When Sickness Strikes

I am terrible at being sick. I have also gone through long periods where I’ve been constantly sick, because I am not at all resilient in that way and am asthmatic and for many years smoked and drank far too much (Hello, early 20s!) so I was a whiny, whingey mess. Thank God for J who puts up with me and is an excellent nurse (I am also a terrible nurse! Sorry family! You’ll have to turn to my Mum, Dad or Sister for that area of expertise).

I remember Mum laughing at me years ago – “Wednesdays child is full of woe! That’s so you!”. Because I was born on a Wednesday and such people are apparently woeful. I was mortified at the time, particularly as I see myself as a very upbeat, optimistic person, but I do get it now that I’m older. I’m very quick to look for sympathy and wear my heart on my sleeve. If I’m not feeling well you are alllll going to know about it.

So you’ve probably gathered by now that I’m not feeling well (insert crying with laughter emoji here). I’ve been battling a cold for weeks which turned into a bit of asthma which developed into a chest infection and possibly a spot of pneumonia. I actually approached the desk at the doctor’s surgery today to tell the receptionist I thought I might faint (seriously, I am so embarrassing! The drama!). I had basically convinced myself I had a collapsed lung, because I have issues. I am fine! On antibiotics and a few other fun medications that had J rolling his eyes (“Only in Hong Kong”) and they made me wear one of those masks out of the surgery which made me feel like a right local. I live in Asia now guys. I wear masks when I am sick.

Anyway, as I lie here in bed trying to think of something, anything to occupy my overactive mind, I got to thinking about people who are actually sick, and families who are dealing with actual, real, ongoing health problems. And I felt pretty sad because there are Mums out there who are losing a child, or have lost a child, or children who are losing their Mums.

I wonder what will happen to our family – because nothing’s happened yet. Do you ever think that? Nothing’s happened yet, so what’s going to happen? Will it be me, my parents, my brother? Will it be one of my sister in law’s, or one of their kids? And I hope and pray that our life follows the typical trajectory, that nothing steers us off track.

I think about how I would go in that situation. Me, who cries at the drop of a hat and laughs inappropriately and is just bubbling over with thoughts and feelings and noise. I’m not exactly the most stoic person in the world. But I do tend to oddly become calm in really serious situations. Like childbirth, for example.

I remember one time we were at Mum and Dad’s, and Dad hadn’t been feeling well. He was out in the yard and Mum and I were in the kitchen and he just let out this scream. I don’t think either of us have ever run so fast as we did. As we got to the door I turned and said to Mum, “Just stay calm”. And I was so calm. Turns out my sister had arrived and squirted him with the garden hose. Frightened the life out of us! Later over dinner we were all having a laugh about it and Mum brought up my Dalai Lama moment, and we all cracked up. But we did reflect that maybe I will one day prove myself to be okay in a crisis situation?

So it’s good to know that even when I am running a fever, texting my friends and family using a lot of capitals to convey HOW sick and MISERABLE and homesick I am, I can still manage to have a little bit of perspective. See, I AM optimistic after all!

Z

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