14 November 2010

Iron [Lung] Maiden

It's a very strange thing being knocked at random out of normal life, which relies upon a great deal of fortitude, and sequestered to the house and the couch, where I don't know how to watch tv other than sports, and I don't know how to relax, and I don't have the sense to make tea or eat crackers. I'm beginning to learn, however, because apparently if you don't do the above, you wake up incredibly more sick. If you forget to take painkillers at regular intervals, or to use your inhaler as directed, you will feel rather deathful.

I've been under the weather since early-ish October. But I just keep on moving, you know? Because that's what I've always had to do. I can live without food or sleep. I can teach even if the room is spinning (who says you don't learn any valuable skills in grad school?). I can put my mind elsewhere. It's just what I do.

Except, apparently that's hard to keep up if you can't breathe, so here I am, pondering the spaciousness of my house, and the fact that somehow I have a house, and knowing that some time this morning I need to get to the grocery store for some produce, and then make a lazy display of myself until the kids get back from visiting their father.

I'm great at taking care of sick people. Even sick pets! But I am physically restraining myself (overstatement) from doing work right now. When I was a wee bit delirious I kept making promises (to whom, I am not certain) that I will take better care of myself from now on. Like, really try to be healthy, or whatever.

Meanwhile, my little Saint Monica has been getting a bunch of pre-orders on Amazon, which has brought me endless amazement and thankfulness from my sick bed. I spend so much more time editing and commenting on other people's poems than I do writing or pondering my own. It feels almost unnatural or wrong to think about my own work before the work of others.

I think I sense a theme here.

Anyway, please send me some lungtastic vibes. When I make it to the grocery store, I will buy healthy things, and I will consume them. Oh, and the above is a hyperbolic segment of my Japanese maple, not a cross-section of my lung, but it sure feels that way lately.

8 comments:

Leslie said...

Clementines have appeared at the grocery store here in central PA, so I'm hoping they are in your produce section too! Nothing like adorable vitamin C to help you feel better.

That AND your inhaler.

Feel Better Soon!!!

Jeannine said...

I urge you to take this seriously and take good care of yourself. Rest, liquids, antibiotics, breathing exercises. If you have any friends or family staunch enough to not be afraid of getting pneumonia, ask them to come over to make you tea and soup. Ask for help. I didn't last year and then I ended up in the hospital for several days on oxygen and IV drugs. (Although I did grade from the hospital bed. Thank goodness for hospital wi-fi! And now I have a great story to shame lazy students with!) Seriously though sweetie, wish I could be there to help. I remember drinking coke and eating pickles seemed helpful for me (not sure why? Maybe helped me cough?) Drink lots of straight-up honey in a spoon (soothes the lung and throat) and take whatever drugs (inhalers, antibiotics, etc) they've given you - and go back and follow up if you're getting worse (advice I should have given myself. AKA if you start horking up multicolors or have trouble breathing when you walk.) Rest way more than you think you have to - it turns out not having enough oxygen in your body makes you tired and dizzy. This is a sign you are overdoing. Sleep as much as you can. Stay prone. Much love and feel better soon!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Please take care, Mary. I have the same issues with illness and taking care of myself, although I'm learning, slowly that the body eventually insists on the downtime to heal. For you, I send wishes of sweet sleep, gallons of OJ, and clearer lungs.

Thanks for the beautiful picture of the tree.

Liou said...

Interesante...

Penultimatina said...

Thanks so much, y'all! I appreciate all of the advice. I had pneumonia when I was sixteen, but this time around it's making all of my joints hurt. Fun times! I have been utterly lazy today and I found a green tea with pomegranate, and it is amazing.

Pajama time here in Akron...

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Lyle Daggett said...

I had pneumonia when I was eight years old, was in the hospital for a week. (This was in the early 1960's -- back then, pneumonia was still considered something really serious, not that it's not these days.)

I've always heard that if you've had pneumonia, it tends to make you especially susceptible to respiratory illness after that. I don't know if there's any truth to that, though I've found over the years that when I get sick with respiratory stuff it does tend to hit me harder than stomach stuff.

The immune system is typically most active when we're asleep. (One of the reasons we tend to sleep a lot when we're sick.) In addition to the advice of the other commenters, I recommend as much sleep as possible. And yes, keep getting extra rest for longer than you think you need to.

Do take care.

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