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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Singing the sick blues

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fighting a head and chest cold for several days has left me with little or, should I admit it, no ambition. It should be understood that in the old days a little thing like spending most of the night coughing would not keep me on the couch during daylight, or when feeling the worst, not for long. My husband would come into the house and ask, "How can you sleep with all of this going on?" I would open my eyes and ears from my spot on the couch or under blankets on a lounge chair wondering why he would ask that.

Three boys would be playing sockball, tackling and sliding across the carpet to make spectacular catches with accompanying triumphant celebrations. An explanation for those readers who have never raised sons, sockball is similar to the game of football but there is no pigskin involved, just a pair of wadded up dirty socks. The boys used our long living room as the arena since going outdoors would mean tackling and passing while wearing mittens on a snow covered field. his game would normally have only been played when the parental units were not home. owever, when mom was sick, they could count on her to be oblivious to all noise and action the minute she dozed off.

Yes, there were days like that when I gave in to my lack of energy but it would be a temporary break. After he woke me, friend husband would escape back outdoors to thaw out hog fountains or muck out barns and I would get up and do my job of mothering and monitoring once again. My theory in those days was that if I allowed feeling tough to keep me isolated in my bedroom, I was giving in to my illness. If I stayed out among my gang, the determination to get better as fast as possible helped out. Having half a dozen kids, usually it was just two or three but when the head is throbbing the number doubles, running amok in the house without supervision was indeed a wonderful motivational tool.

But that was when I was thirty or forty years younger. Now I allow myself the luxury, if you can call it that, of being as sick as my body wants to make me. Today, thinking back on that old idea that giving in was bad, I have decided it is time to make a stab at doing things the old way. Today I plan to stay on my feet and move around for at least three hours between naps. At my age I can't expect to go whole-hog immediately, thus the naps.

When I am busy I think that the next time I don't feel well, I will spend all my sick time lolling around, reading books and watching television. Then I get sick and reading books and watching television are not appealing as a pass time. So I lay around, coughing and feeling awful and imagining all the stuff I could be accomplishing if I felt better.

Somehow, cleaning out cupboards, rearranging furniture and even dusting the ceiling fans sound like fun jobs. The dusting of the ceiling fans was a last minute thought. I looked up through my bleary, watery eyes and saw a chore I must have been neglecting. Whirring slowly overhead were fuzzy edged blades.

All of this goes to show that the old adage: the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence - lives on.

By Mary S. Roder
Musing With Mary