Birthday to Remember

April 8th, My Birthday 2019

Do you remember any of your birthdays? How you celebrated? A special gift you received? Someone who surprised you with a visit or a greeting of some kind?

I try to have something memorable happen on my birthday most every year, and I’m willing to come up with it and do it alone if no one is available.  This year I didn’t have to do it alone. My mom and I did something together. We got sick.

Food poisoning, but we can’t figure out what it was for sure. I spent the day barely able to move without passing out.  In spite of being very dehydrated, neither of us wanted to risk putting food or drink into our unstable stomachs.  I spent the day crawling from the bed to the recliner and back again. I cancelled the one appointment for the day – the gym – since there was no energy available for training.  In short, it was not the memorable event I had in mind.  I get a rain check, right?

Today is better. We are both on our feet a little more, but still glad not to have a lot to do today. It is amazing how dependent we are on vital elements, like water. Take away ten pounds of water weight, and I’m barely able to function.  It definitely reminds me of my episode of dehydration on the Appalachian Trail and the recent D post I wrote on dehydration. 

It all makes me think of how we are designed, with enough flexibility to cover the usual ups and downs of life. Most of the time we don’t have to think about how much we’ve eaten or not eaten, or whether we’ve had enough to drink. Food and beverage are available to us on a pretty regular basis, leaving us free to worry about lesser things.

But there are places in this world where it is not so.  What must it feel like to live in a body that is little more than skin and bones, where there is no food or water to be had?  It happens in our own country, where being homeless or in poverty can make it so difficult to be fed with something nutritious.  I was overcome with weakness, loss of motivation, pain and the need to rest somewhere safe.  I can’t imagine being out on the street in a city, or out in a desert village in Africa and trying to survive under those conditions.

I am grateful that I was at home yesterday, recovering slowly as I watched birthday greetings come in on Facebook. I got a delivery of flowers, several cards and a book I had ordered in the mail, a visit from my brother and his kind delivery of some Pedialyte.  I have reasons to remember this birthday, just sayin’…

No Fun Today

I typed that and realized immediately that it wasn’t true.  I am quite sick today but in spite of it, there is fun to be had in resting, reading, doing quiet things that never get done while I’m able to work.  I’m having fun being sick, who would have thought…

Before anyone gets envious let me say that it’s difficult to concentrate when my head hurts, throat hurts, chest rattles with every breath and the aches and pains of fever make me feel weak.  This feels more like pneumonia than anything I’ve ever had before and it came on very fast.  Most likely I will recover but just in case, I want to say that it is very freeing to realize that things go on without me.  I know some people feel like they cannot take a day off when they are sick, or for any other reason, because they are indispensable. Well, nobody is indispensable.  I’m glad I’m not. I stayed home from everything today and plan the same for tomorrow. Nobody wants to be exposed to what I’ve got.  Staying home when one is sick is a way to show love to others.

In between naps I’m getting some reading done, catching up on my blog reader, cleaning out my inbox, and thinking.  How glad I am that I am here in my own bedroom rather than in Cambodia like I was last year when I got sick.  How strange that it has happened two years in a row after many years of not being ill.  Hmm…

I’m especially thinking how God uses sickness in my life to remind me that I am not in control, to increase my compassion for others, to get me quiet and listening,  I’m not afraid of being sick, whether it leads to recovery or not.  I love being here on earth, but I would also love not being here.  Thinking about dying is not a fearful thing, and I thank God for that. As I get older my most common thought about dying is wondering how it will happen.  Accident? Cancer? Pneumonia?  I have preferences but they are between me and God, and I doubt I’ll get to choose.  I think it’s very wise of him not to let me know ahead of time.

This is kind of a stupid post and I’m not terribly proud of it, but having this much time on my hands I had to write something, and these truly are the things I think about while being sick.. Just sayin’…