I was feeling a little run down. My throat was sore and I was sneezing more frequently than my allergies warranted. No! I can’t get sick now! I’m supposed to go to Portland on March 26th. That was less than two weeks away! I just got over bronchitis for Pete’s sake. This can’t be happening. I started downing Vitamin C in the form of Airborne. In desperation I bought the Zicam nose swabs that had helped me in the past. I am not getting sick again!
Things got worse. I developed a cough, a very deep rattling cough. Because I have asthma, that worried me. I couldn’t possibly be getting bronchitis again. I had recently been exposed to two people who were sick. One of them was my son. I knew he had a cold but I don’t see him that often and so I had to hug him. How do you not hug your kid?
A few days after both of these exposures, I felt like I had full blown bronchitis. Well, there’s still time to get over it before I have to fly, I thought to myself. All is not lost, yet.
I figured it was viral and so I stayed home, rested, took cough medicine and waited it out. I developed a slight fever which I had for three days. The cough became worse and now I was wheezing terribly when I went to bed at night. It sounded like someone was inside my chest crinkling up thin plastic sheets of paper every time I exhaled. Nyquil was the only thing that allowed me to sleep.
I gave in and called my doctor the following morning and went to see her the next day. She had me get a chest x-ray. They called me while I was at the pharmacy getting my prescription filled for an extra inhaler. “You have pneumonia. The doctor is calling in a prescription for antibiotics. You need to come back in ten days for a follow up chest x-ray.” Oh great. Pneumonia. That’s just swell. A month ago it was bronchitis that messed with my normal routine. Now pneumonia was going to do more than that. It was going to prevent me from going to Portland to see my newest grandbaby.
Why am I telling you this? Because sometimes, against all the odds, against everything that would seem fair, you get kicked in the stomach. It just so happened that the week I got diagnosed with pneumonia, my husband, who is in constant horrific pain awaiting a hip replacement, had an especially bad few days. It was all I could do to keep from feeling sorry for myself. Every morning when I awoke, despair was sitting in the chair next to my bed. “Good morning, Sarah,” she would say mockingly. “But then again, it isn’t really a good morning now is it?”
I knew I had a choice to make and not much time to make it. I abolished despair to the netherworld and told myself everything was going to be fine. I would get better. I would take care of my husband and make his life as pleasant and comfortable as possible. We would get through this. I would postpone my trip to Portland and life would go on. My other choice was to wallow in self pity, make my husband’s already challenging life more difficult and end up with both of us at the bottom of the well.
I’m going to Portland in May. My husband’s surgery is less than four weeks away. I am back in my normal routine and in control of my world. My husband was more than grateful for my positive attitude and for taking such good care of him. It has actually brought us closer.
Next time life kicks you in the stomach, straighten yourself up, show despair the door and carry on, knowing that you will get through whatever it is and come out on the other side stronger, wiser and more resilient. God bless.