The week that “flu” by

It’s Friday. How can it be Friday???

I have slept, shivered, sweat and snuffled through a whole week. Sunday in the night, I started shivering (with a quilt, electric blanket and very warm cat on me). Hmmmm…. something is not right… By daybreak I knew I had the flu. It didn’t take a flu test at an urgent care to tell me that, but it did get me a script for Tamiflu, and permission to sleep without guilt.

So I did.

Completely. Utterly. Slept like a log. For freaking days.

Somewhere around Wednesday, I realized I stank and needed a shower, so I took one. And slept the rest of the day. Thursday, I changed the sheets on the bed. And slept the rest of the day. (See a pattern here? I’m a slow learner… but I eventually figured it out.)

When little bits of energy would bubble up, I would answer emails from my supervisor… feeling frustrated that I couldn’t help with the workload. But I was told that everyone who has come down with this bug has been out at least a week. A week. So I should stay home and get well!!

Thank GOD I have sick leave, I thought on more than one occasion. Thank GOD I don’t face a penalty at my job for actually being sick.

The week has been full of productive things like emptying boxes of tissues, sweating through pajamas and having weird dreams. As in…

I dreamed that Ken and I stopped by to pick up some things for our beloved Gardener and partner. They needed a delivery of supplies, including a cow. Yes. A lovely black and white Guernsey cow, which we were able to buy off the floor at Lowe’s and take to our car. And she very nicely climbed in the back of my Subaru, placidly knelt down, and we drove her out to their place, while she hung her head over the seat and chewed her cud.

OK, that never happened. But I woke up just a little confused because I could still SEE the cow in my dreams… standing in Lowe’s… getting in the back of my Forester… hanging out very comfortably…

WOW. That Tamiflu is some really good stuff.

My brain is starting to work a little today, and I’ve been thinking about how this illness will help inform my pastoral work. (It’s an occupational hazard.) So here goes…

  1. Absolutely NO precautions are 100%. I guarantee you that I was exposed to the flu by the guy behind me on my flight last week who was coughing and sneezing and announcing to his seat mates, “I feel like crap.” “I feel like I was hit by a truck.” He probably exposed the whole airplane with his airborne snot factory projectiles. Thanks. Dude. Even so, WASH YOUR HANDS. COVER YOUR SNEEZE. Don’t be a jerk.
  2. Stay Home Guilt-Free. There is nothing more helpful for getting well than not making someone feel guilty for staying home when they are sick. Seriously. My boss said, PLEASE stay home. Get well. Most people are out a week.  Now I was certain that I would be back at work by Thursday. Or Friday at the latest. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Nope. Nope. Nope.
  3. Getting well takes energy. It also includes eating well. It also includes not being asked to make decisions about eating and drinking when you don’t feel well. Lesson learned: Offer. Would you like orange juice or water? Would you like soup or toast? My family gets the A+ on this one.
  4. Lower your expectations. Not only will the laundry not get done, but the ill person won’t care. The dishes will sit in the sink. The bed won’t get made. The reading project you were going to work on? FUGGEDABOUDIT. Sleep. Seriously. SLEEP.
  5. Ignore useless advice. Someone proudly said that they didn’t get these bugs because they always wash their hands and eat well. PUHLEESE. I am “religious” about hand washing (ahahaha — get it?) and I got this thing anyway. Some bugs are just very contagious. And I eat fairly well, even green vegetables thankyouverymuch. (With the exception of things which are gross like Brussels sprouts. Because there’s no way those stink bombs should be food.) And I take probiotics and yada yada yada. Save it.
  6. Stay home until you are well. (See #2 above). It is my firm desire to preach on Sunday… but I’m not there yet. It’s only Friday… I hopefully will be better… and not touch anyone who is immunocompromised if I do go to church.
  7. If you have dreams about cows riding in your car, you are still sick. Stay. Home.

Yeah, I’d rather have had a more “productive” week. But I will settle for being healthy, instead.

I think I’m on the mend.

A picture is worth 10,000 people. At least.

equality  I believe that two people, regardless of race or gender, who have committed themselves to one another, deserve the right to have legal protections under the law.

That’s a bold statement. In writing it, I have lost friends on Facebook, gotten some chastising emails, and made people wonder “what happened”.

Nothing has happened. I’m still married. We still have 2 wonderful daughters, 3 cats, 1 snake, and a herd of dustbunnies. I still believe in the Trinity: Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifer. I believe in the saving work of Jesus.

I am simply stating what I believe.

There are organizations which I have participated in the past who will now no longer invite me to serve. I am sorry they feel that way, but like many other Americans, I think that there is a basic civil liberty at stake here.

To my friends and fellow believers who are upset, I still care about you. I still believe in God’s love being for each one of us, individually,completely and without reservation. I will gladly stand and sing in worship to our God, lifting my hands and voice in praise. I’ll pray with you for your worries, your fears, your families, your illnesses and believe that God is bigger than anything we hold in our hearts as our private pain.

To those whom I have offended in the past, or have been insensitive to your own struggles and issues, I ask your forgiveness.

Several years ago, I chose two “life verses” (as if one’s life could be capsulized into a few Bible verses? I know, I know…) They still ring true in my heart:

8The Lord God has told us
what is right
and what he demands:
“See that justice is done,
let mercy be your first concern,
and humbly obey your God.”
Micah 6:8

1I patiently waited, Lord,
for you to hear my prayer.
You listened and pulled me
from a lonely pit
full of mud and mire.
You let me stand on a rock
with my feet firm,
and you gave me a new song,
a song of praise to you.
Many will see this,
and they will honor
and trust
you, the Lord God.
Psalm 40:1-3

I’ll keep learning, walking and growing. I will not abandon my faith nor my trust in God. Join me.