Friday, February 15, 2008

On Self-Pity

I know sorrow for one's self is like the lowliest emotion, right down there with envy or spite, and others that probably shouldn't get much time on the emotional stage, but by the time yesterday rolled around, I think I had earned my ticket to ride on the pity-bus for a spell. See, that flu bug that I wrote about Monday night turned my lungs into a perfectly weak and welcoming place for an infection to settle. And one did. Boy, did it. The flighty "doctor" at CareNow broke the bad bronchial news (hard to tell exactly what brand of infection it was without a chest x-ray and blood tests which I, a. couldn't have because I am pregnant, and b. didn't want because I was paying for the visit entirely out of pocket -- 'nother reason to feel sorry for myself, big insurance mix-up left me uninsured 'til the COBRA people get their acts together and reinstate my coverage.) So for the past four days I've been wheezing around the house with some hideously painful, energy-draining, cough-inducing, breath-shortening, sleep-depriving infection in my lungs wondering if I'd ever be able to stand up and get out of bed without getting tingly and dizzy. It's been the worst thing that's ever happened to me (physically), worse even than recovering from a c-section. After three days on antibiotics, today is the first day where I think I can actually say that I'm feeling better, not worse. I think it's happening; I think I'm healing. I slept for six hours straight last night -- a marathon stretch compared to the twenty minute fits of the previous few where I'd wake myself up coughing 'til I got the gag reflex or sweating through all of my clothes and sheets and then having a freeze out on my wet side of the bed.

All those things made me feel sorry for myself, but the self-pity really reared its head yesterday while I read everyone's darling blogs about Valentine's Day. I just had to sit on my couch and cry about it because I was so excited for Valentine's this year -- remember how I was thinking about it way ahead of time, trying to plan something special? If by "special" it is meant, different from the norm, out of the ordinary, I guess yesterday could qualify, but not in any of the ways I had hoped and imagined. I felt so picked on. Even in my sickly state, I tried to think of ways to infuse the day with some magic. I could do my hair, I thought. It hasn't been touched for four days and Nate likes it when I take the time to straighten it. But after five minutes with my arms over my head, I was panting and seeing black spots, so I had to settle for light make-up application, and straightened portions of hair, while the rest just hung in unruly kinks down my back. Maybe I could make dinner, I thought. I was slightly more successful with this endeavor, managing to put on my pink apron and render a batch of Belgian waffles. Cute Nate stopped at the store on his way home from work and picked up some strawberries to eat with our waffles and a sweet bouquet of spring flowers, so the day wasn't completely void of sparkle. Still, I've asked him for a Valentine's Re-do next weekend; with a clean bill of health, we'll surely be able to conjure up some romance.

Oh, but I did manage one love letter on the day. It's personal, but I'll share it with you anyway:

Dear Lungs,
I love you both. Thank you for giving me such good, pain-free, effortless breaths every day of my healthy life. I am sorry you've been afflicted -- I hope the antibiotics are finding their way right to you and laying waste to that infectious invader that has rendered you so weak and weary. They say that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger -- I hate to reveal my doubts, but there were a few times when I wondered if this would kill us. It doesn't look like it's going to, so I hope we're getting stronger. Please don't ever make me go through anything like this again and I promise I'll never smoke a cigarette and I'll make cleaning up the air my life's crusade.

'til my last breath...

p.s. If you want to leave a comment, I'd love that. But please, tell me something lovely about your Valentine's Day or about your life -- I don't need any more pity :)

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