Before I share my little story, it's important for you to know that I am not seeking sympathy, expressions of, "Poor Chrisy," or any other obvious comments that might follow. We all have people in our lives who are much worthier of our sympathies, prayers and good thoughts. I'm fine.
All three boys are recovering from the virus dujour of the prior week. I assumed it was my turn when I felt feverish on Monday. Advil, Mucinex, Vicks Vapor Rub on my feet, and naps in between shuttling boys to and from school all began to fail me by Wednesday evening.
Chris arrived home late Wednesday night from a business trip and didn't realize how sick I was as he quickly kissed my head goodbye the next morning, took the older boys to school and headed to work.
I knew I had more than a head cold, but tested my abilities several times to prove to myself that I was in trouble. Sit up. Faint. Sit up. Faint. Sit up s l o w l y. Faintfast.
I called Supermodel about 9:00 a.m. "I'm sick."
"Do you need me to come over there?"
"Yeah. I don't even know where the five-year-old is."
And I didn't. I couldn't get out of bed.
Within moments I heard our garage door go up and her footsteps on the stairs. My bedroom door opened.
"How are you?"
"Sick," I said without looking at her.
"What do you want to do?" she asked me.
"I don't know."
"Do you need me to take you to the bathroom?"
"I don't know."
We remained silent for a moment. I saw my five-year-old boy standing next to Supermodel.
"Will you feed him?"
She knew me well enough to let the controlling and -- at times -- bizarrely indecisive parts of my personality fizzle.
She went downstairs, took care of things, then returned to check on me. I told her I was afraid I might have pneumonia again, but it seemed strange it would hit so fast. Her cell phone rang. It was her physician sister-in-law, calling for a different reason, but Supermodel was able to ask her about my symptoms. Physician-Sister-In-Law advised we go to the doctor.
Supermodel called my doctor, made an appointment for a couple of hours later and took the five-year-old to her house so I could rest.
When she returned later with my son, I felt slightly better and thought it was silly to go to the doctor for what was likely a virus.
"I think I'm better," I said.
"Your face looks red."
"My fever just broke. I'm sweating."
"I still think we should get you to the doctor," she said calmly, but without condescension.
"Look at my hair. I'm a mess."
"You're sick. I'll help you put it in a ponytail."
"What are they gonna do? I have a virus, I look terrible, I should be in bed," I whined as I tried to regain control.
"C'mon. Let's go."
Supermodel tied my snow boots, helped me cover my wrinkly, damp-from-perspiration pajamas with a large army green winter coat, and grabbed a 1-gallon ziploc bag [my choice throw up receptacle] and loaded the five-year-old boy and me into the car.
I tested positive for the flu and a chest X-ray confirmed pneumonia. While I sat on a chair in the hall outside the X-ray room, hunched over, my head in the light salmon pink vomit box they give sick people, the nurse pulled my pajama pants down and gave me a shot of antibiotics.
Chris arrived at the doctor's office in time to spell Supermodel. She needed to resume her own Mom duties; it was time to retrieve Supermodel Jr. from school.
Two days later, the antibiotics are working and so are fresh pajamas.
I told Chris I was writing a blog post about Sick Thursday and he said, "From what angle?"
"I don't know," I replied.
Maybe it's this. In an ideal setting, when a full-time caregiver/homemaker/child-rearer feels ill, they call in sick for work or arrange for a sub for a day or two. We all know that's not how it works. We're supposed to reach out to friends for help.
But it can be difficult.
There are people who take advantage of the help and support of others. They're in need all the time, not just a difficult season or two, but for life. Always asking, never giving. I like to think those folks are in the minority.
So, friends, let's all agree... when we're in need, when we're hungry, when we're sick, and can't get out of bed? We'll call Supermodel. I'll get you her number.