I have always had this sensation when I am getting sick that is hard to quantify. It happens BEFORE my entire head gets filled with snot. Before I am considering living on Nyquill full-time. It’s a suddenness of low energy, a sensation of limitation that wasn’t there before. Sometimes this feeling is literally conjured with one sneeze. It doesn’t exactly feel bad. It makes me want to wear socks to bed, lie down to read under the blankets, and drink tea. But, it isn’t bad. Yet. The Kid is sick, and now I am too. Or, it’s on the way.
Is it the same for everyone? I don’t know. It’s a liminal feeling. A feeling that occupies the borders between being healthy and being sick. Not entirely well, not entirely sick. The feeling itself, then the surreality of being sick leaves me feeling existentialist and not entirely sure that I am not merely navel-gazing while waiting for my the germ to have done with me. Ah, it’s dangerous to blog when you’re feeling this way. Or, it could be. It’s limiting.
There is something welcoming about recognizing your limits. But, this low-energy anticipation is not what I want to welcome right now. I have a lot to do. Low energy doesn’t bode well for my productivity. It does kind of leave me feeling surreal as though in a dream. Not like the feeling I had in my dream the other night when I was reading an acceptance letter from the University of Chicago’s MFA program. I was euphoric, estatic. I woke up smiling, which never, ever happens to me. Chicago, really? I would write my resignation letter after my coffee. Oh, wait. Nevermind. Nor is it the feeling of anxiety and horror I had during a dream when Amy was choking and I had to give her the heimlich and no one else noticed she was dying. And, then after I saved her she said, “Thanks, Duder,” which is totally what she would have said in real life. Amy, being a very appreciative Big Lebowski fan.
Something else that isn’t entirely bad about this particular bout of sickness is that I have had a lot of quality time with The Kid. “Mom & Me” time he calls it. We’ve been house-bound for two days. Hanging out, eating popsicles and jell-o. Reading stories, watching TV, and drawing. Usually we’re always on the run. Always in a hurry. To school, work, home, dinner, story, bed. Being sick, or nearly sick slows you down and that’s not really a bad thing if you get a lot of hugs and stories out of the deal.
We’re one of the lucky families in this country today. We have a steady income, an intact and not endangered home, and health insurance. Should we get any sicker, we can call the doctor’s office and likely be seen the very same day, and hopefully our bill won’ t exceed our income. We are the lucky ones. Should having health insurance and a job and a house make you feel like you won the lottery? Do I deserve it more than the guy next door?
We would have liked to have a choice about the Public Option. We would like our friends and neighbors to be insured, and healthy. We would like that very much. But, for now that idea exists only in the space in between, in the liminal space of what is real and what could be. A limit has been reached and the people who are keeping the gate on this one are not about to let everyone in.