Hey, everybody, just a quick one today. I’m on day five of a pretty brutal flu now, so I’ve had this fever on and off for five days. And as you can hear in my chest and in my lungs, it’s been hard to breathe and I haven’t been feeling so good.
And I thought this place that I was in was a good opportunity to talk about something that comes up for me when I get ill. Before my husband died, I would get ill and I wouldn’t think too much of it. It was just a part of life if you got sick and you’d get better. There wasn’t any kind of over complicated thinking that went with it.
But since watching somebody go from being perfectly well and kissing me goodbye in the morning to being dead on the living room floor in the afternoon, it really shifted my relationship with my body, and my relationship with mortality.
And it bought very much to the front and center, this idea that we do live breath to breath. And as in empowered and strong and healthy as we think that we are, we are very vulnerable in our bodies. So now when I get ill, I have to temper down this anxiety in me that I’m really, really sick.
Especially when it’s with a fever. And especially if I have some troubles and difficulty breathing like with this flu. And it brings up a lot of anxiety and a lot of distress. And I wanted to put this out on the table because I don’t think I’m the only person that deals with this.
That when you’ve had somebody that you’ve been close to and has physically taken up a lot of space in your life, just disappear and it’s been through illness and death, the relationship with illness changes and it becomes a real challenge to have to not become overwhelmed with what the symptoms mean, and to just be reassured in the fact that you are going to heal and that you are going to get better.
And this really came up for me quite profoundly, because my daughter who’s young, who’s 13, is very upset to see me ill because I’m never ill.
I’m normally just powering along doing everything and it’s just flat chat on the ground wrapped in damp towels to try and keep my fever down. And she got very upset because the only two people that are really close to her that she’s seen get sick had died. And that’s her dad and her grandfather.
So when she saw me get sick, she had a huge anxiety response to it. And I needed to reassure her that I was going to be okay and that I was going to heal, and then my body was going to get better. And interestingly enough, as I reassured her, when I spoke those words to her, I was also reassuring myself because that part of me that was triggered by the trauma, it’s still quite active. So when I’m confronted with something as challenging as being very ill, I get very, very worried.
And it can escalate into a really catastrophic situation in my mind, which of course isn’t going to help me get well. And the truth of it is when we’re not well, more often than not it’s our bodies telling us that we just need to slow down and take it easy, and drink a lot of fluids, and get a lot of rest, and not be superheroes, and not pretend that we can just forge on, take the pain pills and we’ll be okay.
Because a fever is telling you that you just need to slow down. Anyway, I wanted to take this moment to share this with you. I don’t know whether it resonates with anybody else that how I have relationship with illness changes once we’ve had death close to us. And what steps that we can take to reassure ourselves and not be living in constant terror that we’re only one breath away from the next breath.
And, I saw this Snoopy cartoon the other day, with Snoopy and Charlie Brown sitting on the edge of a dock. And Charlie Brown saying to Snoopy, “One day we’re all going to die.” And Snoopy says, “Yep, but on every other day, you’re not” And that made me feel a lot better. So putting that out to you. Any comments you want to leave, and any shared experiences below, please leave them and I’ll endeavour to answer them as soon as I can. Have a great day. Bye. Thanks for your time.