As I lie in bed.. and I’m not going to lie.. lying in bed for a month, I’ve lost weight and I like it. Look for my new book “Do nothing, lose weight.”
Anyway as I lie in bed and read the paper and the internet it’s hard to not feel dread and sadness at the shootings, at Trump’s hate speech, feel like the world is going to hell in a hand basket. What helps me is not to stay in the macro, but to also look at the micro. Let me offer you some brain draino from the negative of the day.
In my micro world I’ve been humbled by the goodness of friends of neighbors helping me and my kids while I have been sick. The first week when I thought it was a bad cold it was hard to make sense of what was going on . Mark was still rushing off to work per normal. I got pretty upset and emotional. “I can’t do what I normally do.” I can’t be the one who makes breakfast and school lunches everyday. I would have filed for divorce if I could have gotten out of bed. The fevers where making me loopy. I wasn’t sure of my thoughts. I was so tired I could barely get to the bathroom.
Slowly, he started to step up, but there are still gaps when he is gone and week two I was much worse. I texted a neighbor, “can you please bring me soup and feed my kids?” I didn’t know I could do such a thing.
So desperate an ask. But she came over with soup for me and took my kids to her house for a few hours where she made them dinner and they had a good time. She continued to bring tea or soup over the next several days. I just gave her my key. I wasn’t going anywhere.
I had to punt Thanksgiving to my sisters. I cabbed over for about an hour, but I was a zombie at the table. I thought I would have made my creamed spinach, my cheese pinwheels..but was a feverish day dream.
I think people think if people are married they are covered, but “it’s takes a village” is a real statement. It’s not it takes a nuclear family. When I’m healthy I need my friendships, I need the camaraderie of the world and certainly when I’m sick I’ve learned my level of need. I knew I had to go back to the doctor ( I went early and I tested negative for everything). I decided I would call a cab and get to the Sunday clinic when they opened. My friend Anya came over with a big tea pot and said, “I will be here at 8am and take you.” I said, only if you promise to leave because the stress of her waiting with me would get to me. I don’t want to be burden.
She drove me the next morning while my family slept and sure enough the doctor said, “pneumonia”. I got some antibiotics and the fevers lessened.
Long story, but I needed to go to my regular doctor the next day to adjust the meds. An uber took me there and back. I love just being able to lie down in the back seat. Money well spent. I got the right medications.
A friend texted me, “anything I can do?” Yes, can you get chicken tenders from Vons for my kids?” I had soup, but I needed a ringer for my kids and I couldn’t stand let alone cook. Now, at this point you might say, Daphne, aren’t you married to a chef? Couldn’t he have made a week of meals for your kids that you could heat up in his absence? But, friends that’s how I ended up with a cooking show on the Food Network. I am the cook of the house. Mark is still annoyed that the kids don’t want some fancy multi part dish he would like when they really want butter noodles. Plus, when you cook for a living I don’t think you do at home. I don’t know. I needed to figure out work arounds. This same friend brought some take out a few days later which I made about 4 days worth of meals out of. By the way, ones appetite is pretty dinky on pneumonia.
My sister Cecily took Vivien to a Christmas event I couldn’t make.
My mom came and hung with the kids because I started to worry that they were alone too much. My kids have been so kind to me. They haven’t complained. Vivien fills my pot of tea. Rex gives me massages. One weekend Mark took Rex to a long planned father son camp.
One of those nights I got Vivien a sleep over so I could totally rest. I knew I was no fun, not able to help with homework, zippo, so I kept wanting to find my kids fun time, company.
I was also fortunate to be friends with an Eastern Doctor who makes house calls. So, I got acupuncture which helped open my breathing and relax me. She gave me some herbs and pro biotics that erased some side symptoms I was having.
Week 4.. I’m much better, but weak. I drove to school for parent teacher conference. Walking in and out of campus. Talking for an hour my chest hurt. I felt light headed. I went back to bed. The kids and Mark went to get the tree. “help us decorate the tree mommy?” I can’t. I got some boxes out and lay on the couch. “Okay, unspool the lights and walk them around.” I directed. I’m so proud of 2014 Daphne, she organized the lights and ornaments for 2015 Daphne. So, it’s not just about taking care of others when you can. Take care of yourself! Because you don’t know when you will be broke down and your stronger self can help out. I was so proud of them. They did the whole tree. I just had to stand on a chair and put the star on, that’s it.
As this was going on a dear old friend ( more than 20 years) showed up with three different entrees. Home made mac and cheese ( fab) home made chicken soup and a frozen chicken curry. Also from her kitchen. It’s people like this that make me strive to be a better friend, a better person.
So, when you read the bad things let’s remember that most people are good. That if we ask for help it comes! For years Mark and later I too have done some fund raising for Meals on Wheels. Man, I really get it know. Being a homebound, elderly person with no one visiting you but a sweet person bearing food. That would make quite a difference in your life. I don’t need any presents under my tree I already got more than I could ask for.