Taken to My Bed with Chewy Ice (Day 2, Year 4)

Friends, I am writing tonight from my bed, to which I’ve taken myself to or something. 

It’s very dramatic!   

As tradition dictates, I am kicking off the new year with some sort of fever or cholera or pox. I don’t seem to have a rash or any sort of blisters, so it is most likely not a pox. The fever seems to have left days or hours ago, time is elusive when in the midst, so it might not be a fever. And, while I am not sure what the symptoms of cholera are, exactly, I do know it is a tropical illness and climate change is real, so cholera is a distinct possibility.

Note: I am not taking nominations or suggestions or diagnostic opinions at this time. But thanks for your interest! 

Despite it all, I am confident that I am at the end of my cholera/whatever infection. In retrospect, my symptoms first began several days ago when the rest of my family, one by one, began their own brave battle with the illness. They rallied through.  I had no obvious symptoms. I took up a vigilant holiday week health campaign—dosing myself with a blend of oranges (from the toes of Christmas stockings!), Teen Girl Gummy Multivitamins (the vitality of youth in a bottle!), Rum (It worked for pirates!) and Prosecco (Bubbly cures everything! It’s like soap for your organs!). 

I really believed I had made it into 2024 un-virused. But, alas, here I am taken to my bed with chewy ice and sipping on Tylenol Cold and Flu Nighttime, during the night (and day, viruses cannot tell time!). 

And while the sedative powers of nighttime cold medicine certainly allow the hours to fly by (blackouts also cannot tell time), it is the chewy ice that is really the unsung hero in this whole entire mess. 

The ice is cold, fresh, chewy (obviously) and plentiful, thanks to our new ice maker. It reminds me of other times when I’ve been comforted—in hospitals—which I know is a very bizarre thing to say. I’ve spent so much time in hospitals as a patient and a caregiver.  The hospitals have all been different, but the kind gesture of a cup of water with chewy ice is universal. 

It’s like the homecooked meal of the medically dysfunctional. 

Can you tell my mother did not cook very much?

I’ve been sipping on icy cold glasses of water and nibbling on little nuggets of chewy ice since we arrived from the wilds of Ohio to the much wilder wilds of New Jersey. I’ve also been moaning, complaining, sneezing, complaining more, sending apocalyptic professional messages (I won’t be there, close to coma!), sleeping at irregular intervals, and taking visits from my husband who has been very patient with my entire illness. 

Speaking of my husband, I’d like to note that while I find his “healthy time” nap schedule to be a bit infuriating and puzzling, when he is sick he does not ever get a “man cold.” He just gets on with it and does everything, rallying through pox and fever and typhoid (another tropical illness!). When I am sick, he also does everything, including work at his very stable, important job while handling the children and their issues.  I, on the other hand, take to my bed like a Victorian, texting friends that I am dying and shouting things like “call for a doctor.” No one ever calls for a doctor, which is probably best because no one can see me like this!  

The only thing that gets me out of bed is a visit to the ice machine. The children tried to lure me into caring for them with screeching and shouting but the cholera is too strong, friends, and the ice machine does not talk back. It just makes ice, around the clock, a gentle rumbling as the new chewy nuggets tumble out. 

It is magical. I, do, assume my husband is filling the water reservoir, but I never see this happen, so let’s go with magic.


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