World keeps spinning even at Christmas
I got inexplicably, hideously sick over Christmas break last year. Actually, I think I do have an explanation – it might have something to do with remodeling our house, moving in, then out, then in again, finally settling back home five days before Christmas, just our little family and a dozen or so construction workers. It’s possible stress may have been a factor. That, and a few inches of drywall dust.At the first sign of illness I cracked open the jar of echinacea and brewed a few dozen cups of Breathe Easy tea. I got worse. As I unpacked a few boxes and put clean sheets on the beds, I sucked throat lozenges laden with zinc and vitamin C. I coughed harder. I went to the health club and sat in the steam room. The eucalyptus spray made me nauseous.Paint fumes and sugar plums danced in my head as I finally lay down to rest. The plumber, the painter and the UPS man traipsed through the room until I was forced to give up on the nap and opt for ibuprofen. I took some homeopathics that had been lying around since the last time I got sick. I got sicker.I cleaned at a fever pitch. Literally – mine had reached 102 and showed no signs of stopping.With Christmas just hours away, there was no way for me to organize the house, set up the tree, wrap and mail the packages, send out Christmas cards, grocery shop, sew Christmas Pageant costumes, make fudge for the construction team and put a partridge in the pear tree. As I lay in bed cursing my own procrastination, I finally did the unthinkable. I asked for help.And as Christmas inched closer, I got my own miracle of sorts. My husband rounded everyone up and took them out for dinner and to the grocery store. He shopped for and wrapped the last of the presents. They all decorated the tree. The kids entertained each other for hours on end in the snow, checking in periodically to see if they needed to call 911. They made their own breakfasts and lunches. My friends took the kids to the movies and into their homes. Meals appeared unsolicited on the front steps from a caring neighbor.It’s tough to seek help sometimes – especially for moms – but when we finally do I’m always amazed how swiftly and simply it comes. I guess when the sick get sicker, the well get … weller. Everyone stepped up to the plate, even the 7-year-old, and did what needed to be done. Including me. Because what needed to be done in my case was to stop self-medicating and go to the pro.Four days of misery ended after being diagnosed with a sinus infection and bronchitis. I popped my first antibiotic, and within four hours I was out of bed and walking with a little more spring in my step.It was Christmas Eve and all was right with the world. “Are We There Yet?” run every other week in the Post Independent. Charla Belinski is a certified parenting instructor and a regular contributor to Mountain Parent magazine and a variety of online publications for parents. Contact her at Belinskis@comcast.net.
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