Here today, gone tomorrow.
I’d been volunteering quite a bit at the girls’ school, helping out with the musical production that Daughter #2 was involved with, when, toward the end of rehearsals and close to show time, I woke up one morning with incredible swelling in most of my joints (fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, feet) and incredible pain in those areas too. Could barely walk, hands were pretty useless, and the whole situation deteriorated over a couple of days until by Day 3 or so I was unable to hold a pencil, steering wheel, open the fridge, or generally function. Several panels of labwork later, and it was confirmed I had contracted Parvo B19. And although in the short-term it’s not a good time, in the grand scheme I fully anticipate a complete recovery — so I’m holding off on the pity party.
The relief at having a diagnosis was immediate — and I think I felt better physically, just knowing what this thing was. And the whole experience — the waking up debilitated and in pain — really served as a wakeup call. WHAT IF I woke up one morning and my world had changed like that? If I were incapacitated permanently? YIKES. I thought often over the Days of Swelling and Pain about another woman/mother/blogger I’ve never met, but whom I follow in the blogosphere and on Twitter — Anissa of FreeAnissa.com. She had a stroke last fall and is slowly but surely making her way back, with a humor and grace that is admirable and should be emulated by all of us when we decide that this mothering gig is too hard/too unrewarding/generally an energy suck. (Yes, I can’t wear my wedding ring because my fingers are the size of mini-sausages, but at least I can make my way across the room to pick it up and attempt to jam it on. Be grateful and graceful.)
As my husband reminds my children, and occasionally me, have some ‘GR” with that attitude. (Ok, if you do that it’ll be spelled wrong, but you get the idea.)
And, for those of you who enjoy irony and poetic justice, it would appear that I have passed Parvo B19 on to Son #1. He doesn’t seem to be too ill — just feverish enough to remain home from school watching pay-per-view movies (because even 450 channels isn’t enough for a 9-year-old). I’m sympathetic, but not overly so….the offspring take and take and take, so I think this falls under the category of “Kids, be careful what you take from Mommy.”
And, shall we wager a bit? Some over/under action? Or odds? What’re the chances that Parvo B19 has its way with the rest of this crew?