Am just getting over a nasty respiratory bout. Ticked me off that I got it, being the fanatic about handwashing, door handles, sneezers, etc. that I am. But the week I spent feeling less than optimal was a valuable chapbook. I was reminded of some important lessons.
One thing became apparent. I am so blessed to have good health, to be able to do the very many things (ie, the three jobs, the things for family and friends) I do. It goes without saying that, each day, I get up, I work, I work, I work, I work. Then I go to sleep. Then the next day, same drill.
When my health is compromised, I'm annoyed at my inability to take on the daily challenges. Come on! You can do this! Get over it! Come on! Hate being frail. Hate reconizing limits of my capabilities. When my late husband drove me from high mountain country to the state's capitol for appendicitis surgery, the surgeon was puzzled at my making the trek and asked him "Is she stoic about pain?" My spouse said that indeed I was. It's true. I really don't want to be inconvenienced by illness or pain, thank you very much.
Being sick also made me think of limits. I recalled my dad's anger when diabetes stepped in and set up fences for him. He was not a happy camper and being around him in this phase was not blissful. I remember wondering what it would be like, to have lived a life with no limits, no hurdles, and then to find out that, indeed, there were things that could not be done now. Don't think I'd handle that very gracefully.
I also thought about my late husband. A man cursed with a chronic, painful disease in his twenties, he went about life's work with an amazing optimism and joie de vivre. He just took in stride the daily anguish, inconvenience, torment of his disease and kept on keepin on. I once asked him if he was bitter that his youth was robbed by the onset of his disease. He was so matter of fact: "And what good would that do me?" Yes. What good indeed. There was work to be done. There were resources to be protected. There were things to be built. Get on with it.
Maybe it seems extreme that I would reflect on his courage and stoicism when I merely have a respiratory infection. Maybe I'm being a bit melodramatic. But I don't think so. I think that those of us who have been blessed with ongoing good health, with the ability to take on each day's new challenges, without hurdles of pain, respiratory difficulty, or medicinial side effects, should kneel each morning and give thanks. We should offer our sincerest gratitude that our bodies do their bidding each day, that we are able to keep on keepin on.
And that is what I have learned from a week of being sickly.