I think I found out why I was moving slowly the other morning. The stomach flu hit me full force. At least, I think it is the stomach flu. Since it is Easter weekend I have not been to see anyone about the fever, chills, headache, light sensitivity, and gastrolintestinal upsets. But here I am day three (or four? or is it five?) on my couch watching the sunrise for reasons other than Eastertide.
I am trying to see a good side to being sick. There are plenty of bad results from it and they are compounded on a farm, so the good side can be like an Easter Egg hunt…without the pushing and tackles, but including the whining and crying, maybe. Ok. Think! Through this fever-headed foggy brain, THINK!
Here’s one. I got a LOT of sleep. One of the days I was sick, I believe I slept 24 hours, with only slight awakenings throughout the day and night by Mike or the pets. Val is still here and she thinks night time is for playing and daytime is for sleeping, so we’ll have to work on that when I am better. I did sleep though. Would fall asleep shivering under the comforter and wishing there were twelve more on top of me and wake up sweating like I was in the Amazon. But I slept! I slept more than I have since moving to the farm. That is a good thing, right?
Another good thing…ah, yes…that diet I planned to start but am about five years late on started itself. Since I got sick three days ago (or was it four? or five?), I have had exactly four spoonfuls of cream of asparagus soup and a bite of a grilled ham and cheese sandwich on day 1, two slices of french toast on day 3, and (proof that I am feeling a little better) a bowl of chicken noodle soup, a milkshake, and (drumroll please) a polish sausage…and the sausage stayed down! Ok…so I must have been sick four days now.
I helped our budget by being sick. Yep, that’s true. For one thing, I have not had a cup of coffee since that first morning. Not that I did not want one…well, actually, I did NOT want one, but I am on a gatorade or 7up sipping regimine and trying to keep hydrated. On a good day coffee is dehydrating, not to mention the cream and sugar we put in it, so avoiding it was probably a good thing. I did sort of miss “our time” over coffee in the morning, but Mike probably never noticed because I was passed out and snoring on the couch during most of it.
Another good thing about being sick was not being around when we lost three of our newest calves. Apparently, they caught Shipping Fever and died before the arrival of vaccine Mike ordered. The one that shocked us the most was Buddy, the newest Charolais, who was fine and ate breakfast without a problem, at two o’clock was still well, and dead by 5 p.m. By being sick on the couch, I did not help give boluses, hold the bag while Mike tubed them, hold them for injections, or love on them while they passed away. Their loss and all Mike went through alone, while I hugged the trashcan or ran to the restroom, does explain perhaps why when I asked for a blanket he brought it to me, still folded, and tossed it at me before heading out the door. He was full-up on nurturing for the moment.
The city girl in me wondered if what I saw as a lack of caring was purely a Mike thing or a country thing. I mean, if you are sick and take to your bed, aren’t the ones who love you supposed to dote on you a little? Check your fever? Make sure you have the medicines you need and the liquids to take them with? Aren’t they supposed to check your fevered brow with the back of their hands and look at you with compassion and caring? I was very hurt to have a blanket thrown at me with a huff…but I also did not know we had sick calves. On the other hand, Mike did run into town to pick up meds I needed, made a special trip for a milkshake just because it sounded good to me, and did extra around the house.
Somehow, it isn’t the same.
So maybe there is another good thing I learned about being sick. We cannot always expect every person to have the same compassion, empathy, or attentiveness that we have always known. Some people just don’t get it, for whatever reason and it is our job to teach them better. Seems to me that is what some anti-establishment dude in the Middle East died for about two thousand or so years ago and why today we celebrate his rising from the dead. His command was not to overthrow governments or to dominate other people, it was three simple words:
LOVE ONE ANOTHER
Funny thing…He healed the sick too.