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It's much more uncomfortable to be on it no matter the choice that's required to get off it
Everyone in my immediate family has recently found themselves perched on top of a fence. I’ve come to appreciate this type of view is at the expense of increasing tension the longer you linger. The relief that ensues once I or other’s I’ve watched finally choose to jump off and land on one “side” is, as my youngest would say, “REMARKABLE!”
At 8 am I perched myself for the first time on what would become a day (and night) of increasing intervals of fence sitting. This first round lasted less than 30 seconds as I chose a dose of acetaminophenin an effort to ease the newly discovered irritation in my throat.
I gargled with a cocktail of hydrogen peroxide and lukewarm tap water and took my work’s prescribed COVID-19 test.
I drank tea with dollops of honey as I “zoom-rounded”with my team in the hospital. I could speak and swallow with mild discomfort that noticeably did not abate despite the interventions intended to mitigate the pain. So after several trials of these maneuvers spread over the course of the day I escalated the intensity of interventions with the addition of ibuprofen.
My throat failed to notice.
Despite the return of a negative COVID-19 test at 8 pm, my throat continued to demand attention.
At 10 pm, after additional doses of medications and sips of freshly heated tea, I was “REMARKABLE-y!”able to enjoy a warm plate of vegetables thoughtfully carried home by my husband after his dinner meeting.
He was exhausted and went to bed.
Instead of joining him I decided to sit on the fence.
I began noticing how moving my head caused new sharp pangs. Like a razor slicing through my throat. Unlikely the result of the soft sauteed broccoli or satisfying steamed zucchini I somehow swallowed only moments before.
I crawled onto my son, Josh’s bed, with his beloved cat, Zeus. Josh was at college so didn’t notice. Zeus was on his bed so did. Instantly on high alert, his purrs began before I reached for his head.
When I tried to lie back my throat felt oddly though undeniably heavy. I decided it best to curl on my knees and lean forward onto Zeus.
Only later would I come to realize just how precarious fence sitting could be.
At midnight, I knew sleep was off the table (or the bed for that matter). I walked up stairs to my kitchen to find the perfect container as a restrainer: aka a spit cup.
Zeus stayed close. He followed me to the kitchen. Rubbing against my ankles as I rummaged through the cupboard. Trotting downstairs with the soft pads of his paws making a not-so-soft thud on each step as he followed me back to Josh’s room. Jumping up into bed and re-engaging his purr as I leaned my forehead onto his back, until I had to sit up and spit. Then returning once more, like a bobbing bird trying to empty a bottomless glass.Sit up. Lean over. Lean forward. Repeat. Sit up. Lean over. Lean forward. Repeat. Once the spit filled the cup halfway, I’d make my way to the bathroom to empty, rinse and return. Sit up. Lean over. Lean forward. Repeat.
It was going to be a very long night.
As my throat become increasingly needy, I needed something outside the realm of medication to help me (and Zeus) get comfortable with my bobbing.
At first, I turned to music. (You’d know the songs if I’d given them to you already. Which is a perfect segue to this important update).
All of you are due a song! A few, an entire album!! I have not forgotten. I realize now I may not have made the “terms of fulfillment”clear.
I picked a round number (100 journeyers) to join our throng before I start delivering each song. If you’ve read each installment then you know my commitment to keeping promises. If you are itching or fidgeting (hopefully not bobbing) as you await this promised (and I promise very special) delivery, you can help by inviting! We’re well on our way so it won’t take long if we each welcome a companion to come along:)
It’s easier (and much safer) to come down off the fence when people who love us are ready to catch us no matter which side we choose. If you’re on a fence, no matter its height, the next installment will consider the benefits of preparing your catcher. (No mitt required:) I’m holding out my arms for you because I am so glad YOU ARE HERE.
A favorite exclamation of my son, Kalel, adopted from the fantastically hilarious play, “The Foreigner” by Larry Shue. This phrase was one of the many highlights by actor, Michael Doherty, as the lead role of Charlie Baker, in the 2018 production by the Utah Shakespeare Festival. If you ever get the chance to see the play or Michael Doherty or ideally BOTH, you do not want to miss it! You’re welcome:)
Over-the-counter pain relief medicine more commonly known as Tylenol. I am not endorsing any brand (unless, of course I clearly am:) In this moment I am not.
You already know the result. This is a moment of backstory to fill in what has already transpired.
The term, “rounding” is what clinicians use when visiting patients admitted to the hospital first thing in the morning. It helps us set the plan for the day, check in on how things have been going overnight and determine what we need to address sooner rather than later. On this day, I was required to round via “zoom” appearing like Max Headroom* on an iPad-on-wheels the on-site team rolled around the hospital. (*You can look this reference up:)
You really want to see this play!
My carnivorous husband made the best of a forced-vegetarian meal by knowing I would enjoy whatever he brought home AND that he would treat himself to a fried chicken meal from a take-out spot on his way home.
The art and design of a perfect spit cup: (something I hope you never need learn, though just in case)… A very tall, heavy plastic** cup with a handle. Wide enough both at the mouth and the base so you don’t miss grabbing it and so it doesn’t topple over when you miss grabbing it…. because when you are sick enough to need a spit cup, your aim is not what it could be. (**Though I am no fan of plastic for the sake of our planet, for the sake of your relationships and your finger and toe-tips, knocking over plastic is far gentler than ceramic).
You know the ones. They go by names like Dippy, Drinking or Dunking Birds. They are filled with colored liquid in red, blue or purple, with little top hats. I’m sure I’ve even seen some with boa feathers that flutter as they bob. I hadn’t thought of a boa (the feathered kind) as I searched for distraction. I’m sure Zeus would have appreciated it if I had.
Completely made up by me… because I can:)