The other morning I was in spin class and half way through the first rendition of TIMBER, I began to feel a bit tired. I was sort of disappointed in myself. I told myself, "Dude. You spin like three times a week, unless A. It's raining B. Someone -- anyone -- invites you out for an early cocktail or C. You forgot to put your purple Rain Gatorade in the outdoor fridge. So, you should really be able to make it at least half way through the class before you start pretending you are turning that little tension knob to the right and make a great show of pedaling real slow as if you really ARE doing a seated climb."
From there I proceeded to my daily errands and found some little naggy pains in my stomach becoming more and more ominous. As I drove home, I found my hands seizing up, my legs beginning to ache, my back clinching up and realized OMG. I have Ebola. There could be no other explanation for the stabbing pain in my head and neck. Just when things were going so well, and I finally filled up all the little punch holes in my buy ten get one free hand massage at my nail place--and NO, I didn't work today, lady.
Ugh. I was hot-I was cold. I made my way from the car to my closet and put on a pair of wool tights, socks and a Spanx camisole. (I don't want my fat sticking out when the coroner comes to take me to the morgue.) I then fell into bed, and as that fitful sleep that comes with illness began to overtake me I thought, "Wait! What do I have to do before I give in? Is everyone fed, is the dog walked, is the cat litter clean, are the backpacks ready for the morning?" and then even in my near delirium I realized, I don't have to do a thing. For the first time in thirty years, I could just be sick and enjoy it.
I am finally getting to take a sick day. When the kids were little, there were no such things. Running from room to room, cleaning up bodily fluids during a stomach flu marathon, it never occurred to me to give in to the horrendous nausea that overtook me as I went into my 2-year-old son's room after he yelled "Hey Mommy! I'm burping!" and found rivers of vomit on his bed.
It never occurred to me I might need an antibiotic for Strep when every swallow burned like fire. Not when there was a little league team waiting on their juice boxes. I'm sorry, lay down with two Excedrin with a raging sinus headache that felt like a knife in my eye? Um, not today, when I am lunch mom and the second graders need someone to line them up in the hallway. No. Not today.
But on THIS day, Yes. I gave in. In and out of a sweaty slumber, I tried to remember how many people had succumbed to the horrendous Ebola and who had survived. If that nurse could make it so could I, I mean she went to work every day and then was like, "Hey, I don't feel so good," and her friends took great care of her and then she was better, running around the hospital infecting God knows who else. And I had M, who insisted on bringing me won ton soup even though I said there was no way I could possibly eat it. (Turns out I did with a few fried noodles as well.)
Through the afternoon I received worried messages from my daughter:
Want to go to lunch?
Can't sick. really sick.
OK. what's your debit card number i order pizza
I slept fitfully during the night remembering that my most current will is from 1993 and wondering how my sister will feel about four adults coming to live with her. (She is the sole provider for my children upon my early demise and Yes I consider this early.) I dreamed of my funeral, and hoped M would remember to give the funeral guy my closed toe shoes because I haven't had a pedicure since the nail tech held my foot up and said, "Oh poor lady. Wah happened lady?"
Then morning came and I was better. Still a little weak, a little achy, but certainly not Ebola ridden. I realized I was in a new phase of life, a peaceful phase, a quieter phase, and it's OK to be sick every once in a while phase. A STAY IN BED AND WATCH TWO FULL SEASONS OF DOWNTON ABBEY phase. And I was okay with it, because like all you moms out there, I earned it and I am cashing in.