Describe the most serious illness you've ever had.
I have always been as healthy as a horse. A healthy horse, that is. The worst I've seen is a very bad flu when I was in 7th grade. I had a high fever for about five days (around 103) and on the fourth day it spiked to over 104. I was hallucinating and delirious. There was a hornet that I could see and it was buzzing and stinging the "tight" air. "Everything's tight", I said over and over. The air looked like a hornets nest, papery and gray and swirly. And then it was wood, swirled with the grain and that hornet was trying to drill into it with it's stinger. I was fidgety. I couldn't stop twirling my gold ring on my finger. My eyes darted everywhere taking in the brown paneling on our kitchen walls, the stools haphazardly strewn around the table, the blue of my clothes they were putting on me, the way my mom's fingers looked as she tied my shoelaces. My ears hurt. Likely my parents were talking softly, but sound of their voices was sharp to my tender ears.
My parents were getting me dressed to take me to the E.R. and while they were doing so they called my grandpa, who is a doctor. He told them to put me in a lukewarm bath to try to break the fever. They did that before they took me to the hospital and it did, indeed, break the fever. I never left the house.
I believe that was a Wednesday... possibly a Tuesday. Regardless, shortly thereafter was Thanksgiving. I was on the mend after that night of hornets and swirls, but I remember feeling weak and "puny" on Thanksgiving and only eating nibbles. It was my own personal measure of how sick I was that I didn't eat one bite of pumpkin pie.
I've always been very healthy and I feel profoundly grateful for that today. I read about NieNie for a long time the other night. I read her blog and saw her joy in her husband and her children and her life. My heart ached as I read about she and her husband laying burned in a Phoenix hospital while their children are lovingly cared for by her sister. There are no mistakes in this life. This family, whom I've never met in person but feel like I know on some personal level through the magic of blogging, has challenges ahead of them that will not be easy but they have so much to gain. The lesson and the growth is always compensatory to the challenge. Imagine how much they get to gain and grow and love in this "tragedy"! They are expanding their capacity in this moment, as are you and I. But we do get to choose to expand and learn and grow. Or choose to not learn, be bitter, stagnate or even shrink our capacity. The choice is ours, and that, my friends, is the hardest and best choice we face everyday.