Friday, February 22, 2008

re emerging

I am emerging from the fog.

That was a bad sickness.

When Laura and DJ were three and four and both in preschool, one day a mother of one of the other preschoolers died. She was also the daycare provider for a number of the children at the preschool. She died of a cold which turned suddenly into an infection which rapidly attacked her heart. It was really, really weird. She was there one day, then over the weekend she was admitted to the hospital and she died the next day. She was about 32. This event has always haunted me.

When I was sick, I spent a number of days praying, "Jesus please help me," with nearly every waking breath I had. I felt that bad. At one point, the congestion in my chest was so breath-blocking that I felt like I was drowning, or suffocating, or something. I asked DJ for a puff on one of his albuterol inhalers. He set me up with his nebulizer instead, saying, "This will help you more." It did help me to breathe. It also made my heart pound, my limbs shake and my head ache. And my stomach hurt.

When I finally went to the doctor (when I got better enough that I thought a trip to the doctor would not do me in, in and of itself), she told me that had been a good thing to do and gave me a prescription for albuterol. Instead of buying my own puffer, I used the nebulizer two more times.

I am still weak. It's frustrating. Yesterday I cleaned out some cupboards, made a trip to Wal-Mart to get some storage system stuff, cooked dinner and scraped some grout out of the kids' shower. I was exhausted.

Today I made my bed and did a little tidying upstairs, and I was so tired and winded, I had to rest in my bedroom chair for awhile before I could carry the laundry to the laundry room.

This is really discouraging, because I had been thinking I might like to go back to school and become an English teacher. It's taking me weeks just to shake a common cold. Well, to be strictly honest it was the flu, but still, I should be stronger by now.

I have been having trouble concentrating--I can't even read, hardly.

I want so much to do something, to wisely use the days God gives me. I feel like I just survive in a semi-vegetable state. I am encouraged that I am cooking, shopping, and washing clothes, as well as cleaning as strength allows. But there has to be more to life than this—more than hanging by a thread. The high point of the day should be something better than crawling into bed at the end of it.

The kids’ school break has been a wasteland of staying at home—nobody out, nobody in. Jon has been playing his DS every minute after he makes his bed and practices his trumpet. Laura spent hours watching tivoed Matlock episodes. My brain is so dead, I can’t even think of what we COULD be doing. It crossed my mind once that I would have liked to have an opportunity to take the kids skiing, and try to give them an opportunity to learn how. Then I got the chills again, and a coughing fit.

At some point, I hope God shows me what He wants from me. A college degree to be a teacher? A family summer missions trip? I don’t even have any ideas. But I am sick, sick, sick of staying home and examining my own (diseased) belly button.

Oh, on a more positive note—I found my gentian violet when I was cleaning out one of the cupboards yesterday. That was great, because I had some white fungus on one of my toenails, where it had grown up around some old nail polish I left on too long (I had since removed the nail polish). When I visited the doctor for my flu, I also showed her my toe. “That’s a fungus,” she said, “Here, let me write you a referral to a podiatrist.” With our current (non) insurance, we do not need referrals. We just pay out of pocket for everything until we hit the magic $2500 mark. Then they kick in and pay for everything. I was not hoping to visit another doctor. I was hoping she could help me while I was there to see her. She is a family practice doctor; I would think they could handle a toenail fungus.

I went home and got out my razor blades and started scraping off the fungus once a day, then rinsing it off with rubbing alcohol and finishing with an application of tea tree oil. After two or three days of this, the fungus appeared to be receding. But yesterday I found my GENTIAN VIOLET! I applied that yesterday and today, and there is currently no sign of any textured growth of any sort on my toenail. Albeit, my toenail is dark purple, but I think it may be safe to say that it is cured. I will do gentian violet for one more day, because I think three days is the standard length of treatment with this stuff. Then it only remains to be seen how long the toenail will stay purple…

1 comment:

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Dear me, Ruth, cut yourself some slack! You are only JUST recoverING (not recoverED!) from a really nasty illness. It will take about as many days to feel normal again as the number of days you were sick. Give yourself a bit of a break before deciding that you're worthless and not living up to God's plans for you. :)

I say this, having JUST spent a few days beating myself up just like it sounds like you're doing (also after a bad illness) and this is what my mother told me. Wise woman, she is! :)