Sick Day and Storytime

Today’s Mini Goal: Draw.  Or paint or color or use pastels or whatever implement of my choice.  For some reason I really love making art, but hardly ever do it.  It’s such a nice emotional break, and I enjoy having a different sort of creative outlet.

Sorry for the lack of blogging last night.  I ate a salad for lunch that didn’t sit with me very well, and by 5:00 I was…well, let’s just say that my poor tummy was very unhappy.  I was sick all evening and then ended up really dehydrated and weak all night.  I did not sleep well and was exhausted and weirdly sore in the morning, but felt much better by late afternoon.  I feel fine now; still no appetite, but much better.  I think it was some sort of God-wants-to-punish-me-but-only-for-twenty-four-hours kind of thing.

I stayed in my sweats and my favorite leaf-print long underwear all day today, and watched lots of online TV and caught up on blogs.  I totally could have been catching up on readings for school, but who wants to do schoolwork when they’re sick?  Not me.  Ironically, all three of my classes were cancelled today because of the “blizzard”. Everyone in New York is freaking out  over, like, six inches of snow.  Seriously, calm down people.  And it’s not even cold.

I did seven miles yesterday morning (good thing I did it before lunch I suppose) on the treadmill.  I just did not want to run outside.  Weird.  Anyways, I was supposed to do 6×1000 with short rests in between, but because I have been loving doing timed speedwork instead of distance speedwork, I made it 5×6 minutes (I was too tired to do a sixth).  I did the first, second, third, and fifth at 7.5 mph and the fourth at 7.0 mph, with three minutes at 6.0 mph between all and a mile warm up and cool down.  This was quite a tough workout!

Needless to say, no workout today.  I might do a few yoga poses to stretch out and move a little bit later on.  I’m thinking of doing Polly’s yoga for digestion.

I’ve been drinking lots of this stuff today:

Dragon pearl jasmine tea!  So good.  And having the name dragon in its title makes it that much better.  These tea leaves are rolled into tiny little balls, and when submerged into the hot water they unfurl.  It’s really fun to watch.

With real sugar.

Leftover leaves.  They look a bit like seaweed.

My mom told me that my eating options are pretty much limited to easily digested carbs.  Breakfast?  Cereal.  Lunch? Muffin.  Dinner? Plain toasted bagel.  Ugh.  I love my carbs, but too much is too much.  I can definitely feel my energy being sucked away, but I know my tummy isn’t ready to digest much fiber, fat, or protein just yet. Hopefully tomorrow.  A day without fruits or veggies is a sad day in Caronaeland.

Carb sandwich!  Hey, no one said anything about not eating my carbs in chocolate form…

I love muffins.

Muffins are one “bad” food I will never ever leave.  Plus, it’s pretty easy to make them decently healthy.  I like making them with oats, whole wheat flour, fruit, and nuts. Anyone have any go-to healthy muffin recipes out there?

Since I don’t have much food to show you guys or too many workouts to talk about, I thought I would do some storytime!

Now, this may seem totally random, but it’s not.  I swear.  I’ll even let you in on my thought process as proof: the evil little salad I mentioned earlier was a pretty typical lunch for me.  I’m not sure what the bacteria-laden culprit was but I’m guessing either spinach that wasn’t carefully washed, slightly old pineapple, or slightly expired cottage cheese.  I tend to get very paranoid about these sorts of things, and I am guessing that I won’t be interested in any of these foods for at least a month, probably more.  Once something bad happens that I associate with one thing, however random, I will do my best to avoid that thing for a long long time.  See story below.


Rain boots.  Floral rain boots.  Rain boots covered in tiny pink, yellow, and fresh blue flowers.  With pink rims, if I recall correctly, ordered by mail from the Lands’ End catalog.  Perhaps LL Bean, but I think it was Lands’ End.  I’m standing at the end of my driveway pacing feverishly.  Well, feverishly for a five year old I suppose.  And it’s not raining; I don’t think there were any puddles even.  It was fall, probably September or October.  But I was wearing my rain boots because rain boots are very easy to put on: no complicated laces, and you can always tell if you’ve got them on the wrong feet.  So here I am, at the end of my driveway, next to our very large pine tree. Pine trees, while beautiful, are not the best for playing in.  The branches form sticky, thick nets around their bases, and it’s hard to find your way through this thicket to the trunk.  But this is not a story about pine trees, or fall, or my beloved little rain boots.

It’s the beginning of first grade.  The first month or so.  I lived across the street from my town’s middle school, and just down the hill from the elementary school I went to.  Usually, my dad walked me to school in the mornings.  It’s funny to think how small I must have been to him then.  In fact, I still feel small around people I have just met.  My mother always left for work early, but my father was not (and still isn’t) a morning person, and so it was his duty to ship us off to school every morning.  My sister had already left; everyone in fifth grade and higher started at eight; I started at nine.  I almost always ate cereal in the mornings, often with hot chocolate that I insisted on carrying around in a bottle and  referring to as “cocoa baba.”  Yes, my weirdness was apparent from a young age.   I can’t quite remember what I was eating that morning.  Was it Fruit Loops?  Cheerios?  My sister’s favorite puffy rice cereal?  I was so proud that I could pull up a chair to the cabinets, stand on it, and reach the cereal off the highest shelf.  But I had not yet mastered the milk pouring, so I usually just let my father do that.

My father had gone downstairs to the bathroom several minutes before.  I sat patiently with my cereal waiting in the bowl.  I think I had a spoon ready; spoons are easy to get.  You can’t screw up a spoon.  But where was my dad?  I most certainly needed my milk.  Eating dry cereal hadn’t occurred to me, plus, I didn’t want to walk to school alone.  Eventually I got tired of waiting and went downstairs to fetch him.  Something wasn’t right: the bathroom door was cracked open and I could see my papa’s feet and legs sprawled out on the floor, just to the side of the cat food bowls.  I peeked in a bit and could clearly see that something was drastically wrong.  My father came down here to use the bathroom.  He does like to sleep a lot, but I don’t see why he would be taking a nap when it’s time for me to go to school.

