It started around Thanksgiving with the big kids getting sick and keeping us homebound for the 4-day weekend.
Then I seemed to fight off whatever they had…and then 7 days later, deal with some nagging hip pain. Thursday I spiked a fever and that night, I could barely sleep and then crawled out of bed (literally) unable to stand straight up.
The kids had their awesome Snow Concert that morning. Sitting felt awful but we managed to smile and wave as the kids desperately sought our faces in the crowd.
I did get to see a PT later that day and had hope that my “psoas” problem was alleviated enough for me to function. I felt good leaving but the pain and tightness returned after a few hours of resting that day since I still had some flu-like symptoms.
The weekend was a combination of lying flat on my stomach, back or stretching to try to fix myself. Oh and I developed a cold sore. Because I could.
Are you bored yet? I am just reliving it.
True Confession: when I get sick, I look at everything I eat (have I allowed too much sugar?) every exercise and my form, my sleep cycles and pretty much anything in my control. I feel embarrassed and desperate for an answer and in this case, relief.
When I get injured, I feel the same: embarrassed. I take great pride in staying healthy and active and when that fails me, I feel like a failure.
Well, let’s just say the weekend was awful. Brian was home (thank You Jesus) and he took them sledding in frigid weather, swimming on Sunday and enjoyed all of the leftovers in the fridge.
Monday was a new day and I figured some exercise couldn’t hurt. It didn’t. I felt great. Tuesday we did our Christmas-kicking 1000 reps at the Y and I felt slow but managed to finish my 1000 (or was it 900? 1100? I lost count…).
We had dinner with dear friends that night and when all the kids were settled in bed, I looked in the mirror and wow: my eyes were Christmas red. My throat was getting scratchy and my chest was congested in the matter of 2 hours. “Could I possibly have pink eye?”
The next morning, eyes crusted over, I texted my personal family practice doc and wiped the goo out. Then I went to Q Care and my nurse had a “LOVE PINK” sweatshirt. I told her it was ironic but I wasn’t laughing.
Thanksgiving (see Thank You Plan B) and we have all been grateful for it as we have been sick! It was understood that this would be everyone’s gift this year.
But Calista peeked under the tree last week and noticed packages with the kids’ names on it. “Mom, I thought we weren’t getting any more gifts?!” Bless her heart.
“Oh Mom and Dad have ways to get you things without spending money!” (We decided to use our Discover Rewards Points on our Amazon account to get them some little gifts.)
As the kids get excited, there might be some of us who are just ready to get Christmas, New Year’s and all of it behind us. We have dear friends who have lost family members, babies and their marriages recently. Others have faced health crises, financial stress and infertility. Or maybe you just have a bum hip which reminds you 24/7 that you’re not 25 anymore. And you get to wear your glasses all day because you have pink eye. I never feel awake when I wear my glasses…
I kept trying to find some humor, redemption and lesson in all of this all weekend.
It never came.
Yesterday as I put my eye drops in, I thought about how Jesus endured pain and suffering when He came to earth. And Christmas is our nod to Him becoming “flesh and dwelling among us.” We make it sweet and gentle, “away in a manger” and Mary’s beautiful blue robe and smiling face. Silent Night, Angels we have heard on high and candlelit midnight services.
There is another view, however. One where we acknowledge the suffering Mary went through knowing she was pregnant without Joseph’s involvement. The birthing process which was anything but silent. The revolutionary declaration of Mary’s Magnificat where she basically calls out Herod and declares her infant to be the future king. The raw truth that Jesus would be born only to die for all of humankind.
Christmas has teeth baby and it’s sometimes as brutal as Duluth wind chills.
Jesus gave us comfort and power in order to be born through a narrow birth canal, sleep in a manger and be raised by a poor carpenter and his wife. He maybe never had pink eye, but probably slammed a hammer a few times on his fingers. He coughed. He bled.
So, it can be the most wonderful time of the year. But it can also be painful and pierce our hearts.
I have these blocks my mom made me one year for Christmas. For fun this week, I have removed the “J.”
Just keeping it real here.
For some of you, Merry Christmas! Enjoy the wonder of the season, the generosity of others and remembering those who do not have enough this year.
For others of you, may God meet you wherever you are this season. Regardless of our state of mind, He is always and will always be Immanuel, God with us.