Down and Out

When I fall, I fall hard.  It’s always when I have too much going on in my life.  Year one of teaching I contracted a terrible throat infection.  I still regret not recording my voice, because I had no idea I could sound so much like John Merrick.  Year two, my infamous bout with spinal menengitis landed me in ICU for several days.  Year three, strep throat, diagnosed today. 

Sunday at the playground I was chatting with a dad from my music class and I was shivering cold.  He said to me, “It’s not that cold, you know.  It’s sixty degrees and sunny.  You must be sick.”  He was right.  By afternoon I was suffering major chills, sweats, pain all over, and my throat was quickly swelling shut.  TC sprang into action as always.  He’s one of the very few partners I know who is completely interchangeable with the stay-at-home-parent.  (Props to SL, MO & GP).  He’s missed two days of work, tomorrow will be three, while I sweat, groan and shiver in bed upstairs.  I use a notebook to communicate.  Too much pain to even whisper, enormous tonsils, white blisters all over my throat.  Disgusting.  It’s a severe case of strep throat so now there’s antibiotics to kill the bacteria, Vicodin for pain, 800mgs Ibuprofin for inflamation.  Slowly, I’m beginning to feel myself again.  The doctor said by Thursday I’ll be strong again and will no longer be contagious.

Meanwhile, with TC at the helm life goes on.  I lie in bed listening to it all.  The minivan door slides open, children race out, TC balances kid paraphernalia in his arms, everybody comes pounding up the front stairs.  Dogs bark, doors fling open and shut, and the house is suddenly filled up.  When Mom checks-out, the girls rely totally on Dad.  The lilt in D’s voice changes when she calls him.  It’s brighter, more affectionate.  Nowhere near the edgy dinner exchanges or before-bed meltdowns which are weekday commonplace.  Without a sense of urgency bearing down on them they’re able to really enjoy each other’s company.  Same goes for Z.  She calls for Daddy with a song in her voice instead of desperation.  On and on through breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime kisses, it’s gorgeous to hear.  And I know that without me my family would be just fine, they’d go on, and that makes me feel a whole lot better in the dark.               



2 responses to “Down and Out

  1. All right, I will be the first to comment. Hope your back on your feet!
    Yes, you’re family can function when you are down and out. You have a partner who knows how to take care of things, and this must be comforting. However, nobody replaces a mother, no matter how capable.
    This just brought back a memory. I had just had surgery and was out of it on anesthesia and demeral, laying on the couch at home. Someone had covered me with Jason’s(favorite) blanket off his bed. It was a really cool blanket. I was barely conscious, but I remember Jason saying in a very serious voice “Papa, she has my blanket, what am I going to do?” I remember thinking, For the love of pete, someone give it back to him, but I couldn’t speak and fell back into my drug induced coma.
    Somehow, my being on that couch, had messed up his world.
    I don’t know why I remember that, but I do.

  2. Darling, I had no idea you were so ill! you simply must get better. Of course your family would not be just fine with out you! All props to TC for his stella performance but function is definitely not the same as funtioning smoothly. Don’t under estimate what you bring to the table. Your fabulous! Sending you lots of get well energy.

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