I am alive, but just barely. Other than a few brief trips to the kitchen and bathroom, I spent the day in bed. My cousin Angie called me from the front door late this afternoon, when I didn’t hear the bell ring, to say that she had left a container of soup. By the time I got there, she was down the hall in front of the elevators. We carried on a brief shouting conversation, so that she didn’t run the risk of getting sick from me.
Other than that hello-and-goodbye shout and a two-minute conversation with my roommate as he stood in my doorway, I have had no in-person human interaction today. This is one of the times when I regret living so far away from my parents. I think back to the times when I got sick like this when I was younger, and how my parents (my mom in particular) always took such good care of me.
When I was in middle school, the Portland Public Schools ran a thing called Outdoor School (I think it still exists in some configuration, although budget cuts have curtailed it’s effects somewhat). Every sixth grader in the district would spend a week at a camp in either the fall or the spring, learning about soil and water and plants and animals. High school students, although with a small team of professional camp counselors/educators (my sister was one of these folks for a time after high school) would teach the kids all about the being kind to the environment.
When I went to Outdoor School, I got sick on the third day and my mom had to drive out and pick me up. I had a raging fever, a sore throat and a nasty cough. After she claimed me from the nurse’s office and evaluated my tempurature with her experienced mom hands, she helped me tip my car seat back so that I was almost reclining. She stopped at a convenience store on the way home to buy me a popsicle to numb my throat a bit, a rare and deeply exciting treat.
I am sure that I apologized ten or twelve times on the way home, I always felt so guilty for getting sick in those days (vestiges of that sick-guilt still remain, although I have shaken a good bit of it off. People get sick).
When we finally got home, she tucked me into the big bed in the downstairs guest room (the only room in the house in those days with a bed that had a view of a television). I don’t remember if there was a visit to the doctor during that bout of illness, although I seem to remember it turning into strep throat and having a moment of hallucination because of the high fever.
I don’t have much of a point here, except that I always miss my parents the most when I’m sick and that I’m grateful that I haven’t started hallucinating white faces floating above my head because of excessively high fever.