Wednesday, August 14, 2019

How My Sinus Infection Reminded Me to Forgive My Mom For Letting Go

She knew.We didn't.

I am a weenie when it comes to illness. That is probably the result of having been blessed with great genes and the fact that I have been blessed with great health throughout my 60 years. It is not all attributable to clean. healthy living. The fact that I survived the fall of 1977 through 1984 is a gift from the Angels.

For the first time since my flu event that began New Years Eve 1998, I have been sick enough to require more than one day away from work. Yes, more than 20 years. I am used to feeling great most of the time. But a sinus infection has stopped me in my tracks. If you look up symptoms of a sinus infection, I've experienced every one in some form over the past 10 days. I kept thinking it would get better. I haven't had a serious sinus infection since 1997. I was also concerned about developing pneumonia and decided to visit my internist, hoping he would allay my fear of pneumonia and give me a miracle drug to make it all go away.

As I was walking into the Medical Arts Building II, I was all of a sudden overcome with grief and guilt that I, a person with a mere sinus infection, had carried anger at my mom for 2 1/2 years for giving up, at the age of 86, after bilateral breast cancer, fractured vertebrae, and the knowledge her cancer had returned for a third time. I cried at my lack of empathy for all she had been through, even though I knew what she had experienced, because I'd felt in some way she should have fought to stay with us. That was selfish. After just one week of my feeling terrible, I know that my new prescription for Amoxicillin will have me back in my state of normalcy in a few days. I don't know how I would deal with the knowledge it was never going to be better?

So, 22 hours after my first miracle pill, I am on the mend, but reminded that I am fortunate. Maybe this episode was meant to reignite my empathy for those with chronic or terminal illness. I've released my resentment of mom and of myself for my attitude. I'll also try harder to understand another family member's periodic drama queen episodes, knowing how she has struggled to live a normal life, with an autoimmune disorder that took years to diagnosis after changing her life overnight, and continues to takes its toll on her organs.

Sometime an unexpected negative can have some positive results.

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