The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, October 27, 2006


Patricia Parkinson

I have been sick, very sick, walking pneumonia. The results of my urine tests came back, cold in my kidneys and possible bladder infection too! My inner ear hurts as well as my throat and my back. Still waiting for the results of the blood tests. I know, it's thrilling isn't it? Sickness somehow becomes obsessive.

I have whined about this all week, actually, I'm not much of a whiner, however, I'm sick and those around me don't seem to get it that Mom is sick, that My Wife is sick that The Worker Patricia is sick. I sleep all day. I sleep all night, waking up in painful intervals to attempt to go to the bathroom, constipation is a side effect of my drugs. I've discovered a love of Metamucil, the orange flavor is best, and live in anticipation when it will take effect. Gross I know, but well, when we're babies, our parents talked about our bowels movements, our first bowel movement is most likely recorded in a book with our first wisps of hair and the event of our first birthday or Christmas. When we get older, bowel movements again return as a topic of conversation.

My father in law is a robust 82. When we chat his toilet habits take up most of the conversation that and home remedy advise, prune juice, fiber, and now, well, I should phone him about the Metamucil, actually, I think he recommended it to me.

I am not a good sick person. I am generally in very good health, on the go all the time, ready to do anything, regretting often plans made in advance but these are the times when I end up having a better time than the dreaded, tried and longing to leave time I thought it would be. however, when I crash, I crash big. I was a sickly child, a fake sickly child at times, bored with school. With an imagination beyond book learning, I professionally held the thermometer over the heat register, pressed the mercury to light bulbs for the accurate amount of time that produced the desired temperature for my mother to utter the words, "You're not going to school today!" as if it was some kind of punishment.

I missed weeks; really, I'd miss two weeks of school at a time 4 times a year, one spell for each season. No one questioned it. I was prone to bronchial infections, obviously still am. On the days I faked it, I gloried in the ability to eat Lipton’s Chicken Noodle soup for breakfast, with lots of crackers, they have to be Premium, Salted Tops, lunch and dinner. I read all day and watched some TV - we didn't have cable – or color. I napped and hung out and went through my mother’s things and then there were times when I was really sick. For real sick, not having to hold the thermometer over anything.

I hallucinated about things; about a plane crashing in my bed, my sheets were the fuselage. I was so upset and adamant and crying and flailing about. A plane had crashed and no one was doing anything about it. My mother sat next to me and cried while my family gathered. I hallucinated about my uncle, who came into my room - did he come into my room? I wonder still, not in a bad way. I think he was dead by then, so, maybe he was there. I like to think that. My mother cried. Our doctor came, I’m happy that I’m part of the last generation to receive house calls, and I survived.

I am not delerious this time round, have been having some pretty wild daytime dreams mind you, which leave me a bit disorientated, among other things which involve nudity. Friday, I’m writing this post early, will be the first time I’ve been out of the house since Monday. The thought of showering and doing my hair and actually putting on clothes that may have zippers makes me achy. I am planning on washing my sheets that day and having a bath before I go to bed, soak my aches away, maybe even shave my legs. No. That would involve bending and could lead to a cut, bleeding to death, maybe a clot.

There are no planes crashing in my bed, just me sliding in between cool sheets, warm and clean from the bath, wrapped in my blue robe, also freshly laundered, laying back on fluffed up pillows, the glow of my reading light casting campfire shadows across the walls while I pray that the Metamucil kicks in before I go back to work on Monday.


Blogger Myfanwy Collins said...

Oh my poor dear! I hope you are better soon--but until then please take good care and get rest! We all need our Patricia back in tip-top shape.


Sat Oct 28, 10:31:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

When our kids were babies all my co-parenting partner and I talked about was poo. It seemed. There were so many interesting things. Like how you'd feed the little nippers raisins and they'd come out grapes in their diapers. We had several diaper buckets around the house- one grandfather sprung for a diaper service and very nice man would come and take away the horror- but there was one on the top floor we kind of forgot about. And then one day I went up there and opened the bucket and a long tall mushroom was growing out of the top diaper. I never laughed harder. I gave tours to everybody to come and see our baby poo fungus. Nobody else seemed to find it funny. They looked at me oddly and stopped returning my calls.

Thanks for the memories!

By the way, don't you dare go to work on Monday! You aren't ready. You need to recover and get your strength back. If you go back before you've built up some resilience you'll just crash again.

Get well, sweetheart!

Sat Oct 28, 11:24:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Nance Knauer said...

I'm with Andrew. Can you go back for half days next week? This is sad news that you're down, but look at you, you're still entertaining us!

I hope the metamucil kicks in soon, and that all the nasty bugs leave soon. xxoo

Sat Oct 28, 11:56:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Oh my goodness, hallucinations and all. Get well, kiddo.

Sat Oct 28, 01:09:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Patricia said...

oh, Myfanwy, you're so kind to read this, and Andrew!!!! I love your memory!! what a riot!! our old dog, used to tear through the garbage and's gross, well, he'd look for dirty diapers....and you called me, SWEETHEART!! I'm going to float through the day in a drug induced fantasy of Patricia and Andrew..xoxo

Sat Oct 28, 02:21:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Patricia said...

Thank you Tricia and Nance, still in the blue robe, god, I'm a sight!! lolol

Sat Oct 28, 03:19:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

Your imagination and sense of humor haven't left you honey! Take good care, let others help too!

Sat Oct 28, 04:22:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

Yikes! That is some sickness! Get better soon.

Sun Oct 29, 03:44:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger MelBell said...

If it's Monday and you're reading this from work, you're being a very bad girl, Patricia.

At least go home early, you. It sounds like your poor body is working something out - your job can wait. Take it easy and work in some more cozy time for yourself.


Sun Oct 29, 08:22:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Patricia said...

Going back tomorrow guys, night shift, not till late, I get home about ten, and then days, I'll be fine, it's a wake up call for sure, and...don't tell anyone, but I"m quitting smoking!!! aghhh....tomorrow!!!lololol

Mon Oct 30, 02:05:00 am GMT-5  

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