Sunday, August 19, 2007

I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag

As I thrashed about in fever dreams on what I was sure was going to be my sweat-soaked deathbed this weekend, I discovered the corollary to the rule

That which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.
OK, two corollaries:
  1. Bullshit. That which doesn't kill you brings you to your knees, begging for mercy, a sip of cool water, an end to what feels like the aches of 1,000 canings, and release from those fucking nightmares.
  2. That which doesn't kill you, but still lays waste to your body and soul, will pass through your toddler's system in a few hours as little more than a highpoint blip on his body temperature chart.
That's right. This weekend I had the same virus that 3B had earlier this week for about 24 hours. While it didn't stop 3B from eating, playing, pooping, and peeing, it made me wonder what I had ever done to this virus that made it feel the need to pound on every muscle, tendon, and nerve in my being with blazing hot hammers for 24 straight hours, plus put my head in a vise in a Vegas casino basement with Joe Pesci at the controls.

But we're past that now, and now that my immune system has (mostly) kicked the asses of those bastard bugs that laid me low, a few lessons learned, since, as a wise man once told me, it's only a tragedy if we don't learn something from it.
  • You I can go 48 hours without ever once thinking of the innernets, much less checking my e-mail or favorite blogs.
  • When I'm sick, my superego is the first casualty. The first sign of this is the unleashing of a vocabulary that would make Caligula blush. I'm not sure that viruses technically have mothers, but nonetheless, they now know clearly what my feelings are about them.
  • I have a lot to learn from my child. Not only am I'm quite sure that 3B ached as much as I did and still soldiered on, 3B also barfed to kick off his pas de deux with this nasty virus and still kept going. Sure, he wasn't very happy about the barfing, and he definitely was fussy during the course of the bug's passing, but he got out of bed with his fever, he walked around--which is a much greater challenge for a toddler like him than it is for a fully certified biped like me--he even kept eating despite a throat so red that the NP assumed he had strep.
And that's why I peeled myself off the sheets this morning to finally help out Mama. If he can do it at 13 months, I figure that I should be able to suck it up a little bit and get on with life at 39 years old. On the other hand, I do have to remind myself that this is the boy who, the day after his orchiopexy, with a fresh incision in his stomach, was rolling around, sitting up, and crawling, while I'm the man who, a week after my hernia repair, would still scream in pain at even the thought of clearing his throat. So, while I can learn to suck it up a little bit from him, I also have to remember that he's tougher than I am--or than I ever will be again. He's ascending; I'm beginning a descent.

Perhaps now I'll remember a little sooner that, while he does need protection and support, he's a lot tougher than I would imagine, and I'll stop babying him so much and give him a little more room to be himself, because he's been asking for more of that space these days.

Spelling corrected, per my big sister--see her comments. My story, and I'm sticking with it, is that the virus made me do it.

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    (unimaginable ...)

  2. No kiddn. The stuff these little dudes go through - - and take it on the chin, so to speak. It's like a constant reality show (ack) for babies... Survivor, Toddler Edition. Yeesh.

  3. Of course he is tougher than you. He did not know that whining and staying in bed was a option. He knows to complain about what you do to him, but the stuff that comes from inside, he takes for granted. When my daughter was 3, she had a badly abcessed tooth. She never complained, because she did not think it was something that could be fixed such as a skinned knee.

    Of course, she has learned to complain much better since then. Another one of life's little lessons.

    I think your head was in a vise: Vise (tool) - a mechanical screw apparatus used for clamping or holding.

    Your vice was whining about it. Vice - a practice or habit that is considered immoral, depraved, and/or degrading in the associated society

  4. Glad you seem to be on the mend. We sure can learn a lot from the little buggers (the kids, not the viruses) about sucking it up when we're sick. Until they become whiny preschoolers who come running to you after every imagined bump and scratch.

    And what does my daughter say to me after I dutifully kiss it better?

    "It still hurts, Mama!"

  5. I have learned that I do not hold the slightest candle to my child when it comes to handling illness -- even something as simple as how each of us handles a cold reinforces for me the resiliency of youth, which all but disappears in us older folks!

    Keep getting better!

  6. get well soon.
    and when you do---get Mama some flowers for being such a trooper to take care of both of you!

    ...and feel free to take full credit for that idea.

    Poor Bradsteins.

  7. So basically, your little boy is tougher than you. Sounds about right. My two-year-old girl is tougher than me.

    Hope you feel better.