Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Day I Cried Over Chicken Soup

I've been sick this week. Really sick. The kind of sick that just makes you want to curl up in a ball and die. Which is basically what I've been doing once the boys are out the door.

My husband has been taking great care of me. But he has a job, and additionally, jury duty this week. He can't call in wifesick.

But at least I have the luxury of being alone in my misery. It's miles better than getting sick when they were little and wholly dependant.

That...oh...that was hellish.

We've never had any kind of support system you see. No family, no churchmembers, no bowling buddies.

When I was about 7 months pregnant with Diminutive One, Husband, Pubescent One and I all got deathly ill with a stomach flu. We were so ill that we spent all of our time draped over one of the three toilets in the house for the better part of three days. At one point, both Husband and I were sitting on a toilet with a garbage can on our laps, trying to contain the effluvia that issued forth from both ends.

Pubescent One was just barely out of diapers so we put him back in pullups to try to contain the mess somewhat. He was too terribly sick to even be indignant about it.

Husband ventured out once for fluids and Pepto Bismol, clutching a plastic bag so he would have something to vomit into while he was driving. The other end was just left to chance and the strength of his erm...resolve.

After the third day, I began to have terrible back pains, low and deep. I suspected some kind of kidney thing. I knew I was dehydrated, though I had been trying to drink as much as possible.

Neither Husband or Pubescent One was in any condition to leave the house, and there was nobody else. So I drove myself to urgent care. I too had a plastic grocery bag in my lap and threw up at regular intervals, trying desperately to time the bouts of spewage to the red lights along the way.

The first place turned me away. For liability reasons, they wouldn't treat a pregnant woman. I was sobbing when I left; feeling sick and scared and very alone. In the parking lot I called home to husband, crying noisily, knowing he could do nothing.

He didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to do.

Our in network hospital was a 40 minute drive on the interstate. But I was in no shape for that.

I finally got ahold of an old friend. We hadn't spoken in a while, but she came to my aid without hesitation and drove me where I needed to go.

It turned out I was in pre-term labor due to dehydration. I was admitted, given two bags of fluid and an anti-emetic, and felt as good as new within about 24 hours.

But I was mad. Nobody should have to live like that, with nobody to depend on, nobody to care. I've been fighthing to get home ever since.

And yet here I am.

So when I am ill or stressed or overwhelmed, there really is nobody to whom I can turn. There are a lot of friends and acquaintances, but none that I would feel comfortable burdening to such a degree; none that I would feel comfortable being vulnerable and needy with. That's my own issue I suppose, but it is what it is.

So, as I said, I've been sick.

Today was my turn to drive carpool, and I had fully planned to do it, sick or not. All I have to do is sit in the car, afterall. I don't have to get out, and I don't have to talk to anybody, really. I don't have to look good.

But Husband convinced me it would be irresponsible to expose the carpool kids to my plague flu germs. Reluctantly, I called one of the other moms and asked, croaking hoarsely, if she could take my turn in the morning.

She graciously agreed and asked if I needed anything. I thanked her for taking my turn and told her that I was fine.

Achey and feverish, I could scarcely stay upright while Diminutive One showered and ate his breakfast. He kept urging me to go back to bed, assuring me he could get ready by himself.

Sweet, but completely and totally untrue.

I stood at the door waiting with him as usual, but when the van pulled into the driveway, I did not go out to help him in and hug him one last time as I often do. I hid behind the door, hoping nobody would catch a glimpse of my red nosed, hair on end wretchedness.

When my friend dropped Diminutive One off in the afternoon, I had just finished showering, hoping that cleanliness might make me feel a smidge more human.


I croaked a reply, but he couldn't hear me. He came thundering up the steps.

"MOM!!! Miss Patty sent you a present!!!!"

By that time he was at the threshold of my bedroom. He held a tupperware container wrapped in a colorful dish towel and secured with a curly ribbon. Underneath the ribbon was a note and some coupons.

The container was warm, and even through the plastic I could smell the aroma of chicken soup. It was obviously homemade, with rich yellow fat dotting the top and thick noodles floating in the fragrant broth.

To my surprise, I felt tears stinging my eyes.

Well how ridiculous.. I thought. It's just soup for heaven's sake.

But it's not just soup, is it? It's the knowledge that somebody cares how you are and wants to make it better.

Nothing will ever be like it was when we were 8, and our Moms brought us warm drinks and orange tasting baby aspirin at timely intervals. When we didn't have to get up from the couch except to shuffle to the bathroom. When we watched soap operas and game shows until we were bored to tears, and sighed with relief when the Brady Bunch finally came on. When supper was brought to us on a Holly Hobby tray and we got extra noodles in our Campbell's soup and sometimes two snack pack puddings instead of one.

Nothing can be that way for a grownup anymore. The world doesn't stop for us to be sick because now...we're the ones making it go around.

