Tag Archives: sick


At my last check-up, I mentioned to my doctor that I sometimes felt overwhelmed by the many people I know who are sick or battling illness. (I immediately felt like my mother, talking about so-and-so who has this or that, jeesh).

My doctor said that the older we get, the more people we know, and the more people we know, the more people we see going through illness. It’s a numbers game, and that I should also factor into the equation the many people I know who are not sick, and also who are healthy after battling illness.


I hadn’t thought of it like that.

She is a realist and I’ve always admired the visible resolve I see in her to not be paralyzed by these things that I find just plain hard. My own father died of cancer at age 43 and my older sister has been suffering from a very debilitating form of fibromyalgia for almost 20 years.

I thought of other people I know who are sick. I have a good friend who, at age 28, had been very suddenly hospitalized with respiratory paralysis from a rare disorder that had her own immune system attacking her nerves. She recovered after a very lengthy hospital stay and rehabilitation, and carried on to become wildly successful in her career and personal life. But now in her forties, she is experiencing an out-of-the-blue comeback of the symptoms and is unable to work.

That’s just the beginning of my list. We all know people in our lives fighting battles of all sizes, and we also hear of actual real-life wars being fought across the world from us, as well as close to home. The list can seem endless, it’s everywhere, and the older we get, as my doctor said, the more we see and learn and know.

But I’ve decided to try and follow my doctor’s (realist) lead, and I’m choosing to be THANKFUL. To take note and experience the highs and lows of all our battles. I don’t find it easy, in any way, reconciling with the hardships of friends and family. The hardships of life. But what is easy is plucking out the simple stuff that is also happening -the little moments of greatness that we all have in our days.

I sat on that paper-covered medical table in my doctor’s office and thought, “It’s true, I know lots of people who are healthy, too”.

I recently met a 5 month old baby who was born with a tumour who has not left hospital care since his birth. His mother, with glossy eyes looking right at me, said he is “kicking radiation and chemotherapy’s butt”! THATTA BOY! And I have a friend who is celebrating year two of remission from emphysema, HOORAY! And another who is in year 5 of remission from breast cancer, WOO HOO! My friend with nerve damage is vibrantly embracing life at home with her 3 kids and a dog, and has come to see a reluctant beauty in being still. OH YEAH!

I know you know those moments, too. Go have them! Go watch them happen. Go gulp them down, send them down into your bellies and savour every nourishing morsel. It’s kind of like turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. THANKFUL.

How to Sign THANK YOU in American Sign Language  www.growingsigns.com
To sign THANK YOU in American Sign Language, touch your fingertips to your chin, then extend them out towards the other person you are thanking.

Sick Day

So it’s the last week of school before Christmas break, and my kids have been home sick. Poor things, I know. And for me it means three full days being trapped at home with sputtering, wheezing, sneezing little ones who are miserable and bored silly. I have a lengthy to-do list this week, with several important tasks to tick off before relatives start arriving on the weekend and an impending trip to the grandparents’, but what exactly am I doing?

I’m playing balloon volleyball
in the living room, of course!

My kids have never, ever been great sleepers. As babies they would only sleep under perfect conditions -in their cribs in a quiet, dark room. Never would you see me in public with a peacefully dozing newborn! Rather, you’d notice the big red-lined eyes of my baby as she pays close attention to what is happening outside her seat or stroller. My darling baby son was the same way. I’m (mostly) at peace with it now, and over the years I’ve worked hard to create bedtime routines that, for the most part, work. But as all parents know, the gloves come off when kids get sick.

So, in order to ensure my kids get some rest to feel better when they’re sick, I tuck them into bed with books & comics and ply them with soup, smoothies, and healthy snacks as their appetite allows. And if they can’t keep from jumping out of bed, I clear out the furniture for some balloon volleyball to tucker them out! We all end up sweating with efforts to keep the balloon from touching the ground as we pass back and forth around the room. Today, we even made an ad hock centre line with string for passing the balloon over with only 3 hits. Soon they both flopped to the ground (well, me too) and I suggested we all go lie down in our beds.

Do you have ways to cope with your kids at home sick?


I hope your Christmas list is getting tackled, please wish me luck on mine!