Sick. At Home.

Home is the place where when you’re sick, you’re cared for and you’re comfortable. Well, as comfortable as one can be when sick.

I’m currently in Idaho and I’m wretchedly sick. But I’m home, and I’m with Tom, so being sick is about as good as it can be.

Thanksgiving is Tom’s favorite holiday. And Thanksgiving dinners at his mother’s house are some of my best Thanksgiving memories. This year, the plan was for dinner at his sister’s in Boise, and I couldn’t wait to have a Tom and Jerry again. I even planned to film the delicate process of preparing the Tom and Jerry batter, just to share with y’all. I’m pretty sure most of you have never had a Tom and Jerry, and the first thing that comes to mind are the antics of a mouse and cat. This, however, is a yummy holiday tradition, that dates back to the 1800s. Alas, my long explanation of this favorite winter treat will have to wait for another time.

Mazie and I arrived on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Tom tested positive for Covid. I mean like, drop the fluid in the testing strip and within seconds, both lines are lit up. If strobe lights were an option, they would have been swirling. I, however, tested negative. Twice. Ah, but the third time…

I have had four Covid vaccinations, the most recent booster about five weeks ago, just a few days after my flu shot. In the past, I would rarely get a flu shot. But that changed with the pandemic. I have not been sick in any fashion for three years. No colds, no flu, no Covid. It has been glorious. Three years of health! More than simply a relief, this has felt like a game-changer for me. Far from the reality I’ve known through five decades.

As a kid, I was always sick. Bronchitis, asthma, serious bouts with staph (staphylococcus aureus), and then the common and always frequent flu. In high school, my best friend nicknamed me Sickly, short for Sickly Worm, neither of which caught on, for which I remain grateful.

My memories of being sick could fill a thick volume of parchment. I can tell you about the Swine Flu the year my grandparents died. Or the three-week flu over Christmas and New Year’s when I was in grad school. Or the migraines I would get monthly in my 40’s. Then there was the time I had dysentery in Mexico. Chinese medicine doctors have always told me I have low chi – the life force energy that keeps us healthy and alive. You wouldn’t expect that if you knew me: I appear to have lots of life energy. Only, I don’t. Staying healthy has been a life-long struggle.

Which is why I haven’t minded the isolation imposed since the pandemic began. I would rather be alone (with a dog, of course) than with people and end up sick.

Everything we do is always a calculated risk. I still wear a mask when out shopping or in enclosed places, but I don’t when I’m visiting with friends. My pandemic pod still consists of the same good friends from two years ago. So if I had gotten Covid from one of them, well, it would be worth it. But honestly, I’d be extremely annoyed if I got it somewhere else.

While I’m not happy that Tom got sick, and yes, it’s a bummer to have missed Thanksgiving with the family, and I really hate being sick myself, I have to say all in all I’m grateful. Grateful that we are together and grateful we were at his mom’s. (His mother passed in 2019 but the home is still kept as a short-term rental when not being used by family.) Grateful that I made a huge pot of homemade chicken soup and was able to take care of him before I succumbed myself. Grateful that he was feeling better by the time I felt wretched, when my eyeballs hurt, my toes ached, and everything between ached as well.

The TV isn’t working but we’ve had each other to talk to and amuse. And we have our dogs: Athena and Leo, both 14 and ½ years old and still sweet as ever, and little Mazie who never leaves my side. I’m grateful for big beds in adjoining rooms and warm down comforters. I’m grateful for Claudia who delivered our groceries.

Hopefully, I will be well enough to travel back to Tulsa next week. Although I am 1400 miles from where I currently live, I am home. And being home when you’re sick, is the best place to be.

Please friends, get your boosters and wear your masks. Covid is not gone and this winter could be brutal. Stay well.

If you have the means and feel so inclined, buy me a pot of warm tea as I nurse myself back to health. Just a one-time $5 gift. Click here:

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