This is when I go outside and pace in the driveway with my pink floral rain boots.  I thought, maybe I should just go fetch my sister from her school; it was, after all, exactly across the street, which I knew how to cross.  Stop.  Look.  Listen.  I knew who her teacher was because my sister talked about how mean she was all the time; Mrs. Smith.  I could go to the office, politely tell them who I was looking for, and that she was in Mrs. Smith’s fifth grade class.  Surely they could help me.  But alas, I did not want to ruin my sister’s day before it had even started, and I was a bit nervous to go into the middle school anyways.  I went back inside and thought some more. Thought about my poor dry cereal and my cold hot chocolate and my unbrushed hair.  I did not cry, though.  Just sat and thought.

But wait!  Just last week the town fire department had come to our school and shown us their red trucks and their nifty ambulances.  They told us all about what fire departments do.  They help people.  Not help people by pouring the milk into their cereal, but bigger things.  Like helping people who are sick.  And my dad seems sort of sick, if he’s just lying there.  I knew what I had to do.  Short of dragging my father’s 200 pound body up the stairs and into the front yard and waiting for a car to drive by, I didn’t have a lot of options.  Strangely, I was very calm about making the call; I understood exactly what had to be done and was, perhaps, even a little bit methodical about it.  That trait has lasted, for better or for worse.

The ambulance came, bringing several fire trucks with it.  This annoyed me; I had told them that my father was ill, not that my house was on fire.  Why did they need this whole parade?  I suppose it was a good thing, though, because my neighbor saw and called my mother from work.  They took my dad into the ambulance while I waited on the porch.  The ambulance didn’t go anywhere.  It just sat there like a bug stuck under a log.  I don’t remember talking to anybody or even hearing any sounds at this point  — a quiet world is a very scary place to be.  After a while, my mother came home.  I didn’t know why she was there or who had told her to come; I certainly hadn’t. But she was there and I needed her.  My favorite thing in the world used to be to cling to her leg like a leech.  I held on very tight, for a very long time.  I don’t really remember the rest of the morning, but I do remember winding up in school for the afternoon.  Or maybe it was the next day.  It’s funny, time is so clear and organized and infallible to me now, but it wasn’t then. One morning could be another; one hour could be five or six.

My father had had a serious seizure resulting from a unusual drug interaction between different medicines he was taking.  To this day, I do not understand why this happened.  My parents are doctors: could they both have failed to notice such a dangerous potential hazard?  Were other things going on?  Apparently, my father had another seizure at work a few months later.  I was not told about this until at least eight years later.  My sister had been forbidden to mention it to me.  Typically, she wasn’t afraid of scaring me.  It was part of her duty as an older sister.  But not this time.  She was true to her word.

I lived in terror of my father for close to a year.  He had always been a loud sneezer, and whenever he sneezed, I fled from the room in panic.  I refused to be alone with him for quite some time.  Here was this man — this banana-loving, napping, sweet kind of man — and I could not get over my fear of him.  I think I was afraid that he had died that morning.  Died a little death.  Not a complete death, but nonetheless, a sort of death.  A death that I had witnessed.  And it had been so quiet.  I never want dying to be that quiet again.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 20:27:10

    omg! that is so sad about the terror you felt after the incident with your dad having a seizure. how scary for such a young kid, for anyone actually! 😦 i honestly think things like that stick with you unless you deal with them head on, so kudos to you for getting this out there via writing, and i hope you take these issues into therapy as well so you can fully put it behind you.

    your carb sandwich is amazing. you are my hero! i want a chocolate muffin now!


  2. EE
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 22:21:14

    I hope you feel better soon. And I am also so sorry about the terror of that kind of incident with a parent.

    Bad food like “bad” as in “that’s so bad” like when we were kids and “bad” meant “cool”?

    Wow, I should stop typing.


  3. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 01:18:30

    What a story…holy moly!
    In the meantime, please feel better sweetie 🙂


  4. Sarah
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 02:44:52

    I like the sound of leaf print underwear…where can I get some?! hehe

    That was a moving story, glad your dad was ok in the end, but something like that must leave quite an imprint on a five-year-old’s memory.

    Hope you feel better soon and enjoy your creative outlet of art-making 🙂

    Sarah x


  5. themilkfreeway
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 03:58:59

    I’m sorry you went through something so traumatic. I think that’s an entirely normal human reaction though, even though your father had done nothing wrong, your fear of him didn’t mean you were doing anything wrong either. Brains are complicated things! I’m glad your stomach is feeling a bit better now, being sick is horrible ❤


  6. Joanne
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 07:32:36

    I HATE stomach flus. That sounds seriously rough. I’m glad to hear you are feeling better though!

    And yeah no one wants to do schoolwork when they’re sick. Least of all me. It’s all about the bad tv and blog reading!


  7. prettytimepiece
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 15:27:09

    ohhh i hope you feel better soon ❤

    wow… what an incredible story. i can't imagine what that must have been like for you, as a little girl. "I never want dying to be that quiet again" <— huge horrible things should never be quiet, but they often times are. it scares the hell out of me too!

    hugs! xo


  8. Tamizn
    Feb 12, 2010 @ 15:12:59

    There is never a bad time for muffins! Thanks for stopping by x x


  9. Trackback: Sweet And Savory/Therapy Monday « Run. Write. Therapy. Life.
  10. Trackback: Tummy Troubles « Run. Write. Therapy. Life.

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