I’m on day three of a terrible illness. I have only had one meal since Saturday night and it was a cup of noodle soup with Cheez Its in it. Last night I ate a small bowl of orange sherbert. Other than multiple trips to the bathroom, I’ve been pretty immobile.
One of my first post stroke doctors warned me that I may be more susceptible to common colds and bugs now. It is true I get sick frequently and it is true that anytime I’m near someone with some sort of virus I take it home with me. One of my biggest struggles with maintaining a healthy weight is related to this ability to become overpowered by diarrhea and stomach cramps anytime someone mentions there’s a bug going around. And I was so happy that I recently started wearing my belt more for style than necessity. Already, I need to wear a belt with my biggest sized pants and it’s only been three days! I don’t get it. I just want to be healthy. I’ve been sick more in the last 4.5 years since my stroke than in the 27 years preceding it.
I can’t even pinpoint where this sickness came from. Usually I can trace it back to a place I’m confident is the point of origin. But I’ve been everywhere with everyone and have had nothing to eat that no one else had in the last week or so. I didn’t used to be this way. I only got sick when it was obvious what happened. Now it’s like everything affects my health.
The thing is, being sick like this blows for everyone but this annoying deficit makes everything so much worse. I become completely crippled. I never know when things like this will strike but at least Kasper is great at supporting me during these times. Sometimes it’s easier to keep the vomit bucket near me so I don’t have to run to the bathroom but Kasper’s there to help me rush to the bathroom if my left body refuses to cooperate. He understands that when these day long episodes strike, I am not the typical patient and every ounce of my energy is spent on whatever the body does to fight off these bugs and viruses.
I have less energy than the average healthy person due to the fact it takes me twice as much energy to walk. The act of thinking, alone, drains more of my energy than the average person. Writing this post will require a nap– as does every post except I’m wearing down faster than usual. I often feel like I’m separated from reality by a pane of frosted glass but when I’m sick like this it’s like I’m cordoned off in a room with walls of frosted glass and my room is filled with thick fog. I can’t imagine not having Kasper here with me and the kids with this type of mind blockage and exhaustion pulling me down from the inside.
Being a parent on top of all of this intensifies the stress of it all. I don’t want my kids to see me as fragile or weak. I tire myself out trying to prove I have extra strength that doesn’t exist within me. I want my kids to grow up and see that I was there for them and not always in bed with exhaustion, fatigue, migraine, stomach bugs and physical irritability/discomfort. I don’t see how others do it. I don’t see how people in my position push through these episodes seemingly unaffected and I don’t see how others can stay in bed for the entire duration of the episode. I often go from the bed to the couch with some pretend functioning in between just so my kids see I am involved and so Kasper doesn’t feel weighed down with responsibility.
I wonder if packaged peanut butter cookies can cause food poisoning. Just thinking about the way I gorged on them Saturday night intensifies my queasiness. I should practice portion control or gain some will power, I guess.