I have been sick for well over a week now. What started out as a cold has blown up into an acute sinusitis and spread into both ears. My eyes feel like they have been set off kilter. My appetite is gone. Nothing looks even edible. I am managing to choke down a little solid food each day along with the volumes of ginger ale and honey tea. I am in my second week off work and fear that they will find that they can actually do without me.
My father was a physician, and one thing that is strongly ingrained in me is that you better be bleeding out before you call the professionals! No running to Urgent Care with the sniffles for me! I am strong and tough, and I do and eat all (most) of the right things and I can kick this on my own.
I have a friend who just returned from burying a 29 year old nephew.
He had had the flu and had been cleared to return to duty.
His wife found him dead on the bathroom floor.
OK, wake up call. I’m 65 years old. I can be as strong and healthy as I want, but something is gonna get me someday. I do realize that me leaving is not really about me, but about who and what I leave behind. When I’m gone, I won’t care. Too late for regrets. I know where I’m going and I’m fine. But Shannon and I have big plans, and quite frankly I haven’t finished cleaning up my mess here yet. I really hate leaving that for somebody else to deal with!
So, after a trip to Urgent Care on Sunday and two full days on Augmentin horse pills, I do feel a little better and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This has been not only a crushing waste of time, as Shannon has had to cease work on the upstairs bathroom tiles because I cannot bear the noise, but I feel like the earth may have rotated past my ability to slip back into my place in the working of all things.
So, hopefully tomorrow, Thursday at the latest, I can go back to work. The universe will open up a little Mariel shaped window and I can slip back into my place in the order of things. Not that much will have changed. I’ll get in on the tail end of state testing, my difficult charges will be as conflicted and demanding as ever, my teammates will be glad to see me back because, if nothing else, having one more adult in the room does makes a difference. And I will be only slightly altered by my absence: by the sure and certain knowledge that we are always closer to the Eternal than we like to acknowledge in our day to day lives.