So I’ve spent the last few days wishing someone, anyone, would take pity on my wretched form and deftly cave my head in with a sledgehammer as I slept. Sadly, no one loves me quite enough to do me that particular favor, so I was left to suffer the chills and aches and dizziness and vomiting that so singularly characterize the motherfucking flu. Hey, fuck you, influenza! Fuck you right in your neuraminidase proteins!
Because there were ridiculous numbers of advertising dollars at stake, I absolutely had to be at work Monday morning, if only long enough to post the specifically timed ads our vendors had paid so much for. I was in the office for less than an hour and my work involved nothing more strenuous than clicking a mouse, yet by the time I crawled out to the parking lot to go home, I felt as if I’d just competed in eleven Tae Kwon Do tournaments. Especially felt it in the kidneys. Influenza is a cheating son-of-a-bitch who continually kicks you in the back.
It came on Saturday night and I’m still feeling it today in my shoulders and lats. Eating is still sketchy. I’m choosing what to eat based on softness, which is to say that I’m eating stuff that can travel either up or down with ease. Peach yogurt, for example. Apologies for the visual.
Getting dressed for work this morning, I noticed that the flap of my belt had become unwieldy. My fuzzy flu-brain didn’t actively determine the reason until I was standing in front of the mirror. My slacks were bunched humorously about my waist, looking like a cinched-up laundry sack. Out of the top of the sack came protruding an emaciated torso with a knit shirt literally hanging off it. The pale, sweaty head setting atop the whole mess eventually came around to realize what had happened: the flu had sucked six pounds of life out of me!
So here I am, completely behind on everything from blogging to snogging. It’s not a total loss, however, because it gave me a whole new opportunity to see just how readily the notion of compassion becomes manifest in my wonderful kids…
On my way home Monday morning, I stopped by the grocery store because I had a severe craving for Lipton’s Sweetened Iced Tea. I was dismayed to find that although the Raspberry, Lemon, and Honey versions were in preposterous abundance, there was not a single bottle of plain old sweetened black tea, sans froo-froo flavorings. I had barely enough energy to make the one stop, so I ended up going home empty-handed. When I arrived at the house, it was clear to Zach and Amanda that I was more than a little upset over failing to acquire the one thing I wanted to wet my hot, dry throat. My distress increased when I noted we were out of both NyQuil and Tylenol. I sulked off to bed dark with gloom and saddened by such a steady stream of disappointments.
When I got up a couple hours later, the kids informed me that they had solved my earlier dilemmas. Amanda had given Zachary some money and Zach had walked up to a 7-Eleven in the pouring rain – just over a mile round-trip – and purchased a bottle of Tylenol and three bottles of Lipton’s Sweetened Iced Tea. Zach held up one of the bottles of tea and said, “I hope this is the right thing.” It was. My love for the two of them shot up exponentially in that single instant. I like to think that’s when the flu finally started making its retreat. I do know I felt a bit better right at that moment.