Lately I've been writing some of my best stuff in the comments on other blogs. So I'm recycling this one from a comment I left on Janie Junebug's blog, in response to her question, "What is the worst illness you ever suffered?" (Or words to that effect).
Since Janie's blog is invitation only (due to some privacy violations and other stalker-ish issues she was having with some commenters), you can't all go there to answer her question (well, some of you can, if you've joined her blog). But you can answer her question here, if you like. Feel free to share your worst illness ever in the comments section below. Note to the squeamish: You might want to avoid reading the comments for today.
Here is my story:
When I was a kid, maybe 8 years old, living in Florida, I caught pneumonia during the Christmas break. I think it was after Christmas, though. My parents later told me I almost died from it.
It came on very suddenly. I was feeling absolutely fine, and I went to a sleepover at a friend's house, woke up in the middle of the night feeling awful, and my Dad had to come pick me up at something like 2:00 a.m. I think he was angry about it until he saw how awful I looked and felt. I actually watched his expression go from frustration to "holy crap I've never seen her look so bad," and then he carried me gently to the car.
I was sick for weeks and weeks and had to take penicillin. The doctor had prescribed these horse pills but I hadn't learned to swallow pills yet and sure wasn't going to learn on those giant things, so my mom had to crush them up and mix them in with a dixie cup full of soda, usually Pepsi but sometimes Sprite, and it was soooo bitter and awful tasting but I had to drink all of it, every time. She'd even pour more soda in the little dixie cup and swish it around so we wouldn't miss any. Ugh. I still don't like soda all that much.
And at least twice a day, every day, my dad had to come in and hold me over his lap with my head hanging down over the trash can by the bed and hit me on the back between the shoulder blades at just the right angle (as demonstrated by the doctor) until I coughed up a bunch of the goo that was in my lungs. He later told me it was all he could do not to puke every time... poor guy...
I was in a fog for ... ? days? weeks? ... I don't know.
I only know that finally, after missing whatever was left of Christmas vacation plus a bit of school, I started to come out of the fog and then I was lucid for longer and longer times each day and then one day I felt well enough to sit up and it was a beautiful bright sunny Florida winter day, and I begged my mom to let me go outside. I wanted to run in the sunshine. My legs were weak, though, so I settled for sitting on the edge of the driveway in a spot of warm sunshine and enjoying the cool air and gentle breeze.
It was the most beautiful day God ever made. I felt alive again.