Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mother, Heal Thyself

As a child, being sick in my household was golden. It was a rare treat. I’m aware that this might sound strange to some, but in a family with 6 kids, anything that got you Mom’s undivided attention was a plus. Being sick got you the comfiest corner of the couch, ice cream, soup and ginger ale, supreme domination over the television, and in my case, fruit cocktail baby food. Not only did it get you special treatment, it got the other kids in trouble (insert Snidely Whiplash laugh here): “Don’t you fuss at her, she’s sick!” “Don’t you change the channel, she wants to watch Pink Panther!” and my favorite: “Don’t you dare even think about touching that ice cream! She’s sick!!!” Even the worst illnesses were enviable at our house. Adam broke both of his legs (two different times, not at once), and he got the whole couch, and a neon green cast, and crutches, and the front seat in the van. One year, Nathan contracted the flu and it went into his brain stem. Granted, this was a major illness, and potentially fatal. He couldn’t speak, couldn’t walk, and had to relearn how to write his name. But I mean, he got a fruit basket from the church. Hello? A FRUIT BASKET, people! I can still taste those pears in December (if this sounds callous to you, you have to remember that I was only 8, and my parents downplayed the seriousness of his situation to us- and they were pears. In December.).

Well, I’m all grown up now, with kids of my own. And being sick is not a treat, it’s just one more pain in the butt thing to deal with while dealing with all the other pains in my butt.

I woke up Saturday morning with sinus pressure that slid straight into my ear when I rolled over in bed. There was no preventing it. It just happened. I don’t know how many of you have had ear infections as an adult, but for those who haven’t, let me enlighten you: &*$%#%@^$%@!@&#^!!!! That about sums it up. They hurt like hell, hell, hell. I’m sorry, there really is no other way to put it. The pressure is unbearable. In two days I got to the point where I was praying for my eardrum to just burst and have done with it. I honestly don’t know how kids do it over and over and over. To make it even better, I got laryngitis too. So on top of the constant pain in my ear, the stuffed cotton feel, the fluctuation between ringing, radio static, and the ants from THEM sounds, I now sound like Eartha Kitt as the cat in The Emperor’s New Groove (“Is that my voice? Is that... my voice?!”).

I’m not complaining though. No, of course not. Mothers aren’t allowed to do that when we get sick. We just push through, the troopers that we are. The kids still have to get ready for school, they still need to eat, and have diapers changed, and matching socks found. Life stands still for no woman, ear infection or no. But oh, I miss being a sick kid. All I want to do is curl up on my bed, watch Pink Panther, and eat fruit cocktail baby food. Unfortunately, that’s not feasible for me now. But I can take steps to not push myself so hard.

So yesterday, after three hysterical meltdowns as a direct result of trying to be super woman all weekend, I came to the following conclusions: While I continue to be sick,


1. Make sure I take my antibiotics religiously.
2. Take care of my kids basic needs.
3. Listen to my Phil Wickham Christmas album over and over, because it makes me happy.
4. Drink plenty of fluids, even if it hurts to swallow.
5. Thank my husband for taking care of the kids and washing the laundry last night.
6. Write a blog about being sick. Ha!


1. Worry about the piles of laundry waiting to be folded.
2. Sort all the Halloween candy.
3. Answer anymore phone calls after I have told people to please not call me because it hurts to talk.
4. Let the dishes in the sink drive me crazy.
5. Leave my house unless absolutely necessary.
6. Convince myself that I have to be all things to all people.

And maybe I’ll buy my own fruit cocktail baby food.

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