I jokingly told my mom via text that I will now just assume someone will be ill on Thanksgiving; it might not be so much a joke anymore. Last Thanksgiving, I had the stomach flu (while 9 months pregnant!) on Thanksgiving day. I was crushed we couldn’t drive to my family’s get-together and visit with long-distance cousins. I was also a bit angry that we were stuck home with three large serving bowls of jello salad; I may or may not have later (once my stomach resumed normal procedures) eaten one whole bowl myself.
This year was looking good – we were all taking our vitamins, even starting a new regimen with an Echinacea/Vitamin C/Elderberry combination syrup. We’d passed around a few runny noses but nothing serious. Then, Tuesday, Arthur left for work feeling pretty blah. I brushed it off because, like a know-it-all wife, I knew he wasn’t sick; he was just complaining about a bad night of sleep.
He later called me on his way home, almost in tears, telling me how awful he felt and that he couldn’t stop shivering. I directed him to the Urgent Care down the road, where he found out he had the dreaded INFLUENZA! You know, that virus we all got a shot for…in order to NOT catch it. Yes, that’s the one. Turns out it was a strain of Influenza B, but it was unconfirmed if that strain was in the shot we received (and his body just didn’t build immunity) or if it was the strain NOT covered by the shot…and we were all sitting ducks. Because we have little ones, our family doctor recommended at least the littlest ones go on the anti-viral meds; she and I talked about discussing with Arthur whether or not everyone else should, too, but concluded on our own that Arthur would probably say just give it to all….because if Mom goes down…Dad would have his hands full after recovering from that awful virus.
I felt like we were in that movie Contagion. We didn’t want to get to close to anyone else’s face or bodily fluids. No one dared kiss. We quarantined Arthur – he had access to the master bedroom, bath, and closet. IF he came out for any reason, he wore a mask. I know we went a little overboard, but we were going based on how he felt….and he swore he would not give this to the kids because he didn’t want to think of them being that miserable. Turns out, we heard that if you received the flu shot and built a little immunity….your virus experience was quite a bit less severe than if you got the flu without having got the shot. Whether or not that was true, we have no idea. BUT, based on what Arthur went through (having received the shot) and what one of our friends went through (NOT having received the shot)…we think it may have been pretty accurate.
So, we were home just the seven of us for Thanksgiving. God, always revealing His goodness, provided in several different ways all the things we’d need to have our own feast. We were planning on just making and bringing the rolls to my in-laws’ dinner, so I had not shopped specifically for Thanksgiving day foods! Thankfully, though, I had a pork loin not yet made…as well as 10 pounds of potatoes, green beans, homemade applesauce, a ton of apple pie filling (frozen), and several cans of pumpkin. I even had a bag of frozen rolls in the freezer. The girls and I whipped up an apple crisp, a pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes with homemade gravy, and we slow-cooked that pork for 10 hours! It was delicious, and such a great reminder of God’s goodness. Our bellies were full and we were together.
I was still a little sour for having missed extended family two years in a row (because I fail to see the positive things right away….a lot), and I was short-tempered all weekend while we were stuck inside. Arthur went back to work today, and I had planned to start school again. Addy, growing increasingly congested over the past 3 days, woke up coughing so much that I called the doctor to see if maybe now she had the flu. I prayed so hard that it wasn’t – I didn’t want any more medicine! Turns out she has an ear infection and is wheezing. So, she’s on an antibiotic now and the nebulizer.
We are so done with illnesses here. I know we’ve gotten the easier side of all this sickness, though, and that people usually have a lot worse symptoms with flu and ear infection (Addy didn’t even have a high fever…which would’ve just been awful on top of her congestion, and Arthur just had body aches and a slight fever with the flu).
Addy is still up, while the other kids are asleep in their beds. She is in my room watching a cartoon, and she is happy. It makes me happy to see her smile again and not be miserable.
And when I sat down to type this all up, I found M&M’s in my pocket. I had put them there about an hour ago to eat once I got her settled. Yes, they are melting. Yes, I would normally complain about them staining my clothes. BUT, I am still going to eat them. And that also makes me happy. And makes me think again of God providing…even just some silly, melting M&M’s. He knew that would make me happy right now. Even the dumbest little things like that…He is concerned about and wants to use in order to help me see Him.
Our God IS an awesome God. A great Protector. A gentle Father. A caring Friend.