I spent last week in bed with the flu. I thought I had dodged it this season, but one day I woke up with my throat on fire and a nauseaus feeling. It was all downhill from there.
Next day, I felt so lousy that I had to give myself a pep talk to get up and walk to the bathroom. I plied myself with cold medicine for the next three days, which only left me feeling lousy AND dopey.
Thank heavens my kids are old enough to keep themselves alive if I’m out of commission. They poked their heads in from time to time, checking on their poor, sick mother whenever they were hungry. When they finally got the green light to eat whatever they could find I never saw them again.
I drifted in and out of sleep with the TV on as one show blended with the next. Regis modeled the latest in high heels. Barbara Walters told Oprah that her mother’s boyfriend was her baby’s daddy. And Tom Brokaw broke in with a news flash that he knew the winning bid on The Price is Right.
Time lost all meaning. I floated in my bed, my only companion the family dog. I thought he really cared when I woke to find him licking my face. Then I realized he was only after the remains of grape flavored cold medicine dribbling down my chin. I guess I shouldn’t have scolded him because later that day I could swear he was on TV complaining about me to Dr. Phil.
After three days suffering with the flu, God decided to kick it up a notch. I woke at 3:30 a.m. with a migraine. Stumbling to the kitchen, I grabbed an ice cube tray and dumped its contents into the bathroom sink.
I filled the sink with water and shoved my face in. Ah, sweet relief. The icy water calmed my migraine, but I questioned the practicality of this treatment when it came time to breathe.
Lying down on the bathroom floor, I covered my aching head with a dripping washcloth. It felt so good there on the cool tile, I considered drifting off to sleep but decided the sight of me sprawled out beside the toilet, unconscious and clutching an empty ice cube tray might be too much of a puzzle for my husband.
I survived. My husband took good care of me when he got home from work, making sure some kind of meal was served each night. He called during the day, inquiring about my health. It was all very nice, but no matter how old I get, I still miss my mommy when I’m sick.
She’ll do what no one else will do to make me feel better. She’ll baby me. So I called her while I was sick and she said, “Oh Caryl! You poor thing!” All was right with the world again because someone knew what a brave little girl I was.