A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Times That You May Want to Forget That Can Be Worth Remembering

Metsu, Gabriel - Sick Child, the
Metsu, Gabriel - Sick Child, the (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
          Being sick ain't much fun, but it sure can be memorable.   During a bout of illness we might wish the whole thing would go away and that we could just forget about it, but after it's all done it's another ordeal we've survived and it can sometimes make for some good stories.

           Our stories about being sick can be entertaining, frightening, or informative.  Few of us enjoy being sick, but a good story about sickness can be just the cure for whatever might be ailing us at the moment.  After all, sickness is a part of life and sometimes the cause of death.  There are many human stories related to sickness.

           My recent bout of illness was a big setback for me in my blogging activity.   I didn't get much done as far as work on writing and chores around the house, but I got a nice amount of reading done and managed to watch a few more movies than I normally would.  Other than that I spent a lot of time sleeping, sitting around drowsily, and then sleeping some more.  Then there was one evening spent in the emergency room.

            Never in my life had I had such a dizzy spell as I did in the event that led me to ask my wife to take me to the hospital.  She knew something serious was up.  I normally don't like going to a doctor and my few experiences with going to the ER have never been pleasant ones.  This time though I thought something serious was afoot.  They checked me out and gave me some Valium and Travel Sickness pills and put me on observation while blood tests were run.  Final prognosis?   I'm getting older and I was reacting to an ear infection.  This was a new reaction to ear problems for me, but now I guess I have a better grasp on what to do if it ever happens again.

           I remember times of illness in my life.  Not that I'm unhealthy or anything, but we all get sick sometimes and I can remember some of my own times.  I recall the Seven-Up, hot tea, and buttered toast that my mother used to give me when I was a child and home in bed sick instead of going to school.  Broth made from chicken bullion.  They all are things I still turn to when I feel badly.

           Then there was the time my sister had Scarlet Fever.  My parents were so upset and listening to them I was certain that she was going to die.  In retrospect I'm sure that the situation wasn't quite as serious as it seemed, though it was serious enough.  In a way I envied the attention she received, but I was glad I didn't contract the illness.

           In my adult years I've been fortunate not to have had many serious illnesses.  Often, as adults sometimes have to do, I'd just plod forward through sickness to continue doing whatever it was I had to do. As a business manager I frequently just worked through my sickness and let it run its course.  I might slow down, but I'd keep going when I had to and just collapse at home when I could.

          Thank goodness my kids were all healthy.   They didn't have many serious illnesses, which was good for me since I was a single father raising them on my own while trying to lead my work life.  There were a few times when I'd take one of them to my office and let them sleep on the couch there while I attended to business.  Sometimes we just have to improvise and do the best we can.

           There are memoirs completely about sickness--the travails and the victories and how it can all change our lives.   Or sickness can just be a part of the story.  Nearly all of us can tell a story about a time we were sick or about someone we know who suffered through being sick.  It's just another topic that we can consider when we're coming up with ideas about what we can write.

            Do you have some memorable stories about being sick?   Is there something in those stories that can provide a learning experience for others?    Have you had funny sickness experiences?   Do you often write when you are sick or do you tend to avoid writing during those times?

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  1. Hi Lee .. I too have been sick - put myself to bed, lost some weight, felt not so hot ... and remembered 50 years ago - per my latest post ... finally I'm feeling better (3 weeks later).

    I did have a pain in my foot one day, that wouldn't improve and I was struggling to walk on it - eventually took myself of to A&E (your ER) .. after a while I was seen by a lovely young lady doctor - you've got arthritis in your toes ... I was mortified that I'd wasted their time ... but it ruddy well hurt and I thought I can't not walk ... as that was the way the pain was going. After that diagnosis - I told myself not to be so **** stupid!! At least I know what the pain is like ...

    Funny old life - but glad you're feeling better and as you say you know what the effect of an ear infection will be like in the future ... look after yourself.

