As I lay in bed, I can thankfully hear the sweet sounds of my family below getting ready for a brand new day. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to the movements they are making downstairs. The tinkling sound of forks being shuffled through, each person trying to find just the right one to eat with. The clinking of plates being placed onto the countertop, so their hungry fingers can place as many pancakes as they can eat upon them. And then the words of a primary hymn, softly drifting up our stairs, so that my ears can hear that our family has begun our family scripture study time.
This is my daily life that I get to live right now. I want to capture this moment and hold onto it forever.
Because this is my view this morning.
Instead of a Seminary sunrise and being downstairs with my family, I am sick in bed. I have been getting sick since Friday night, when a mysterious cough presented itself. I didn’t think much of it, assuming it was due from me possibly overdoing it during our La Paz Waterfall Gardens hike early that day. We had taken the steeper trail, instead of sticking to the more gentler trail (you know what I am talking about Mom) but I found it extremely difficult to catch my breath as we made it to the top of the trail’s staircase.
My poor kids, they kept encouraging me “Just a few more steps mom . . . you only have 15 more to go!” Isn’t youth bliss? My kids, as well as my husband, couldn’t understand why making it to the end wouldn’t relieve my discomfort or breathing stress. I had to keep stopping and try to breath through the shortness of breath I was experiencing or else I was concerned that I was going to pass out on them. Thankfully I finally made it to the end of the trail and had time to quietly rest while my body poured out drops of sweat from the strain my body was experiencing.
I felt a bit more embarrassed than I expected to feel, because I had asked my family to join me on this particular hike. My regular walking friend had to stop our twice weekly walks due to some issues she was facing, so I hadn’t gone walking in over a week and was starting to feel it. I hadn’t gone on this hike in over a year and the last few times I had hiked it, my poor body barely made it. I wanted to see how much better my body was doing, but I hadn’t expected this reaction to occur.
When I woke up Saturday morning, I was in physically pain from head to toe. I felt that this sort of pain was a bit exaggerated for the physical exertion we had done the day before, so I decided to just push through the stiffness and deep set pain and go about my normal day. But by bed time my body was raw with pain and discomfort; shouldn’t the effects of the hike have run its course by now, especially since I had taken some glucosamine? I also had a cough that felt like hidden swords were stabbing my throat and my muscles all over my body with every coughing fit. This couldn’t possibly be asthma from the hike. Could it?
I was so exhausted that night but felt I needed to stay up and watch a movie with Paul, after the kids had gone to bed. Paul and I need that from time to time, especially when we have had a week with “a lot of church” responsibilities. Ironically we watched a movie called “Mr. Church” with Eddie Murphy and it was actually pretty good. It was a mix of “Where the Heart is” meets “Julie and Julia” but with a male supporting character instead of a female. I really enjoyed it, which was nice, because it has been quite difficult to find something worth while to sit and watch all the way through.
But sleeping that night was awful! I woke up to a terrible fever and couldn’t get enough blankets on me to stop the shivers and shakes. My body ached in ridged pain, especially in my legs. It felt as if the cough had traveled down into my legs as well. Paul was sweet and tried to hold me, taking some of the heat out of my body, but the fever lingered for hours. I was too weak to get up and soak in the tub or take any medicine. I could only sleep off and on all through the night.
I awoke at 6 am to Paul asking me if I was ready to receive a Priesthood blessing for the sick or afflicted. I was so touched by his offer to assist me. I was also very grateful to have my illness respected and that staying home from church was what I needed most that day. I asked Paul if Joy Boy could stay home with me, to assist me with anything that I may need. Paul was in full support mode. He agreed to my request and even went downstairs to explain to the kids that “Mom is sick, please help take care of her and I will be back to get you for church. Joy Boy, you are staying home to help her.” I didn’t hear any complaining or fits of “That’s not fair!” The kids simply obeyed their dad, which was simply beautiful.
After my blessing, I soaked in the tub for 2 hours. It felt wonderful to be held in the support of mineral salted, warm water. Isn’t water amazing. My heart aches for those who are sick but don’t have a tub, let alone enough hot water, to aid them in their illnesses. I felt truly blessed that morning, being able to actual see a blessing that SO MANY in the western world take for granted each day. The bathtub is truly a luxury for most people in this world, and yet, it is an expectation in the part of the world that I come from.
The girls were super sweet and brought me a breakfast of sweet nectarines (the last one in the house!), 2 pieces of toast and a cup of hot chocolate. It was extremely comforting to eat such simple yet tasty foods after taking “Skunk Juice” for my cough! (I love the reviews on Amazon about this medicine.)
I hope to be able to dig up a laugh or two one day when I say “Do you remember Skunk Juice?” to my kids when they are older. It is the NASTIEST tasting medicine we have found in Costa Rica but it is much like Robitussin DM, something we can not purchase here. Although it is awful to swallow, I am grateful for its help in breaking up mucus and fluid in our lungs and airway, but boy is it nasty tasting!
The other medicines that have been needed for my illness are Tylenol for the body aches and fever (or Midol Complete since my Tylenol is almost gone) and an allergy pill to fight the mucus build up dripping down the back of my throat, giving my lungs and throat something to cough up. I felt truly blessed to have already had these medicines in my home yesterday, so I could enjoy the Sabbath and not concern myself with doctors, pharmacies or any places outside the comfort of my own home.
I was also overwhelmed with words of comfort and support by my sweet Relief Society sisters. I received 4 “I am sorry you are sick sister. You were missed today. I hope you get well, how can I help you? I can cook, clean and help you in your home. Please tell me if you need something” messages yesterday. I laughed when I saw them because at first I thought these messages were silly; I’m just sick sisters. But then I saw the blessing that they were trying to send to me through their words. . . They LOVE ME and they are members of “The RELIEF Society.” They are TRYING to RELIEVE me from any extra stress or strain that I might be unable to bear.
Thankfully I have been taught to train up my children to help their mother when she is sick. I also have been blessed with a husband that was also taught by his parents to take care of his wife and to fill in when she is not available. I may not have needed my house cleaned or meals prepared but I realized that I did need their words of comfort, support and willing assistance because they brought my heart instantaneous joy and a desire to get well quickly. If only we could truly understand the POWER of our words. (I feel this song teaches this idea beautifully. I hope you enjoy it.)
So now I am off to take another bath. I am sweating from head to toe and a coughing attack is constantly sitting at the back of my throat, threatening to jump out of my body when I least expect it. Thankfully Paul had already bought Ricola Cranberry throat lozenges to help aid in my cough attacks. I am doing my best to take care of myself, while my kids go on with their day. They are already doing P.E., which today’s popsicle stick choice was riding their scooters around our condominium complex, and it is only 7:30 a.m. I’m impressed by their obedience this morning, at least up to this point, but I do feel it is a privilege that I get to experience my kids in self reliance mode.
They are taking care of themselves and striving to complete what THEY should be doing this morning; I suppose I should follow their example. So I am off to soak in the tub and try to get this virus out of my system. I am thankful for the timing of this virus because we just happen to have 2 days off from Seminary for Costa Rica’s Mother’s Day this Tuesday, August 15. I can’t think of a better Mother’s Day gift than NOT having to wake up at 4:15 am to drive Seminary carpool. I am also thankful that Paul did not need to replace me today, or even tomorrow, because that would have added stress to me too because Paul needs his sleep right now. I adore that I can see that the Lord is blessing not only me but Paul too. He respects the load Paul has been asked to carry, so thankfully at this moment, my being sick is not adding more stress to him than he can bear.
Blessings are all around us, if only we would take the time to look for them! (I LOVE this little video. I hope you enjoy it too.)
Thanks for listening,