#FridayFun: Excerpt from A Dead Tomato Plant and a Paycheck

What fun it is to end another week being sick. NOT! But before getting into that and the promised excerpt, here’s a cute meme a friend sent me. I’ve always appreciated my friends who don’t look at the dust-bunnies. The one who sent the meme is one of those friends.

Tuesday night I started having symptoms of an infection in my nether-region as my grandmother always referred to her feminine private parts. If she was still alive, she’d be horrified that I’m mentioning this in public. But then, if she were still alive, she’d be busy working in her garden or quilting and most certainly wouldn’t be wasting time on a computer, if she even had one.

But, back to my saga – not mentioning specifics, Grandma, so rest easy. Knowing this was not something to ignore, I went the the ER around 9:30 after discovering the local Prima Care was closed for the night. As usual, the ER was incredibly busy, and I didn’t see a doctor until midnight. Luckily, they’d already run tests, and yes I did have a major infection. Doctor was concerned that it might have gone to my kidneys, so he ordered blood work. Also started IV antibiotics. If the blood test showed my white count to be super high, the doctor wanted me to be admitted for more IV antibiotics. Yikes!

While I waited for the results of the test, and the final determination about length-of-stay, I tried to figure out how to deal with my dog. He was in his crate for the night, but would definitely need to be let out before 9 the next morning. Who should I call or text? Nobody in the middle of the night, that was for sure. Maybe I could text my son-in-law early in the morning with phone numbers of my neighbors, who have keys to my house, to see if one of them would come over to take care of Dusty. My son-in-law is the earliest riser of the family, and he’d be up in plenty of time. While I first thought about texting the neighbors direct, I realized that might not work since they often don’t respond to texts until several hours after receiving them. By then, there’d be a puddle on the floor and a drenched dog bed.

Thankfully, by 3am, the blood test came back without alarming white count rates, so I was released to come home to continue antibiotics by mouth.

So, that’s my sad story, and, yes, I do want lots of sympathy. Not getting much from the dog or cats. They only care about their next meal.

Now here’s an excerpt from my humorous memoir, A Dead Tomato Plant and a Paycheck, about being sick when there are actually people around you, not just pets. Enjoy.

Have you ever noticed that when a kid is sick, he expects meals in bed, unlimited sympathy, and continuous entertainment? Or when a husband is sick, he simply takes the day off work, stays in bed, and accepts juice, aspirin, and a kind word in four-hour intervals?

But heaven help a mother who has a cold or the twenty-four-hour flu. Somehow, she has to carry on as if all was well, and about the only way she can get sympathy or understanding is to be approaching death’s doorway. Even then, one of the kids might ask if she has the time to wash his soccer uniform before she passes from this earthly life.

I’d like to see some type of parent-child contract drawn up that would grant equal time, consideration, and cough medicine in the middle of the night to mothers.

I’d like to see a clause included in this contract stating emphatically that when a child comes home from school to find his mother still in her robe, it doesn’t mean that she was just too lazy to get dressed that day.

If a mother has red watery eyes and a runny nose, it isn’t from peeling onions or from watching a sad scene in an afternoon soap opera.

If a mother’s face appears to be unusually flushed, it isn’t from the exhilaration of an afternoon tryst.

If a mother is making twenty-five trips to the bathroom in an hour, it isn’t just from a need for some solitude and serenity.

If a mother doesn’t have the strength to drag her body off the couch to cook dinner, it isn’t because she wore herself out playing tennis all day.

I used to believe that if we could get our families to recognize the fact that we were indeed sick, then we could work on getting them to respond in a positive, helpful manner. To accomplish that goal, I considered making a big sign and hanging it in the living room where everyone could see it as they came in the door:

“Attention! The mother in this house is sick and has gone to bed. Do not disturb unless extreme emergency arises. (Needing to go to volleyball practice does not qualify.) Somebody cook supper. Wash your own dishes and gym clothes. It would be nice if one of you came to check on me in about four hours to see if I’m still alive. And bring me some orange juice. Love, Mom.”

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