Both Sides

I have been ill on and off since this year’s beginning. What seemed a simple cold in early January subsided and later became a worse cold involving a sinus infection and persistent bronchitis. Torturous coughing led to inflamed cartilage under my breasts and in my upper back. The pain made me to try to suppress my cough which caused the cough to be tight and unproductive. I have taken antibiotics (with acidophilus on the side) and extra strength Tylenol to lessen the pain. I have done breathing treatments on a nebulizer to help me breathe easier. As the cold symptoms lessened – and recovery seemed in sight – pain lingered in the rib area. I had to buy a special bra – a little nothing of a bra. I couldn’t bear any pressure in that area. I still can’t, for it has returned with a vengeance, as has a nice fresh cold with another sinus infection. A routine appointment on Monday with my gastroenterologist got me a Z-Pack, which I am half way through. I am cautiously hopeful.

 Through all of this there have been positive elements. The necessity of taking Music and Star to doggy camp has made space for my persnickety Sunny cat in my heart and next to my body. Affection has grown between the two of us, along with an understanding that we must make the most of this. Right now his warm kitty bulk is pressed against my leg, and I cannot be unaware of him. His is a beautiful, comforting, and mostly undemanding presence. We are companions for the duration of this illness, or until the rowdy, frequently noisy little dogs return and Sunny’s indignation makes him turn up his nose at my efforts to include him. He has made it clear that his love is conditional. “Me and you, babe…” is how he likes it.

So, my illness has made conditions ideal for my cat, and in some respects, I admit, for me. I have had space and time to let things unfold as they will: to lounge and read and doze in cat-like languor; to be gently creative by photographing Sunny in various positions and moods, sometimes including my feet since they are in proximity. And on better days, I have even heeded the call to begin a new project, setting up my laptop on a tray table on my bed and writing several vignettes remembering my mother. This means there will probably be a companion book to DANCING WITH MY FATHER. More healing for the whole life is envisioned as the vignettes slowly develop and emerge. In this way, surely the illness that has seemed a negative force can be viewed as positive indeed.  Distractions are kept at a minimum, and the one on one relationship is allowed to bloom. Meeoowrr…  


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2 Responses to “Both Sides”

  1. Kendall Says:

    You have found a way to make even misery dance. Funny, dear, and imaginative pictures of Sunny, a great new project, and some long-deserved rest: all good pulled out of what anybody else would consider very bad news.

  2. leiflife Says:

    I wrote this a few days ago, but it was good to get it posted. Still true… I may be a little bit better today. I may get the dogs on Monday. But for this lovely, long Saturday, it is Sunny and me. Outside, rain scatters itself across my roof as thunder rumbles in the distance. This only adds to my sense of peace in this space where I choose to be. Sunny and I continue to nest in close proximity – trusting the moment.

    Thanks so much for seeing the good with me.

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