It was weird.
I had had my annual allergies going on, but they were clearing up. Every year I think they’re as bad as they’ll ever, ever get.
And then they get worse the next year. (Next-year-self, I am not joking, get going on shots next year before they get that bad again!!)
This year I pulled Elle out of school (who suffered from them for the first time this year…all through tennis tryouts and we had finally had enough) and we marched right into Urgent Care (no allergist apts. available for months) to see what in the world was going on. They gave me a steroid shot and armed us with medicine and sent us on our way. This was almost a week later when my breathing had improved and I could finally sleep again. So it was weird I’d have that deep pain inside.
The pain wore off a little, but the pressure was still annoying me so I followed my normal doctor’s instructions and checked myself into the ER (they don’t have the machines to check heart abnormalities at the doctor office). Seven hours later I was shriveled up, my teeth-chattering and I was burning up with a fever and found out from a ct scan that I had a mass in my lung indicating pretty serious case of pneumonia.
I am writing all this down because I was sick in bed, honestly could hardly lift my head, could not keep my fever under 101 no matter how much medicine I took. Dave had to pull out the lemonade-encrusted-from-so-many-lemonade-stands card table next to my bed to hold all my medicine. I lay there for SIX DAYS. And one day after I could finally start walking around like I was in the land of the living again it has already started to feel like a dream.
And I want to remember the gift Sunday morning was, when I could finally stand up and go in my girls’ bathroom (after a whole week) to do their hair. I know, simple right? I mean, I have four girls. I could do hair in my sleep by now, for crying out loud. And because I do it so much sometimes it seems like such a mundane task.
But not this Sunday.
I treasured taking those hair requests and talking to those girls as my fingers twirled around their long fragrant-fresh-from-the-tub locks. They were telling me all sorts of things I had missed while I lay in bed for so many days. Claire was trying to memorize the 13th Article of Faith since she somehow got the mistaken notion that she has to have them all memorized by the time she turns twelve (and I’m not correcting that…:). I marveled at how beautiful those girls of mine are. I re-memorized their smiles, where their dimples are set in their cheeks, the way they spoke to each other was like velvet.
Just like enjoying doing that hair, I even enjoyed being able to do a load of laundry yesterday. I hate laundry. It’s my most abhorred household task. But man, when you go for a week without having the ability to do it, you find yourself mesmerized by the fact that you have a washing machine to help you out.
This whole deal reminded me that I am so lucky I can do all those ordinary daily things I do that are sometimes so annoying. Sure they get old. But I hope I can remember, at least for a little while, when I get extra huffy about them how awful it was not to be able to do them (ok, not at first…but I was too delirious to really enjoy that). I can stand up. I can walk, I can talk, I can hear. I’m completely able-bodied and boy do I ever take that for granted sometimes!
I also take these girls for granted who I heard whispering in the hallway one evening with some shuffling outside my bedroom door and then they came in with this home-made meal:
Complete with this name tag…because meals must have name tags don’t you think?
My Mother-in-law came by and rubbed my gross feet TWICE.
And brought me chicken soup too.
She is a gem I tell you, and I’m SO grateful for her.
I missed all kinds of things. My saddest was that it was Dr. Seuss week at school. I was supposed to bring green eggs and ham to Lucy’s class and go read in Claire’s class. I love Dr. Seuss week, dang it! I did get to catch what Lucy wore for “Wacky Wednesday” though from my spot on the kitchen floor I found after my sweet friend brought over dinner one night:
Luckily Dave’s mom saved the day and brought her there. Which is easier said than done because it takes some cajoling to get Lu to stay in that above position for 45 minutes I’ll tell you.
And do you know what? She thanked us for giving her an opportunity to serve.
I love her.
And all the while Dave held down the fort like nobody’s business. He even took Elle back into Urgent Care half way through the week since her fever wouldn’t go down and found out that low-and-behold, that girl of ours had pneumonia too.
We got to have some quality “bed time” me and her as we recovered. We are so grateful to both finally be feeling so much better!
It was a rough week, but I’m grateful for the reminder of how much I take for granted…that ordinary days, where you can do normal, sometimes mundane tasks to serve those you love, are pretty darn great after all. I hope I learned whatever I was supposed to learn and that we never have to have a week like that again!