The week before Christmas I told someone, with a naughty twinkle in my eye, that I may  just spend my whole Christmas vacation in my P.J.’s. I had asked Santa for a pair of extra warm ones and I was looking forward to lounging around.

Be careful what you ask for…or joke about.

I have spent my Christmas break in my jammies. Not because I wanted to…but because I got the flu.

I am not usually superstitious. I may rethink that. I said I wanted to be in my pajamas for a week. I discussed with someone how I never get the flu shot, feeling very superior about my choice. And I just did the blog post about how I used to get sick every 7 years and how I don’t anymore.

I think I jinxed myself.

Tom took me to see our doctor Christmas Eve day. I was touched when they fit me in with an appointment last minute. I am certain they all had places they would rather have been.

I was really sick. The can’t hold your head up; need to concentrate to walk; can’t sit up on the examining table kind of sick.

After my blood pressure and temperature were taken, 150/80, 102.2, Dr. H came in. Dr. H is from Eastern Europe. She has a warm smile, kind eyes and is like a stern mom. Often I resist her firmness. This day I was comforted by it.

“Ywo dun’t lolk goood.” she said, looking over her glasses. She ordered a Flu swab.

Her nurse appeared with two, foot long Q tips. One for each nostril. She said in her best pediatrician-lie-to-the-kid voice, “This won’t hurt, I am just going to tickle your brain.”

“Tickle my brain my ass.”

Unfortunately my body did not respond to the messages of DANGER, RUN, FAST, I was sending it. I simply laid there, passive, limp, defenseless. I compliantly tilted my head back as she tickled my brain. It didn’t tickle. She lied.

The test came back negative. Whew. Just a monster cold.

Dr. H had different thoughts. She repeated how bad I looked, saying she wanted me to go the hospital to get another flu swab. She explained the hospital had a more accurate test than the one they use in the office. This test used 4 Q tips.

Sure. Sure. I’ll go. NOT.

She must have read my mind. She scooted her rolling chair a hair closer. A risky thing to do with someone that, “dun’t lolk goood,” despite the mask she wore and the mask I was given to wear. It’s hard to breath in those masks. Every time I exhaled, my glasses fogged up. I also felt like a leper. Even though I couldn’t see anyone clearly, I could feel their looks. I was the one to stay clear of. I have discovered, in my bouts of every-7-year-sickness’s, that feeling like shit alleviates shame. I was too sick to give a rats ass. A small blessing. So when Dr. H closed the distance between us, laser-locking eyes with me, I didn’t exhale so I could see her.

Over her glasses, with finger her pointed at my nose and she pronounced, “Ywo gho.”

I went.

Thankfully Dr. H had it wrong and it was only one Q Tip. I asked the nurse to be gentle. He agreed saying it would still hurt. I appreciated his honesty.

The test came back positive.

I am in my 5th day of Pajama wearing but I feel much better. Tamiflu is a miracle drug. Today, being in my P.J.’s feels more choice-ful than it did yesterday. My illusion of control is returning. I think tomorrow I will venture into some real clothes and maybe finish my Christmas shopping and cooking.

Or maybe I won’t. Maybe I have enough gifts, food, whatever else I tell myself I need to make our belated Christmas celebration feel like a cherished memory.

Being sick slows life down. Slows me down. Another way to care less. As I feel better I appreciate the gift slower movement, fewer expectations of myself, more grace. It seems I repeatedly forget this…until I get sick. Then I remember again.

I didn’t think I had any New Years Resolutions for this year, but now I do.

Stop fighting, fixing, figuring and just slow down. Do less.

Tom recently described me to someone as a high performer. I was flattered. I don’t know though if he meant it as a compliment. I think sometimes I wear him out. I know sometimes I wear me out.

Maybe I could do less. You know what they say, Less is more…

I know as I write this I won’t do it. It is not me. I will slowly increase speed. But I am sure, when necessary, I will be reminded. Again.





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