i tucked my son in last night fevered and ill. he was like fire, cheeks red and little body hot to the touch. i awoke this morning remembering that some in our community have been exposed to scarlet fever. that has such a depression era sound to it for my ears. i think one of my aunts had that when she was a little girl. scarlet fever. what if it is scarlet fever? what does that look like? what does that mean? my mind whirred into quite a spiral. it hasn't done that in a while.
other than that nasty bout of stomach virus we had we've all been incredibly healthy. lucky? blessed? sheltered? i don't know - but i know i drew the long straw here in regard to having healthy kids. i have watched so many parents deal with their own children being sick, enduring surgeries and even sometimes the death of a child.
this morning i spun myself into quite a swirl of 'i knew it, it couldn't last' - somewhere deep within my heart i feel like i'm waiting for the other shoe to drop - like i'm just putting in time before the big, ugly diagnosis hits and something tragic happens to one of my kids. it's sick, wrong and very unhealthy, but i'm hoping that writing about it will bring some perspective and peace.
it's 24 hours later - buck has a head cold. fever gone, no scarlet fever. he even chose to go to church and play practice yesterday. all of that worry and energy spent for nothing. hope posted a great nugget of truth yesterday on her blog:
I was reminded to use my energy to work on real problems, not the imaginary ones in my head. That was the nugget of truth I took with me as I left the meeting.liam told me something he heard the other day - "worry is the misuse of imagination" - and i have far too little energy and way too much i want to be creative with to waste it on worry, right?
if i'm honest i'd have to admit that i also am waiting for a diagnosis for myself too. my friend anj and i have been dialogging about her new diagnosis or RUPUS (a rheumatoid arthritis form of LUPUS) and how that has brought a lot of emotion with it because it was what my mother had (minus the RA). i am 41. my mother died at 43. no one in my family makes it past 40 without a diagnosis of some sort. no one. RA, type 2 diabetes, cancer, etc - i come from a long line of very unhealthy people. if i am completely honest i would have to say that getting a diagnosis would at least feel like i'm past that part - like i know what's headed my way. it sounds so stupid, but i'm being honest. it's like knowing the name of the train thats going to hit you. what does it matter? is there even a train? i have never imagined that there wouldn't be. i have always, every day of my life imagined that i would not live a healthy adult life. yuck.
back in college i took the MMPI and the president of the college, who was teaching the class we took the test for said "if i didn't know you lived with a very sick mother i'd be worried." i guess i scored off the charts on "hypochondria" - it used to be a lot worse than it is now - but i think it is still a deep seated (seeded?) fear that i don't think i've acknowledged "out loud".
i know my father didn't think he'd live past 35 when his own father died (he was killed in a quarry accident) - so maybe this is "normal" (whatever that means) - or maybe i need to really talk about this and think about it and bring it into the light. my mom has been gone for 19 years. i was 21 when she died. my conscious memory with her is shorter than my conscious memory without her. in much of my active memory of her she was very sick.
being sick was a great way to get attention in my house growing up. it was also a good excuse to get out of work. i used sickness to cope for a lot of years. finally one day after i began to achieve some better tools and stronger mental health i realized a lot of the damage that was doing. "it wasn't working for me" anymore. so now i find i can hardly trust myself. am i sick? do i really feel horrible? or am i just trying to avoid something? i'm not a very good judge anymore.
but one thing i do know is that the energy i am burning up worrying about sickness, either in my loved ones or myself is a definite misuse of my wonderful imagination. energy i'd much rather pour into creativity, writing, art and life.
thanks for listening.