Disclaimer: There are people who live with far worse physical issues and chronic conditions, even life-threatening illnesses. I do not pretend to have even tasted their difficulties or heartache. I’ve lived a pretty average life of health (unless you count giving birth twelve times, but that doesn’t count as being sick). “Extended illness” for me has meant nine weeks (and counting), which is neither long nor especially short for the average healthy person.
It started with a flu-type virus that morphed into a sinus infection. I’ll spare you the details, but please don’t ask “have you tried….?” because chances are I have, both natural and otherwise. The point is not to ask for sympathy or search for a cure (because we’re making progress with a specialist), I just want to share what I’ve been learning through the experience.
The lessons I’m learning from being sick:
1) My household can pretty much run without me. Grocery shopping, meal preparation, cleaning, laundry and errands have been accomplished with me as a consultant rather than a doer. This is both reassuring and disconcerting.
2) I wasn’t delegating enough household tasks. My kids will probably rue the day I got sick because they’ve been discovered.
3) To quote Count Rugen from The Princess Bride: “After all, if you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.”
4) I’m grateful that most of my work is online. Working from a laptop in a recliner is a good thing.
5) I am extremely grateful for the homeschool life that allows me to teach my second grader from the same recliner.
6) Sleeping in a recliner is actually pretty comfortable.
7) My velour leopard print neck pillow is my friend.
8) A long illness holds a special temptation to turn inward and think about and talk about symptoms, pains, and treatments too much.
9) Taking time out of a busy life to check on someone who is sick means a lot to them.
10) My husband is a rare treasure. I always knew that, but I’ve been deeply reminded of this truth. His love and care for me has, in some strange way, taught me to love myself better.
Honestly, it’s been hard to be on the receiving end for weeks. Being asked “Can I get you anything?” is humbling and heartwarming, but I’m ready to be the one asking.
This, too, shall pass—I’m pretty sure. In the meantime, I want to live graciously, gratefully and hopefully.
What lessons is life teaching you right now? Please share.
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