Friday, April 4, 2008

Yin and Yang Take Sick Days.

The stairs looked impossible. Here we were, one of us marginally better than the other, both of us with some sort of bronchitis, at the bottom of the outdoor steps leading to our doctor’s office. Maybe we both moaned. I don’t know. I did. I was annoyed that I had to climb steps with compromised lung function.

So, after a two-hour-and-twenty-minute wait [“I guess it’s busy out there,” the doctor says ingenuously] he comes in. My sweetie pie has acute bronchitis. I am somehow less sick. He gets antibiotics. I decide to take Chinese herbs. A kind of race-you-to-the-finish-line deal.

We only went because he was so sick I made an executive decision to take us both for some expert advice. This was after two days of active moping, errands when I probably shouldn’t have been driving, and a lot of bad-movie watching. And moaning and complaining to each other about how terrible we felt. And drugged 11-hour nights of heavy sleeping aided by Nyquil. Which of course we had to go out and find because who keeps that crap in the house?

I had anxiously watched my husband for signs of something worse. My brother had just died of lung cancer which was misdiagnosed for two months back in the beginning of the awful odyssey as being a ‘hard’ pneumonia. Because he didn’t smoke. Hadn’t really been sick as an adult. Had he been a smoker, lung cancer would have been suspected and a tissue test forthcoming. Only when my brother begged for one did he find out what was really going on. So as I am watching my guy struggle with congestion, etc. I immediately go for the worst case scenario. When the doctor listened and said “I don’t hear any pneumonia” I breathed a sigh of relief. Twenty-four hours later, he is better and I can put that scary scenario away for now. I know he is better, because:

His yang energy is stronger. And how do I know that? Oh. Little things. Here are some of them:

“Are you going to be done with your email soon? I’d like to check mine.” Said in a peremptory tone of voice. Not the soft, sick tone he has been using.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but could we do something with the stuff on that chair so I can read later?” The stuff is cardboard and decorative papers and photos left over from my brother’s memorial service. My sister and I made up two large boards of pictures of the various aspects of my brother’s life. It was very hard to do, and a very good thing to do. I realize I don’t want to move it in order to hold onto my brother. There will be a lot more of this, I am sure. Okay. One thing at a time . . . I move it and it isn’t terrible. And I can always sit in the chair, too.

“Are there any clean clothes?” Uh, yeah. I’ve been quietly sneaking away from our nest in front of the TV to put clothes in the washer. They are not folded. [PLEASE.] But they are clean.

“I have to call some patients.” And he finds their numbers with no problem - definitely a ‘tell.’

“Do you think I can work Saturday?” Why don’t you ask if I think you are an idiot?

And best of all? “I’m hungry.”

And me. How do I know I’m getting better? What does yin do? I washed my hair, cleaned the kitchen, finished all the laundry [which is still not folded; but it is sorted], and heated up some soup. If I can manage it, I will change the sheets.

Afternoon arrives and our energies flag. He starts telling me that I better take it easy. He doesn't ask how I feel. It’s so perfectly yang protecting yin. He makes a place for me to sit down and draws me to him. I am cold and definitely overdid it. He is not moving, back in that place where he has definitely used up his energy. But I saw some blue sky and know tomorrow he will be better. Especially if we each take care of the other in the way we both do: I will watch him carefully and read him for signs he needs something; food, tea, water, vitamins; and he will let me go only so far before he demands I sit down . . . you’ve done enough, you must be tired. You have to rest, now, and so on. Maternal watch and offer, versus boundary setting. Yin and yang. Both are necessary.

I will have to be careful. Grief injures the lungs, according to Chinese medicine. My surviving brother is also sick with something very similar. The winter after my father died, all of us came down with bronchitis. So we need to take care of ourselves and balance crying and looking back with taking joy, again, from life, and looking ahead.

8 comments:

Stewart Dean said...

Holy Moley..."I'm hungry". My (20-year-old) son says that and I want to clout him. What horseshit.
My mother was nearly completely paralyzed with polio when I was a year old, and I grew up taking care of her and fixing my own hunger if it wasn't dinnertime. To hear this crap from a grown boy, in this, not a man, seriously pisses me off. Sure it's nice to do things for one another, but cosseting males as a general practice does them (and the women they will encounter) no favors.
Maybe today I will teach my son how to make ice cubes.....

Saint Brian the Godless said...

Hi Mary! (Hope you feel better!)

I'm Saint Brian the Godless... lol.

I happened onto your blog doing a google search for "yin and yang" and it was just the sort of thing I was looking for to demonstrate to my blogspot readers how to internalize the eternal opposites. Well done. So I added a link to your blog herre, to my blog. Hope you don't mind.

Best to you. Take care of that bronchitis. :-)

Brian

Saint Brian the Godless said...

Oh, and here's my place, if you're curious...
http://saintbrianthegodless.blogspot.com/

AmberlyThrower said...

奇怪~原來是這麼回事..................................................

皮東 said...

We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull, Some have weird names , and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.............................................

香蕉哥哥 said...

乳交挑逗淫婦色情俱樂部成人色情成人影片視訊網愛聊天室免費色情網情色區火辣美女情色性愛成人影音聊天成人色情網站全裸美女圖片成人裸照sex辣妹裸體美女全裸圖成人區av女情色內容情色自拍貼圖成人色情網性愛論壇一對多性伴侶成人聊天室撫摸淫美成人論壇女人奶頭女生自慰影片台灣女優美女視訊一絲不掛一夜正妹成人影像巨乳大奶子情色性愛貼圖情色王國做愛視訊火辣情色台灣情色網情色聊天網性愛技巧淫娃情色成人巨乳辣妹性愛知識性經驗

佩璇 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical...................................................

Martin K. said...

Sounds like someone could use a little more Yin in his attitude