I’ve been sick the last few months. Not one continuous illness, but a series of no less than seven colds since the first week of January, with some chest pains (lungs? heart? Dr.s are still running tests to figure this out) in between. This has worn me out and obviously my immune system has been compromised in some way in order for this to have happened. I’ve been so sick so often that my boss has taken to greeting me with a fond “Hi Sicko!” in the mornings when she sees me on-line.
This last cold was the worst. I won’t go into the details, but last Monday morning I felt so horrible that I thought about asking my husband to write down the hymns I’d like sung at my funeral (which would, by the way, include “Just As I Am”, in case any of my family members read this). My husband had me wrapped up papoose fashion in an electric blanket because I couldn’t stop shivering. I couldn’t keep my eyes open long enough to watch much TV, and I couldn’t keep my mind clear enough to follow the plot in anything – even on The Price Is Right. And yes, for those of you asking, you only realize there is a plot to The Price Is Right game show when you realize that you aren’t able to follow it any more. It doesn’t hit you until later just how scary that is :). And if this doesn’t paint a pathetic picture already, let me add one more detail that is the real “tell”… My husband put in my DVD of Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 BBC version with Colin Firth, of course) in the hopes that this would entertain me… and I had no interest in anything having to do with Mr. Darcy. I obviously had good reason to contemplate the musical score for my funeral.
That was earlier this week. Now I am on the mend and today I actually sat at my desk and worked. Hooray! And what got me from funeral planning to planning out performance management strategies at work? Three things. First came the Z-pak antibiotic series – 5 days of pills that my Dr. prescribed for me Monday morning. After three days however, I hadn’t improved much. Unbeknownst to me stronger medicine was on its way.
The second thing came Wednesday when a friend of mine from church sent me an email saying that she missed me and wanting to know how I was. None of my friends are the type to call every day and chat – most don’t even live in this state and we are all waaaaay too busy for casual daily contact. Most of my friends weren’t even aware that I’ve been ill. This one however is from my church and she knew I’ve missed some services and haven’t been singing in choir lately. I wasn’t in services this last Sunday nor was I at a small group meeting Sunday night. Even though neither my husband or I had reached out to tell anyone I was sick, this dear friend reached out to me. Seems small, but it was a therapeutic touch that hit the spot.
Then came the closer. A woman in our neighborhood whose son is on the same little league team as my older son, who knew I’d missed more than half of the games this season (I’d missed again that Monday evening – first game of the end-of-season tournament), sent over a plate of home made cookies around dinner time Wednesday night. Wow. This completely unexpected gesture of kindness was a sweet balm that warmed my heart.
I hadn’t asked for it in any way. Yet people missed me. They cared. God had opened his medicine cabinet and sent me some home remedy.
My cold made the turn that night. The next morning I felt better and continued to improve throughout the day. Today I feel even stronger. I know the antibiotic was part of it… but the powerfully strong dose of friendship paired with the shot of kind sympathy was the best medicine indeed.