against whatever antigen it’s fighting today, trying seriously unsuccessfully to not fight with the redneck who seems to be wearing a button pushing vest (to be fair it was a BOGO free deal as it came with a button pushing vest in my size too.)  Perhaps the boredom gets the best of both of us.
 
It is just HARD.  On everyone.
 
And there is a deep sadness as I wake up, still feeling so very weak if not worthless.  Even though my world was small, I knew my contribution and rarely got lost in the pity party of the untamed monkey mind.  But in the aftermath of the gastrointestinal strike, the party 💩 decorations flank my conditioned mind and I am left with hours to contemplate the new low I am left in.
 
It’s not unfamiliar unfortunately.  I’ve been sick-sick.  Fortunately, I’ve been sicker, for even longer periods .. with far fewer people to help. Before I’d have to worry about using up all of my sick-days at work, not being able to food shop (so very grateful to instantcart) and missing the laughing out loud which somehow was never lost on my family this week even during the double trashbag backyard patio Exhibit D.
 

There’s a deep longing for my routine … which I realize means more to my happiness than I give credit.  I miss hygge at sunrise, I miss holding my grandson (for longer than my arms want to bear the weight), I miss making dinner, I miss doing laundry — it gives me a sense of accomplishment even on my worst days.  I miss my avatar.  I miss Me. 

Use to be I would write a lot about the Remembered Self for a chronically ill person.  That point in their lives when they felt they were part of the crowd.  The time (if there was one) before the illness became a defining factor in their lives.  I was never the picture of health, but I certainly had a life that was larger than the one I was living last week.  

 

This is what the practice looks like.  An exhausted body with more pain than I know how to cope with amist a mental shit storm that wants to cover the present moment like a Lucas oil monster truck announcer on acid which may be redundant.

Truth is EVERYONE is having a hard time. 

In their own way, working with their own situation and their own demons of the dark places inside their mind.  It’s easy to forget that when we only see our self in the center ring of the circus.  But everyone has a tightrope to walk and regardless of how easy some make it look, the backstory behind the pretty pictures plastered up on insta-my-gram-book would reveal that

 everyone suffers to whatever extent they are unable to work with what they wake up with in this immeasurably small moment of Now.

I have not gone missing.  I am still Here.  Right now.  In this moment where sleeping dogs snore, birds sing, the sun peaks through and soft smiles are still possible even in the middle of the discrepancy between what I wish for and what I hold in the palm of my hand.  Still here .. I am.

1 Comment

  1. guttrachi
    February 11, 2018    

    Look at the bride side! Now you have the antibodies and won’t get it again! Not as an easy as a vaccine but accomplishes the same!

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