But some homemade chicken soup in a plastic dish almost makes it feel like being 8 again.

Isn't that silly?


  • At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, how I love your writing!

    "Sighed with relief when the Brady Bunch finally came on", indeed.

    Your post brought memories to the surface and tears to my eyes once again, dear.

    Hope you feel better soon.

    Mary in Texas

  • At 6:33 PM, Blogger Amy Sue Nathan said…

    No sweetie, it's not silly, it's lovely - both your sentiments and the soup. I don't live near family either - and I'm the only grown-up in the house (although my son turned 17 today, argh) and this Fall when I needed to take my daughter to urgent care in the middle of the night and leave my son home with the dogs I was slapped in the face with the peril of single parenting and of truly being on my own. Like you, I could have called someone. I have a few friends who would have come without hesitation. But it's just not something I would do unless absolutely necessary.

    I'm glad you didn't drive carpool. And so are your passengers' moms!

  • At 6:53 PM, Blogger jess said…

    Not silly, lovely. Just lovely. I hope you feel better soon.

  • At 8:04 PM, Blogger Tootsie said…

    We're in the same city (Adams Park gave it away) and the same boat. No family or close friends nearby. And it's hard. Two weeks ago, I was alone for the weekend with our baby and came down with the stomach flu. I didn't have anything in the house I could drink, except the baby's leftover pedialyte. Nasty.

    Hurray for the carpool mom!

  • At 8:08 PM, Blogger Middle Girl said…

    Indeed, not silly at all.

    Feel better, sooner.

  • At 9:17 PM, Blogger Tania said…

    Not at all silly. I might have teared up to.

  • At 9:25 PM, Blogger Shelley said…

    I remember hating being sick when I was a kid, because there wasn't a ding dang thing on the TV. I think we had 5 channels instead of the 672 that are now available.

    Chicken soup is the best. I hope you feel better soon!

  • At 10:20 PM, Blogger Sharon L. Holland said…

    Beautiful post. I hope you are better soon.

  • At 12:23 AM, Blogger Notes and letters to myself.... said…

    bless your heart sweetie, if I were in driving distance I'd come over with a gas mask and make soup:)

  • At 5:42 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Not in the least bit silly, and similar to what's been on my mind this week. I've been rather wretched myself and although I'm heading back to normality, between the surgery and a wicked sinus infection, I was one serious sad sack.

    We have a soup restaurant right down the street. It is run by an old old friend who is a magnificent chef, and today I crawled out of bed and the Girl and I went and got soup. I had corn chowder, she had Italian escarole, and we got the Boy some chili. Totally yummy and so healing. There is just something about soup. Even if your mommy didn't make it for you!

  • At 8:34 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    What a nice person Miss Patty is. I hope her wonderful soup has you feeling better soon.

  • At 10:44 AM, Blogger Never That Easy said…

    Not just not silly, but totally understandable as well. I definitely understand isolation (and the not wanting to be a burden), and when something like this happens, it means so much more than the actual soup. It's a real gift.

  • At 11:16 AM, Blogger jean said…

    No it's not silly. It's completely human. Just remember how good it felt to get that soup and pass it on as soon as you get the chance. Trust me, the feeling you get from giving will make you feel even more human.

  • At 1:58 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    DUDE!! It's like we have the same brain! Or the same life, or something. It took me years, long years to build up just one or two people who I could depend on to help me occasionally. I completely understand your feelings. Sometimes just a little bit of kindness would just about make me unravel to bits.

    I'll never forget one day I had to go to the dentist and my boy, still in diapers, was feeling poorly and I called my MIL to ask her if she'd watch him. . . and she did not just say yes. She hemmed and hawed SO FUCKING MUCH that I just lost my shit completely and I never did make it to the dentist that day, if memory serves. For the next 10 years I made my husband ask his parents for anything needed -- I couldn't bring myself to ask personally again. I only managed to get over this. . . um. . . last month. Heh.

    Reach out for help, sweetie. Reach out. Much love!

  • At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Do the other moms know that you don't have any family in the area? If so, they may know how that feels, too. It was a beautiful gesture to send the soup but remember this because it's also a way of saying that you aren't alone, that you do have friends that you can call on when you need them.

  • At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a great post, I hope you share that with Miss Patty. Sometimes the small gestures mean so much ...I'm also away from family and since my closest friend moved away, I've realized how alone I actually am. Asking for help, especially when you are sick, is very very hard.

  • At 2:47 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    Not silly at all!! I'd have cried, too. I was the recipient of homemade dinners from neighbors when I was on bedrest during the surrogacy. It touched me like I've never been touched before... and because of that, when I can, I reciprocate when there is a sickness, hardship or pregnancy that I become aware of...

    Hope you're feeling better by now. I'm behind again, naturally.

  • At 9:46 PM, Blogger crazymumma said…

    Getting sick nder those circumstances is awful. I know it all too well.


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