    Cheers Hilary

  2. As someone who has to deal with vertigo from time-to-time, I can understand how disorienting it can be and empathize with your plight, Arlee. No fun. And I can understand the hit it takes with your writing. Hopefully, the ear infection passes and you have none of the dizziness left. I wish I could share a funny story about illness... oh, wait. Last year our then 16 year old, after a dinner of fried shrimp, awoke with some food poisoning and decided to come to our bedroom... to throw-up. This instituted the Mom Rule #1009, "If you feel nauseous, go to the closest bathroom! NOT OUR ROOM!!!"

    Feel beter, my friend.

  3. Last year I made it a goal to hoard my vacation hours for a real vacation (as opposed to using one or two here and there for little things), and ended up getting sick more than I ever have. I think I got every flu and/or cold that came through town. So much for that vacation (though I'm glad I had it to use it for sick days, I guess).

  4. Yes I have a few of those horrid stories, Lee. Somehow we power through.

    Most vivid young memory was of having chicken pox at Christmas and everyone being sympathetic. I remembering standing in my crib, not old enough to know what chicken pox was. But I liked the attention, just not the itching.

    Glad you're feeling better. I hate it when anyone in my family is sick.

  5. Hilary -- 3 weeks is a long time to have to deal with illness. Glad you got over it. Your comment about the arthritis made me laugh. My mother said that's what the doctor always tells her and she gets so frustrated. Getting older is always filled with new surprises and repeated prognoses. Also, I found your comment about the woman doctor interesting. Seems like most of the doctors I get these days are women. I'm not complaining, but I just wonder about where the men doctors have gone.

    Leo-- I feel so much better, thank you, and that strange ear infection only lasted a few days. The dizzy spell sure scared me. I remember those throw-up sick times for me and my own kids. I never thought I'd be able to stomach the clean-up, but with kids you learn to manage.

    Kelly -- Nothing like spending a vacation being sick. My wife spent a few days of her own holiday break joining me in sickness. Sad, because we had so many things we wanted to do. It made for a needed rest break though.

    DG -- Somehow sickness when we are children is assuaged by that loving attention we usually get. Sometimes I almost liked being sick if it wasn't too uncomfortable. It's different when you're older and just have to tough it out. Thankfully my wife gives me some TLC as I do for her--part of the advantage of a loving marriage.


  6. Glad you are well again Lee after the scare. My husband was recently told by his Dr (male as it happens), that the cause of his particular problem was too many birthdays! The alternative is not much of a solution. I've been gointo write a post about childhood sicknesses...you may have motivated me ;-)

  7. I have epilepsy and as you can imagine there have been numerous times that it rears it ugly head at the most inconvienient times. But as I have also said Epilepsy lives with ME and not me with It. otherwise I would just stay indoors and not see the beauty of this wonderful world.

    Hope you recover soon.

    PS: Yes I have had discrimination about the illness but it is just ignorance as there are many types of the illness, luckily I have a minor sort,

  8. When I am sick, the last thing I want to do is to write. No one needs to know about my feverish thoughts or stomach flu.

    Unfortunately, there are memories about family members who were ill that I wish I could forget.

    Hope you are better, Lee. Being sick and also old sucks.

  9. Pauleen -- There is a wealth of potential in childhood sickness memories. Go for it!

    Yvonne -- One shouldn't be discriminated against because of something they can't help.

    Susan -- Now just a doggone minute! Are you insinuating that I am old? ;)
    Who wants to write when they're really sick? Heck, if I'm real sick I don't even want to read and usually can't stay awake anyway.


  10. My most memorable experience with illness was not really illness but the after effects of a very bad bike accident. No need for details but I was down and out for several months. It happened in late August and the coolest thing was that I got to spend the entire months of September and October simply watching the autumn arrive. Quite remarkable to be out of commission and with nothing else possible but to watch the trees out the window (daytime tv isn't worth it).


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