Sunday, 25 March 2012

Picking the Bones

Last Friday I was so fed up with fighting the flu for so long that I took myself off for a big walk. I pounded the streets in my runners and thought, come ON body! Get strong! Halfway around my usual track my back started to ache so very hard. It was really strange. Suddenly I stopped and realised something clear as day - I didn't have the flu at all, I had a kidney infection.

Trying to walk off a kidney infection must be akin to trying to pray the gay away.

As soon as I got home I drove straight to hospital and got put on a drip. I was berating myself - how could I be so bloody stupid? I usually really listen to my body. The whole of last week I was sick at home with Rocco who was sick as well. I just kept pushing myself to get things done, googling "how long does the flu last?"

Yesterday it felt like I'd been hit by a truck. Could hardly turn over in bed. I could feel the antibiotics coursing through, but my kidney was just so sore. I wanted to take it out and tuck it up in a little box with a pink blanket. Read it some poetry. Feed it organic cranberries, and thank it for all its hard work. That kidney turned 40 when I did ... I've forced him to process a lot of things over the years. Things no kidney should have to face. My god I take my health for granted!

As I lay, prone ... Dave did everything. Cooking, cleaning, organising his daughters party ... even the cake. It reminded me of when Rocco was born and it was me doing everything. Dave was so sick from chemo he just sat on the couch. I told him I had an inkling of how he must have felt and he laughed. I vowed to eat well for the rest of my life. Yesterday my stepson Tim came over to help and he made a beeline for my bedroom, jumped into bed, gave me a cuddle and told me I stank. I love that turdburger. Max had his first ever rugby league game yesterday and I was too sick to go. He scored his first try! Rocco has completely destroyed his bedroom out of protest. He has been SO naughty, and I've really listened to how much he gets baby-ied, by all of us. That's going to stop. 

It was the oddest thing, to watch this hive of activity all around me and not be able to take part. I marvelled in everyone's strength, and didn't feel like I'd ever be strong again. Worried that I had some terrible obscure disease and I would feel this bad forever. It must be SO HARD to live with an illness, or chronic pain. 

Little by little I feel better. I've drenched sweat through three hoodies .. I'm drinking cranberry juice but my friend said I can get some good gear from the health food shop - it has the "sourness of a thousand lemons," apparently. I can walk around, have a shower, and just had my first cup of tea in days. I took the garbage outside and felt the fresh cool air on my face - all over the front doorstep were the ever-present magical dog bones. They're magical because nobody can see them but me! Our dog gnaws on them until they're gleaming white, then she discards them and we all step over them. I knelt down and picked them all up, so grateful to be well enough to do one of my most hated jobs. So many people around the world are too sick to pick up mangy dog bones. I am so lucky.

I have some travel lined up this week which my doctor has cleared me for. (Unless my final blood results show something REALLY BAD.) My dad may have given me some dodgy genes, but he also gave me the genes for an incredibly strong and resilient body. I put a call out on twitter for some warm thoughts .. because I was freezing. Twitter did indeed send me some warm thoughts - some so very warm they made me cry. What is twitter? Apart from being a complete waste of time ... twitter is a living organism. A consciousness. A collective noun for humanity. 

I was supposed to do the weekly Fresh Horses thingo yesterday - guys, my horse was half-dead. Sorry! I was thinking about changing it to monthly anyway, to make them more meaningful. Next one will be in May. That doesn't mean you do fewer blog posts - keep writing anyway, for you. Write for you.

Um, suddenly my house is full of the opening theme song of "Ren and Stimpy." Rocco and I are the only ones here. He is supposed to be on a time out. 

In conclusion, I'm not dead. And if you're reading this, neither are you. Our bodies are unsung heroes. 

PS I almost named this post You have GOT to be kidney!  but thought I'd go for a more serious approach. 

PPS Paranoid that five days taking one antibiotic each day isn't enough and I'll get sick again .. back in my day, you'd take three antibiotics a day for two weeks. Is this how good modern medicine is now?


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