Thursday, February 22, 2018

All the reasons I cannot be sick right now

So it's been rainy and cold and miserable here for days, and will continue to be for days more. On Tuesday night my throat hurt at dinner but I ignored it in hopes it would go away, which is always my go-to health plan even though it has never worked. Yesterday it hurt when I woke up, but I didn't FEEL bad, yet, so I persevered. I went to work, I went to yoga at lunch because Wednesday's teacher is my favorite, and then I went back to work only to watch the office clear out under a dire extreme freezing rain/thunderstorm forecast that made the whole weather radar screen look purple which is a color we hadn't seen before.

Sadly, instead of going home to be warm, dry, and cozy, I had to go sub a barre class I'd agreed to weeks ago. So me and my sore throat put on our rain boots and ran across a college campus in the pouring rain to do that. It was actually a great class, and the adrenaline I get from teaching tricked me into thinking my "ignore it" plan had been successful, but then I got home and felt terrible and I didn't want wine even though we were eating pasta and I knew that I probably had Ebola.

Claire had her first soccer practice! (And not Ebola)

My throat talked to me all night, every hour, even through ibuprofen and 1.5x my official dose of sleeping pills. This morning I felt extra terrible, so I dragged myself to the doctor (with a wax appointment on the way because I already had it scheduled and I would be driving by it anyway, but seriously, it's been a weird day) and got diagnosed with pharyngitis. So no strep, but a trained physician agreed sympatheticaly my throat was red and angry and looked painful. I got a steroid shot and a Z pack and a second Venti Citrus Defender tea from Starbucks (white citrus tea + steamed lemonade + extra honey; it is excellent).

Let it be known that Cora remains focused and hard at work

I went to work because we had a case up before the Commission I wanted to watch and a group meeting with a birthday cake for me and my group birthday buddies. It is the saddest thing to have your favorite cake before you and wonder if it's worth the pain and effort of swallowing to eat it.

It was.

Nothing Bundt Cake "Funfetti" Flavor of the Month. I'd have to actually have Ebola to not like that.

The rest of the week looks like this:

5:30 Teach Barre (yelling over music with a sore throat is the BEST, but no one could sub, so off I went)
7:00 Landon's championship basketball game (they won!)
8:00 Dinner out after Landon's basketball game (I left the game at halftime with the girls and James and Landon had a boys night out)

Friday (I have already used up precious credit hours to take the whole day off)
8:30 Blood work appointment (unrelated)
9:30 Yoga with one of my fave teachers I usually don't get to see (I really hope I feel good enough to go to this; mostly because it would mean I felt better, but also because I really like this class)
midday My mom comes to take me shopping and to a birthday lunch! Harvey has meant we didn't get to see them much this fall/winter, so I am so excited about this and really want to feel good and enjoy it.
6ish My dad flies in from NY (where he was for business)

4-fucking-10 AM James and I leave for the airport (ughhhhh, you know I'm not getting any sleep Friday night) to go to Maryland to visit his very ill dad
(Landon has a basketball tournament; my parents will be here all day with the kids.)
11 pm James and I get back home from the airport/Maryland

6:05 a.m. I officially turn 25!
10ish Birthday Brunch with my parents!
2:30 Another fave yoga class
6ish Birthday dinner with my little family of five that was supposed to involve margaritas and really big funfetti cookies with buttercream icing between them

12:00 Work friend birthday lunch at Lili's which sells Gorgonzola fries that will blow your mind
6:00 Claire's school program; she is "Clownfish #2" and VERY excited

So I have a lot of fun stuff in there I really want to enjoy. I have some stressful emotionally draining stuff where I need to be strong for someone else and on my A game. I need to not feel fire in my throat every time I swallow. I need to be able to sleep without waking up every 10 minutes because of the fire in my throat when I swallow. I need to figure out what you wear to see your in-laws for the first time in a decade on a 20-hour travel day.

