The Bright Side

I am seldom one to get sick, or when I do, remain down for more than a day or two. My partner has not taken a day off of work for an illness in more than seven years… until this week.

“They” say that the H1N1 flu is mild. I guess compared with seasonal flu, it is not as severe, but let me tell ‘ya, this flu is no cakewalk. The good news is that our fevers have abated, we are able to sleep better at night, and our eyes don’t hurt so we can read, use the computer, or watch TV. However, we still have quite a bit of tightness in our chest, and remain congested. We are still coughing and sneezing from time to time. The doctor says that these symptoms may persist for several more days. Thus, we remain at home so that we do not expose others to this illness or make ourselves worse by trying to resume normal activity when we are not ready for it.

The brighter side of taking this unexpected week off includes good things:

  • I am able to see how my mentoring others has paid off. Two people stepped up and delivered excellent presentations at public hearings in my stead this week. I think I can retire now from voluntary public service (smile.)
  • Several people who I write about — those who I care for by doing things with and for them — have helped us in our time of need. They have run errands, brought groceries, dropped off casseroles and other goodies, books & magazines, and one even brought us flowers. How sweet and thoughtful. It kinda shows how love goes ’round — the more you give it away, the more you get back.
  • One of my sweetest ‘elder buds’ has completely taken over the planning and organizing for our annual Thanksgiving feast. What a tremendous relief! We look forward to hosting this event in just two weeks (whew! it’s coming up quickly!)
  • Since we (still) do not have an appetite, and are surviving on a bowl or two of chicken soup each day, I know that I have lost at least ten pounds, if not more. I’ll try to maintain the weight-loss momentum when I regain my strength by exercising more.
  • My partner and I haven’t spent this much time together in ages. We are finding that we have lots to talk about, lots to share, much to enjoy, and going through this together, our relationship is even more strengthened.
  • Being fearful that my elderly aunt who is already in fragile health might contract this illness if I were to see her, I have not been able to attend to her needs this week. Thank goodness for family and friends who have stepped up to fill in, help out, and provide that ongoing care so all I have to do is check in by phone.
  • I don’t miss work at all.
  • A good buddy threatened to send a search & rescue team to check in on us. I told him that we’re okay — but that he should send the team anyway as long as they were in uniform and their boots were shined. [I may be sick, but I am not dead!]

Overall, we are taking each day at a time, getting better, but not trying to rush back into things too quickly. We will make it.

Thanks to many who have checked in by phone and email. We appreciate it.

Life is short: look on the bright side of life!