Tuesday, May 22, 2012

the body, sick

I'm finally getting over this crappy, crappy cold. I tried to be a noble sick person, keeping to myself, making myself soup and honeyed tea, sleeping wrapped in a heavy blanket, the humidifier turning my room into a sauna. I try to allow, let the virus work itself out, let my immune system bolster itself. But then I lose my shit and turn weepy. I hate being sick. I hate being sick alone.

When I was a kid, illness meant lots of love, homemade soup lovingly fed to me by my mom or one of my grandmothers or aunts. Illness meant foot rubs, cool towels on my head, the scent of Vicks VapoRub permeating my footie pajamas. My grandfather would go rent a bunch of old Disney movies and we'd watch them together, I LOVED The Gnome Mobile.

The first time I was sick alone I was living in Mexico. I caught a cold and was miserable. I remember walking down the the local mercado and finding a stand that sold homemade chicken soup. I bought a styrofoam container and sat at a plastic table, eating it alone. There was a family of women at a table near me and they noticed I was sick. They were mothers and concerned I was sick  and alone. They gave me advice about what kind of medicinal tea to buy, what cough syrup, how to wrap myself up and sweat it out. I thanked them and went home to my tiny apartment alone and wrapped myself up and cried. I was lonelier than I had never been. I was living alone in the middle of Mexico, I had no close friends or family to call upon and I had to take care of myself. I did it but I was miserable. I wanted my mom.

Getting sick as an adult I know what to do, I know what I need, I know how to take care of myself. A lot of times when I get sick my mom or one of my sisters will stop by with soup, or whatever I need and sit with me, give me some of the comfort that comes from feeling cared for by someone you love, feeling loved. This last weekend no one came. My sister's wedding is in a few days and no one wanted to risk catching what I have. I was miserable. But I survived, heating pad and Netflix.

I am better now. I went to the doctor and he gave me a couple of shots. He promised I'll be better by the wedding. I hope my nose isn't chapped by then.

Writing the speech I'm giving at my sister's wedding. I'm excited. I don't have a date for the wedding. I have two male best friends but couldn't ask one and not the other so I invited neither. I thought for a long time if there was anyone else I could take, but no. I'm sitting at a table with people I love and look forward to dancing, rejoicing, loving.

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