This last week has been hell.
Maybe I shouldn’t think that every event in my life is intended to teach me something, but it just seems so blatantly obvious. Maybe it’s my way of dealing with shitty events – finding the reason why it happened, finding the silver lining.
I had happily started my training for my June 50 mile race – just base building really, when I got hit with a nasty cold, but I bounced back, headed back to work, and had started back with some short runs. My husband then took his turn, but there was no 2 day turn around, and no bouncing back. It was more like when you try to bounce a deflated basketball – splat. Honestly, I was a little pissy when he started getting sick. I missed one day from work, was still feeling achy and tired, just laying low and felt like I still had the right to another sick day or two around the house, but when he started running a fever, my sick days were over. Once the virus started wreaking havoc on his body, I realized that my brief illness served a purpose. It gave me a little more – well, a lot more sympathy. Unlike my bout with the bug, Wayne’s turned into a battle.
In 26 years of marriage, I have never seen him so sick. I have never taken sick days from work because HE was sick. Last week, I was home 3 days from work taking care of him – making sure he took medicine, was drinking water and not passing out. We visited urgent care, the walk in clinic, the emergency room and the doctor’s office. I got to know the pharmacist at Walgreen’s by name – Scott, if you’re interested – and pretty sure I purchased every thing ever made by Robitussin. He was struggling to breathe and I saw fear in his eyes a few times. I didn’t like seeing him afraid – I’m sure he didn’t either – but it was the first time I’ve ever felt like he was a mortal. Call me over-reactive, melodramatic, ridiculous, what ever – it’s only pneumonia. Fuck off. I have never been so scared for my husband. I felt so helpless and inadequate. Was I doing enough? Should I have taken him back to the emergency room? Should I have demanded they admit him, put him on oxygen, give him some stronger medicine? I just didn’t know.
Before you start beating me up…yes, I know he is the one who was sick. I know he is the one that felt like shit. And yes, now he is getting better. Slowly but surely. But there was a couple days there where I don’t think either one of us thought he was going to get better.
But here’s what I learned. I learned…yet again…that life is precious and unpredictable. He instantly became my priority – not work, running, social media or friends, but just taking care of him. It really is important to appreciate every day and live in the moment. I haven’t had to put my needs and desires aside for someone else in a long time. My kids don’t need me like they did when they were little. My needs were secondary this week – runs were deferred, coffee was left to go cold, oatmeal was left uneaten, bedtimes were changed and showers were skipped. Staying home with him wasn’t all bad. I binge watched Netflix and caught up on Serial podcast. My kitchen was spotless and all my laundry was done and folded. I exercised in the living room, since I wasn’t comfortable leaving him alone at the house to go for a run. Anytime I have difficulties to endure, I call them “ultra training”. When situations are hard, hurt or just down right difficult, you don’t quit. You just keep going, making relentless forward progress – one foot in front of the other, one step at time, one day at a time. You find the good – you find the silver lining and ride the storm out.
Here’s to better weeks ahead. I am strong and determined and I will not quit.
Thanks for reading.