Tutored by a Nasty Flu

Forgive the lateness and silliness of this post. I’m still trying to recover.

In the midst of a week of starting a new school year, attending meetings, and speaking at a conference, I got hit by a head flu. Trying to teach with your nose, head, and ears stuffed with twenty pounds of cotton is a surreal experience. Speaking of cotton, trying to collect my thoughts was like grabbing for wisps of it floating in the wind. Often I wondered if what I was saying was making any sense to my students at all. I felt like I just was staring at them like a goldfish would through his bowl – mouth hanging open, eyes bulging, bubbles occasionally popping. That’s about all I remember from last week. That and just wanting to sleep.

By the weekend the bug decided to have children and send them south to my stomach. For the first time in our married life, we think, both my wife, who also fell ill, and I stayed home together from church. The girls came home afterwards and cared for their invalid parents, bringing us a lunch that we were not hungry for. Misery loves company, they say, but not too close, as we have had to sleep in separate quarters for a time so that our hacking, blowing, coughing and expectorating would not keep each other up through the night. One morning I woke up and Miriam tried (not too successfully) to restrain a laugh as she informed me that it looked like I had a golf ball packed under my eye as my sinus had swollen through the night. Laying back down with a cold compress on it for a half hour caused the bag on my face to shrink down satisfactorily enough to meet TSA regulations.

So I have dragged myself most of the way through the second week of this thing. I think the heavy fog in my mind is starting to lift. Food is starting to attract me once more. Breathing is beginning to be a nasal versus an oral event again.

Though I’m supposed to be the teacher doling out the lessons, I have been tutored by this bug. Here are a few of those wispy thoughts I’ve managed to hold onto. I’m grateful for all the medications we have to treat symptoms. It’s wonderful to be able to listen to a sermon on the internet when you cannot go to church. I’m amazed at how my wife keeps running circles around me caring for everyone when she does not feel good herself (though, of course, I had a man cold). I realize what weak creatures we are, utterly dependent on the Lord who gives us life and strength. As I heard of others with serious illness or even death in their homes during this time, I realize how minor my afflictions are and my prayers feel more real. Hope is ever present, as each day you look for signs of recovery and then it makes you think about a day of ultimate delivery, when our bodies will not hurt or cry anymore.

That’s about all I can manage.

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