So for some reason I’ve been putting off writing this blog. I could plead fatigue. I could plead that my worries are so small in the face of all the disasters around us that I’m embarrassed to focus on me. But I realize most of it is avoidance and denial.
Our mother always said: Pride comes before a fall. This can be a crippling refrain if it plays constantly on your brain’s radio dial. But in the story I’m about to tell, it plays a big part. I let my ego take control and it all got out of hand.
I was so proud of myself at the beginning of May. Here was my mindset: Seventy-one years old and close to being in the best shape of my life!! Walking four to five miles a day, working out, doing yoga, eating well (well, mostly well), and in fantastic health. Working on my memoir, writing short stories, writing my blog! And I only needed 6 hours or less of sleep a night! Others around me might be aging, but not me!! I was like good wine. (Muscato fine vintage.)
Then on May 25th, I got a sore throat. But because of allergies, I often get a sore throat and then it goes away. Or if I get a cold, I easily get over it. Positive thinking and meditation helped with that. I even wrote a funny blog about how sick I felt. But after a month, it wasn’t so funny. I made it to the important things like my grandson’s high school graduation, but I’d have to rest all day. My brain was a little fuzzy—I’d mean to say kitten but I’d say cotton. Even though I couldn’t manage to go to a manicure appointment (that should have told me how sick I was) I managed to finish a memoir piece about being sexually harassed when I taught school in the Sixties.
And I did start to get better. “I can tell I’m turning the corner,” I’d say to people when they asked if I’d gone to the doctor. “Look at Rachel Maddow. She had this thing too and it knocked her out of work for over a week.”
But then I started to get worse. I began to feel like a vintage wreck.
“You’re still coughing?” my son said at the beginning of July when they returned from their trip to Thailand. “What did the doctor say?”
Well, unfortunately my doctor was away on a trip also. And it was a holiday weekend. I found out a month later that no one had really read the results of my chest X-ray to see the pneumonia and other issues. So I kept going like the little engine that could barely get up the hill. I thought I should be done with a cold so I started walking three miles. Yeah, not so smart.
After two months I went to Seattle. My daughter took one look at me and called her doctor. We went first thing the next morning: her doctor diagnosed walking pneumonia and I got on an antibiotic. It probably would have been better if she had said I had lying down pneumonia or stop what you’re doing pneumonia because I thought I could still walk around. Me, who thinks I’m so smart, just didn’t hear the message that I needed a lot of rest.
I guess my hearing is non-existent when I’m supposed to be listening to my body. I always push myself beyond my limits so was I going to quit now? No, not me. I went to Canada as planned and to the Bruno Mars concert.
I didn’t cancel plans with friends in Seattle though I was having trouble breathing, especially in the smoke filled air. I couldn’t really talk because it made me cough, but I went to a party and tried.
I could go on and on, and I did. When we got back home, I finally shut down.
So now we’re past the third month. I am better. I am. I’m trying to do less while keeping up with must get done. I prioritize better.
I’m not good at staying in bed. I get antsy. Fortunately, I’ve kept busy at home with little projects. Researching sponges was fun!
Yes, I did become addicted to Facebook and the news.
I found Facebook to be similar to leafing through magazines in the old days when you were sick. Oh, and shopping online!
I always try to learn from my experiences. This time I’ve learned that I’m an idiot. My husband is happy with that thought, and the fact that I’m no longer giving him advice on how he should follow doctor’s orders. The blind can’t tell others how to see.
Okay, there’s more to this story, but I’m tired. I think I might listen to the doctor’s advice and go rest. He did go to medical school, after all.
Oh Cindy, i’m so very sorry you’ve been ill. Pneumonia is nothing to sneeze at ( no pun intended) take it slow girlfriend!!
Liked the piece, not what you went through. Take care and rest!