My body has clearly rebelled. A poison has hopped aboard and cast away within the blood stream. The white cell soldiers have been deployed in huge numbers and battles are felt as they're being fought. My face radiates heat as the rest of me chills. I wake every hour to turn and feel sorry for myself. Billy Sue lays at my feet with an unspoken pact of today she doesn't need anything. she can't. My lips are swollen, my mouth dry. My nose no longer allows an exchange of air. This hurts. I hurt. An ache here then there then everywhere until some little voice inside says you can't let this beat you.
I am not sick.
I get up to call where I am supposed to be, where I want to be, and lay on the floor beside the phone. I'll leave tomorrow morning, I say. She responds in kindness but I know I am messing with her plans so I attempt to come up with ways I can make it up to her but feel the desperation in being so far away. We get off the phone with a reprieve for today and a hope for tomorrow. Then I lay on the couch and Billy Sue snuggles against my belly. I pull the covers over my shoulders and tremble from the chill. The poison has quieted any optimistic little voice.
I am sick.
There are bouts of sleeping with horrible dreams. I wake and Slater asks, Are you going to die?
In forty two minutes, I reply.
He doesn't call an ambulance, never offers a ride to the emergency room and I tell myself this must mean he thinks I'm tough rather than he's counting down to freedom. Maybe he doesn't think I'm psychic, maybe he is and knows I'll make it. I drift back off to sleep within a chant, forty-two minutes, why did I say forty-two minutes, I am not going to die, no more horrible dreams, forty-two minutes, why.
This morning the fever broke and my first thought was always the first thought I have when coming back from an illness. I take good health for granted so today I will be especially grateful for it.
Moving forward on a Sunday morning.