Confession: Getting a family over illness is a ten-stage fiasco.
When you are at your sickest, you think, “If I am ever again free from pain, I will be grateful for the rest of my natural days.” And sure enough, upon recovery you go through a deeply grateful phase, in which simply being able to sit up, to move around, to wash a few dishes, to feel rather comfortable, is cause for great hope and celebration. A deeply grateful phase.
Followed by a blah phase, incumbent upon realizing how much work piled up for you while you were out of commission. Your whole house cries for a good shake and a bath, and you sit there avoiding its eyes, wishing for gumption.
Followed by a slight relapse, in which you’re not quite as healthy as you would have hoped; though you are not sure if a) you’re actually worse, or b) you’re overwhelmed, or c) you’re faking it so as to get out of work, or d) your expectations of yourself are changing. Where once you were happy just to get through the day without kicking the bucket, you now expect to be clothed, cooking, and congenial.
After this comes the slightly stronger every day stage. You’ll lick this thing yet.
Followed by a period of disillusionment. Is this really what it feels like to be healthy, and you just forgot? Food always tastes leathery? Prospects are permanently gray? You pulled yourself back from the brink of the grave just for this?
Followed by the mean as poison stage, in which your sunshiny baby cries more often than not, your big boys whine and droop, your patience is on vacation with your baby’s sunshine, and the only option remaining open to you is to be as hateful as possible.
Followed by the pity-me stage, in which you whine to strangers on your blog.
Threaded into, out of and among all these stages are two unending questions: What are you going to cook this time? (mealtimes coming around with distressing promptitude), and Who’s going to get sick next? You are plagued with worry that the one or two charmed family members who miraculously dodged all germs will now get laid low with them, just as the rest of you have at long last turned the corner.
And of course, they do.
This is not cause for cheer.
Ten-stage fiasco : cheer : : snuffer : flame.
: : tissue : snot.
: : TP :
But perhaps we had better end there.