Let me just start by saying that I rarely get sick. I pride myself on that fact. Like maybe I have some kind of superhuman immune system that refuses to allow viruses and bad bacteria into my body. Maybe scientists should be studying me, or something.
Seriously, one time pneumonia swept through the other five members of my household. All five. And who do you think had to take care of them all? Pneumonia didn’t get me. Not stomach bugs. Not head colds. Not flu. It is almost as though there is Lysol and Amoxicillin running through my veins.
Once every few years though it happens. Something finally penetrates my defiant defenses and whatever the germ happens to be, it takes me down, in a bad way. Making me pay for all of the other brazen escapes.
Well, I just survived one of those hostile take downs. And I am still alive to tell the tale.
How it all started is a little blurry. Sometime this past weekend something shifted. I had been having this weird thing happening in my ear. A weird sound/feeling/sensation. Every time I burped, which I will admit was a lot more than I realized, there was a little thing that happened in my ear. Ignoring stuff always makes it go away. So I did just that.
Also I had a headache on and off for days. I only get the occasional headache, so this also was a bit abnormal. Didn’t worry. Again, superhuman defenses.
Cut to, crushing face pain. Sinus pressure. Somehow my teeth were even hurting. Ears throbbing. Stopped up nose. Annoying cough. Now, the old me would have continued to ignore all of these things, but with age comes wisdom. Doctors can give you stuff to make all of these things stop. So I went to the walk-in clinic.
The diagnosis: sinus infection. Evidently that weird thing in my ear that had been happening for a while was bad stuff going on in my sinus cavities. Apparently, a sneaky virus has made its way into my sinuses THEN caused bacteria to grow. That is what is referred to as a double whammy.
My immune system had one job. To protect me. And it had failed. Royally. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic and nose spray to open my sinuses up, for proper breathing. I was going to live.
Or so I hoped. Later that night, I started to feel something change. You know that feeling? There is sick and then there is SICK. I felt a shift happen. A shift from under the weather to SOMEBODY HELP ME, I’M GOING DOWN. We’ve all been there.
I had chills one minute. The next I would be clammy and sweaty. My throat began to hurt. I felt extremely fatigued. The simplest of tasks seemed daunting. The thought of eating seemed so displeasing. And if you know me, I really like to eat stuff.
It became crystal clear through my sickness fueled haze that this was not just a sinus infection. This was something more. It felt like the flu. Why hadn’t I asked the doctor for a flu test? Oh right. Because I didn’t feel this badly when I was actually at the doctor’s office.
Suddenly I remembered why I never went to the doctor in my twenties.
Even if it was the flu, pretty much all you can do is ride it out. And if it was some flu-like virus, same scenario basically. Why would I go back to the doctor’s office again for a test when I would more than likely leave with some new strep germs. Or a gluten allergy.
Oh right. I already have that one.
So after considering my options, I finally diagnosed myself with the flu. I figure having zero medical degrees shouldn’t stop me. I had been a mother for twelve years, after all. Whatever it was, I felt like garbage. And not the neatly separated recycled kind of garbage. The kitchen plastic trash bag with coffee grounds mixed with the left over pasta sauce and the used tampon applicator, kind of garbage.
I spent the next three days in and out of consciousness. I was still a mother though and the world hadn’t just stopped so I was still required to perform certain duties. I had to take my boys to school as their father was already off to work by school time. They were great though. Reminding me where to turn and telling me when traffic lights turned green.
Of course by the time I made it back home, I would be in a full body sweat. I collapsed onto the couch. I faded in and out of sleep, as the television kept me company, in the background. Friends would text with offers of help and supply runs. Offering to leave them on the porch as to not to actually come inside the germ riddled house. People can be so kind when you aren’t feeling well.
My family tried to be sympathetic and supportive. My husband made sure the kids ate every night. Because no one wants a flu infested zombie like figure making them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
I get it.
My kids would check on me. Two are more compassionate of the four. One tried to do stuff around the house for me. One stopped to check on me quite often. Sometimes waking me from my flu coma to make sure that I was still alive. Yet another child tried to force hugs onto me causing me to have to fight him off. The only thing worse than being sick is having a sick kid. Then I realized that he was just trying to miss a social studies test at school (because he had gotten the flu from his momma).
Today though, I have a good report. I finally feel human. I am off the couch and functioning. Tomorrow I hope to be able to reenter society as a somewhat normal person. And the best thing is, the ship didn’t sink. Everyone worked together to keep it afloat.
You know moms are usually the glue that holds everything together. Hopefully my immune system has learned from its mistakes. My defenses will only be stronger now. Because I am a mom. Ain’t no mom got time for that.