Fair warning – I’m a big old Cranky McCrankypants today. Elizabeth didn’t get to go back to school yesterday because she was sick. And lord dog, I needed her to go back to school. Then last night Campbell spiked a fever, so he’s home from school sick. And because he has to be fever free for 24 hours, he won’t be able to go to school tomorrow when Elizabeth does. It will be next Tuesday before I get a child-free morning.
Adding insult to injury, my course of steroids for asthma didn’t work, so I have to start over again. Which means I’m back to shaking like Paris Hilton’s chihuahua on meth, not sleeping, and having every joint in my body ache.
Last night I didn’t fall asleep until almost 1 and was then woken up at 3 by Elizabeth, who apparently just wanted to hang out and party because there was absolutely nothing wrong with her. She finally went to sleep at about 4, and I collapsed on the sofa, only to be woken up almost immediately by Campbell, whose fever had spiked to 102.5. I gave him some advil and tried to put him back in bed, but the only place he was happy was on top of me. We dozed together on the sofa until it was time to wake up the girls for school.
To say that I am not a happy camper today would be an understatement. So take all of this into account when you read the next part of this post, provided you’ve made it this far.
Last night, in between bouts with sick kids, I went out to dinner with a large group of running friends. It was one friend's birthday, and we pulled off the miracle of getting 20 of us together for a meal. I have known and run with a number of these people for more than a decade. We have been through marriages and divorces, births and deaths together. I count some of these women as my nearest and dearest friends.
But it was a miserable dinner.
Everyone asked how my running post-marathon was going, and when I said that I’d been sidelined for a week because of asthma, almost every one of them said, “Yeah, my allergies are bad, too.” At the beginning of the evening I’d try to explain that my problem was asthma, not allergies. That it is more than a stuffed up nose. That I can’t walk around the house without wheezing and coughing. That I can’t read my kids bedtime stories without running out of breath.
Then I gave up and just nodded. I didn’t want to be the boring, whiny person at the party.
But their comments and questions, which were genuinely well intentioned – I’m not upset with any of my friends - just added fuel to the fire for the mean, nasty little voices in my head that have been plaguing me for the past week. These voices tell me that I should just man up and run already. They tell me that I should at least go to the gym and run very slowly on the treadmill. They tell me that I can’t call myself a runner anymore since I can’t manage to run even a few miles.
The little voices are very mean and very persistent, especially at 1am when I’m lying in bed, shaking from the prednisone.
In the middle of last night I found myself wishing I had some sort of visible illness or injury – a broken leg in a cast I could point to or a surgery incision – something definite and obvious. Even a fever would be better; at least that’s quantifiable. Instead, I just have this vague, I can’t breathe right malady.
And I’m tired of it. I’m tired of being tired and shaky. I’m tired of being cranky with my husband and my kids. I’m tired of shaking. I’m tired, tired, tired.
And cranky. And whiny.
I think I’d better go drink some hot tea and eat some chocolate.