I don't know how much I'll write about Saturday. I'll be there, but it's not my story. I'll say that it's going to be a hard, long, emotionally draining day. At the very best we are visiting someone who is dying who chose for the last ten years to not have any part in our life or the lives of our children, two of which he's never met because it was easier to do that than to challenge his spouse. That was true, in every iteration, for James's entire life. James sees his father as a fellow victim of his mother; I see him as a weak man who failed to protect a child and enabled his wife. His wife who has still, not once in 10 years, ever asked about us or any of our kids. Luckily, I'm not who I was 10 years ago. I've learned that you can't judge a family you weren't part of. I've learned that very few people know that. I've learned that I knew all the good stories when we were dating (most of which I thought were the bad ones) and I've learned the bad ones later. I've learned that I will never learn them all. I've learned that family can be an enormous blessing, but it can also be an enormous blessing to be separated from your family. I've learned the naive hubris of my belief that I could fix his relationship with them; that if we just worked hard enough we could be close to them and have a normal relationship with them for our kids. I've learned to follow James's lead, and at the end of the day, it mattered for him to see his dad once more. I booked the flights that day and I'm glad we're going. I also know it's going to be a long difficult day that is not going to end in family bonding and happy tears over baby pictures. Some stories aren't like that and some people aren't capable of it. But I'm glad we're going, together. Unlike all past trips, I don't need to make them like me this time. I'm just there for James.

But I would really like my throat to not be on fire. I would also like to be able to drink wine. I have, in preparation, downloaded The Cutting Edge, Center Stage, and Step Up for airplane viewing while James sleeps beside me and I hit his shoulder whenever he snores. I'm a little sad that our second trip away together, ever, does not involve an actual night away, but I also know we're both going to be drained and we'd rather just be home. Home with the house and the family we've built for ourselves. Home to celebrate my birthday and eat cookies and stay up too late sitting on our own couch. I would like my throat to not be on fire for that too.


  1. Good luck this weekend. I wish you both strength and patience. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Sending you every positive vibe I have in me about this weekend. My husband is in a similar situation as James although hasn't gotten that bad yet. We've had days/weeks of not talking to his parents and massive blowouts that if it were up to me would have ended the relationship but as I too have learned it's not my place to decide that.

    Hoping Saturday goes by as quickly and pain free as possible so you can enjoy your birthday and family time on Sunday.

  3. Sending you strength for this weekend. Similar situation with my husband's family so I know how tough it can be (especially thinking - if I just try harder it will be better). Enjoy your birthday!

  4. I really admire your grace towards your in-laws. It is a gift to support someone the way you are supporting James.

    I also love you for this line: "Sunday 6:05 a.m. I officially turn 25!"

  5. Not understanding problems with in-laws is...hard. So hard. I hope you feel better and have a fantastic birthday! <3

  6. If you don't mind sharing, how do you talk about J's parents with your kids? I ask because I'm in a similar situation with my husband's family, and our oldest child is just starting to realize that maybe Dad should have a family just like Mama's.

    I hope tomorrow goes as well as it can.

  7. 25?? Surely 35.

    I’m sorry about the in law situation.

    1. Ha yes, total typo. I’m quite happy to be turning 35! (Though 25 was a good year too!)

  8. Wishing you grace and peace after this weekend’s visit. I too struggled (still do) with my husband’s toxic family, trying to change them, trying to be the bigger person, but the long and short of it is, some people just will never be normal loving and capable humans. It sucks for the kids but I guess we’re all better for it in the end.

  9. Another reminder that life blends the bitter with the sweet... Happy Birthday. Thank you for being a positive ray of energy in an often negative world.

  10. Ditto to what everyone else has said. Thanks for sharing & I am glad you can be there just for James. That is a wonderful gift.

  11. Good luck to you. Even if the relationship wasn't the best, seeing someone dying is incredibly hard. I'm glad you will be there (were there) for him, and hope you are able to get some rest afterwards. also, i think i have asked this before but the amount you have throat issues reminds me so much of my husband before he had his tonsils out. he is SO much better now.

  12. I hope this weekend went well. Another very similar situation with the in-laws over here, so sending nothing but anonymous internet support your way.

  13. Hoping that the weekend was OK. You're a good partner to support James in this way, as hard as it must be.