This morning, I opened up Skype and typed to my book author partner, “Are you ready for some coughing?”
Like he had a choice. Welcome to Day 6 of what I’m calling #Bronchitis2014. It’s different from #Bronchitis2013 in that on this year’s Day 2, I had TV cameras from the CBS Evening News* follow me around the supermarket for a segment on inflation and families.
Because when you wake up with a fever, you put on makeup and a bright sweater as a diversion, and head to the meat department with a camera crew in tow.
This is not “taking it easy” as my doctor, who had prescribed antibiotics for me last week, suggested. That came over the weekend when I slept a lot, watched the Olympics on TV, and made it to Jr. Gemstalker level through a ridiculous number of games of Bejeweled.
And now, the comeback. Always the comeback. I can’t even count how many comebacks I’ve had, big and small, from illnesses and injuries, both physical and emotional. Each one has its own backstory and its own goal, tailored to my energy, my time, and my situation. Each one makes me who I am:
The first time I was able to eat dinner with both hands after holding and consoling a colicky baby every night for months.
The first time I walked (shuffled, really) up the hill to go to my neighbor’s house after six months of cancer treatments.
The first time I remembered I couldn’t drop by to visit my Aunt Nancy after she’d passed too young.
The first solid food after the stomach flu, the first fall weekend after my soccer coaching career ended, the first sink I snaked after my ex moved out.
The first song to play on my iPod after I left divorce court: “Carry On” by Fun.
People call me a “survivor,” and that’s true, but aren’t we all, really? Because life is a series of everyday comebacks, big and small, from illnesses and injuries both physical and emotional. It’s how you handle the comebacks that makes you who you are.
Camera crew optional.
*Watch the CBS Evening News this weekend to see how well I can cover up bronchitis with concealer and blush.