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Archive for the ‘influenza’ Category

featured-pneumonia-thumb[1]Wow – when the flu turns into pneumonia it’s a whole new ball game. I’ve never had pneumonia before but I quickly discovered what a show stopper it is.  I thought I was on the downhill side of my illness, just feeling a little run down and still carrying a cough. I went about my usual activities, just a little slower than normal. Until the last shred of strength left  and I found I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t breathe. And I certainly couldn’t go to work. For me – that was the convincer that something was desperately wrong. I never miss work.

A trip to the doctor and a bit of deliberation as to whether I should be admitted to the hospital or treated at home. I chose home and began a three day flat on my back, barely conscious, miserable course of sleep and medication. I dropped a bunch of weight, not good for me, lost track of day and night, missed my Bible study which was really the pits, and wondered if I’d ever be able to crawl out of bed again.

Once the antibiotics kicked in I began to pull out of the worst of the infection. But it was a slow, hard pull.  It is amazing how quickly your strength is depleted with an illness like this, equally surprising how slowly it comes back.  A walk from the bedroom to the living room was an epic journey. Panting and puffing and trying to sip fluids, I spent the next couple of days propped in my chair contemplating the long trip back to bed.

Being that sick is terrible. But recovering is the worst. You want to do the things you used to do, but just thinking about them wears you out. It just doesn’t feel worth the effort. You think you’re better until you try a simple task, like getting dressed, and you realize you’re not. You think you’re hungry but one bite fills you up. You can’t enjoy anything – a movie, a book, a conversation – because you mind won’t focus or stay on track. Weakness and illness consume you.

Finally on the mend, I’m realizing you don’t just bounce back. In fact, you don’t bounce period. You take a few more steps each day and feel triumphant if you don’t pass out! And, just because you’re a bit better doesn’t mean those nasty germs aren’t lurking everywhere ready to re-infect. You’d better lay in a supply of disinfectant and use it liberally, every where you’ve been, on everything you’ve touched.

It gives you a new understanding of the term “sin sick”. Most of us think we’re just a little under the weather when we dabble in sin. We know we’ll recover quickly so we don’t give it much thought. Until we find ourselves too weak to change our path.

We try to rise above the oppression, but sin holds us down, zaps our strength and makes it hard to breathe. We forget about the things that used to keep us on track – reading the Bible, praying, talking to Christian friends. Our infection takes over until we think there’s no hope.

Recovery is hard. Every step we take in the right direction takes super strength because the enemy is holding us back, keeping us down, speaking defeat. Until we begin to think it’s not worth effort. We start missing church, avoiding the Godly people we used to hang with, and letting the weight of our bible discourage us from picking it up.

Just like with pneumonia, a prescribed course of action must be followed if we are to ever be healthy again.

  1. Admit we are in trouble. We are sick. We need help.
  2. Go to the doctor, the minister, the trusted friend and seek a solution.
  3. Take the medicine prescribed (prayer, God’s word in massive doses, and commitment to a different path) and don’t skip a dose.
  4. Don’t think that because you’re better, sin isn’t lurking everywhere ready to drag you back down. Get out the sanitizer. Wash your hands of the temptation, the friends still walking the dark path, and anything else that exposes you to it again.

In this world, where exposure to sin-germs is constant, a healthy, steady diet of truth, lots of walking with the Savior, and surrounding yourself with robust Christian friends is the only way to survive.

Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;  for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.”

 

 

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sickInfluenza hit our house big time this past week. It started with my husband on Sunday right after the Superbowl. (And no – it didn’t have to do with who won or who lost.) Fever, cough, vomiting and aches. Within fifteen minutes everything in the house was contaminated. On Wednesday it hit me at work. I had too much going on to leave early and when I did get home I had to take him to the doctor and then pick up prescriptions so it was 8:00 p.m. before I got to kick back and try to rest. Over the next 3 days I got a clear vision of how men handle sick different than women handle sick (at least in my house). Just a few examples follow.

When I am sick I want to be off in a dark room by myself with no noise. When he is sick he wants to still be in the middle of everything, spreading his germs around and making sure everyone knows he’s sick.

When I’m sick, I do whatever I can to feel better. If I have a headache I take an aspirin. If I’m nauseous, I will nibble on a cracker or sip 7-Up. When he’s sick, I literally have to tell him to take something or deliver it to him and stand and watch to make sure he takes it.

When I’m sick, I know I will eventually get better. When he’s sick he is sure he’s dying.

When I wake up at night coughing, I will slip out of bed, tiptoe into the kitchen and take cough syrup. I will sit in my chair by the fire until the cough is under control before I tiptoe back into the bedroom and slip quietly beneath the covers where he is still sound asleep. When he wakes up at night coughing, he just coughs – and coughs, and coughs. I finally tell him to get up and take some cough syrup at which point he flings off the covers, sits on the edge of the bed shaking it with every cough, and then tromps out of the bedroom. He will take the cough syrup, spend a few minutes in the chair by the fire and then come tromping back to the bedroom where he flings back the covers again, plops down and pets his dog for five minutes, shaking the bed with every pat – the bed where I am now wide awake.

And here is the classic He Sick-She Sick difference. It happened this week. I put out a plea to my daughter and daughter in law to see if anyone could bring some homemade chicken noodle soup by to help us stay nourished. He went to the grocery store to find something he could “keep down” and comes home with a dozen glazed donuts dripping with chocolate frosting!

Right now, I’m sitting at work sipping tea and writing this. He is home eating donuts and waiting for me to come home and tell him to take his pills and use the cough syrup.

Addendum to this post: I’m not trying to make you think he’s not really sick because he is. And I will be the first to admit he is a lot sicker than I am. I’m just saying He Sick-She Sick, two different things entirely.

And I am chanting Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

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