I have been in bed for five days now. Getting up only to change into a different t-shirt and pajama pants or hobble to the bathroom.
I have a cup of water lingering on my bedside table and a dim lamp for the hours I’m awake. I take small sips through a straw when I have to take my medicine.
The kids come and go, asking questions about school and can they have this snack or that. They’re proving self-reliant and my daughter has made me a huge stack of Get Well cards in swirling cursive letters and glitter glue.
I’ve slept mostly. Or cracked the lid on my laptop here and there to check in before the nausea and pain pushes me back under the covers.
I have an audio book I can’t recall when I wake, but I reset the chapters anyway and listen to them while I lie still. I’ve struggled to hold thoughts well and reading pulls my eyelids down heavily and drags me back to my dreams. I always awake in pain when the pain medicine doesn’t stretch quite far enough to cover until my next dose.
I spent the night at the emergency room last weekend when an abscess in my tooth got out of control, my sinuses were involved and stomach issues from the antibiotics I was on before. The doctor tried to make sense of my charts and my blood work and the CT scan and ended up concluding that I was indeed in a world of pain.
I sat as still as I could, eyes closed to the whirl and rush of patients and doctors hurrying about with charts. I stilled myself, trained every muscle to hold its place and tension and breathed in slow deep breaths to attempt to manage the pain radiating through my jaw and into my chest. My eyes were sealed shut even as tears leaked through and rolled down my cheeks. I didn’t bother to collect them in a tissue. I just waited.
We all know to hold still when it hurts…