Tuesday Morning Press 16 — The Not-Graphic Norovirus Philosophical Edition and more


I lost six pounds yesterday.

Today was the first time I’d seen my kitchen in 36 hours; I have three sons and a husband. Today’s state of the kitchen confirmed that.

I haven’t hugged my kids since Sunday night. I haven’t hugged anyone since Sunday night.

It’s hard, this lack of personal contact with those we love most. It gets me thinking.

My first tidbit for you: You will be pleased to know that iPads and iPhones can withstand Lysol spray.

We’d had a wonderful weekend; I started a post waxing nostalgic for my family of origin and the one I’d created with my wonderful husband of almost 19 years. I woke Sunday morning feeling like I’d partied like Rod Stewart in the 80s (I know, right? I just wrote what came to my mind) but I hadn’t. 

I couldn’t get my thoughts together because I was apparently in the grips of the oncoming Norovirus that overwhelmed my gastric system yesterday morning until last night.  I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say that when you’ve stared down the loo seven times in as many hours only to return to your bed where everything irritates you and you want to watch TV, but not that one; you want to read a book, but not that one; and you want to talk to someone on the phone but not that person… you’ve had a life-changing experience.

I would simply just fall asleep every now and then too. I am grateful for the brownie and ice cream I had Sunday night, it gave me the calories I’d likely needed for the next day, but my tank was empty Monday morning and that, my friends, is an awful feeling. The hideousness began just before 8:00am and continued in onslaughts of pain and nausea followed by an almost manic state of reprieve only to be followed by more pain and nausea until about 4:00pm. It took me 10 hours to drink 12 ounces of ginger ale only to revisit it soon after each sip. After that, I ranged between mildly uncomfortable to hostage-taking heights of discomfort. Around 9:00pm last night I summoned the courage to take two Tylenol and endeavor sleep, which I couldn’t wait to begin. Despite mostly laying in bed for more than 20 hours, I was desperate for slumber.

Every trip and “respite” afforded me insights that I don’t think I would have appreciated at another time in my life. I’m 45 now. Life has literally passed me by. I am standing at the bus stop watching the cars go by. But I’m not really that bad off. I’m just realizing, turbo acutely, that I’m not gonna get another yesterday (you can have my yesterday), or today, again.

No matter how glib or flippant I may seem, even clever (I might add) that there’s no point in pissing away my life worrying about really stupid stuff.

When you hear your body make sounds you didn’t think it was possible to make, and you feel simultaneous chill and vaporizing heat, you enter some sort of rabbit’s hole, so to speak, and you learn to separate the wheat from the chaff real quick. I gained an insight into what fear does to me and how stupid we can be in the face of it.

I will start by declaring my space and my personal rights:

There is a bully in the blogosphere. This blogger has maligned me to people and Fiction Fridays due to its own severe insecurity that it has put on display on its Facebook page time and again in a pathetic attempt to garner fans. I have said this time and again: Fan numbers don’t mean squat. Quality matters; sincerity and authenticity and genuine humility matter. This blogger appears vacant of those qualities and it brings me little pleasure to write about it; however, I have been bolstered by my new band, “Vomit and The Loo,” appearing yesterday only, and this blogger can suck it. This blogger has created and continues to create its own vortex of drama and demise; this blogger’s minions will retire eventually as the Universe sees through you, darling blogger. We are a small circle. To quote one of my favorite movie lines of all time (Gladiator), “The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end.” That is all. Cheers.

Moving on … nothing to see here …

If you have been following me, you are savvy that I’ve been repeatedly unwell with random illnesses the past month. I posted yesterday: “Norovirus has checked in. Don’t send chicken soup.” Many people replied with comments of well wishes and advice on the management of the illness; I am very grateful.

My immune system has been put through the gauntlet, not the metal glove, but the second reference: “military: to receive blows while running between two rows of men with sticks.” That gauntlet. All of my kids have been sick as well, placed on various antibiotics to cure them. A little horn-tooting: Last week, I wrote a post about the dangers of antibacterial soaps and cleaners and I am thrilled to say that it has enjoyed more shares, more likes and more traffic than anything I’ve ever written. Please read it and heed its warning: THROW OUT THE ANTIBACS. The horrid reality of the antibacterials is this: THEY ARE MAKING US SICKER. STOP USING THEM; I am sure I got sick — YET AGAIN — because my kids are coming home with antibacsoap all over them. We don’t use them in my house. EVER.

That post even got more shares than my candid and humorous post about my own challenges with Pre-Menstrual Disphoric Disorder PMDD (I have received comments from readers that men don’t believe it; LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING, “MEN“: that shit is real); if you know a moody someone with a uterus, please read it; PMDD can happen at any stage of life.

Despite that last comment I just made, I am on the mend. So today, on Facebook I posted, “I am alive.” People have responded affirmatively (thank goodness!), which makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing. But posting this stuff made me think, “What did we do before Facebook?” Well, we got out of bed and we went on with our day. For someone like me, a SAHM, there are myriad chores I have blown off: my kids’ rooms need to be painted and updated, I need to paint the wood trim around the house, I could edit my book more than I am… I could prepare dinner more quickly than I do… LAUNDRY… but really, I guess what SAHMs did before Facebook, at least according to Mad Men, is that many of them drank a lot. They were depressed. This staying at home stuff is hard; first, there’s isolation, then there’s boredom, and other stuff. I suppose with Facebook, at least people can communicate.

Another Norovirus-inspired question: What did I do before blogging? Why blog? — I’ve read a couple posts lately where bloggers have sort of come out to defend (wrong word, but right tone) their blogs. I suppose I could do the same; I won’t. I blog because I can. If no one reads it does it make it less valuable an exercise to me? No. But both of you do read it, so that’s why I do it as well. I write because you read; you read therefore I write. At times I blather, like now; other times I am a freaking madwoman resource. I know that what I do brings value to me and at times to you. If nothing else, you know that there is one less abstract-thinking person on the road because I am here writing. That must bring you some relief…. eh?

Moving on… ps –  I am NOT A MOMMY BLOGGER. Please don’t ever make that mistake about me. There is nothing wrong with that tribe of bloggers, but it’s just not my gig.

This past weekend was our Second Christmas. I posted this on my Grass Oil Facebook fan page, mostly because I’m leery of posting stuff my dad reads, even though he is subscribed to this blog…

Yesterday, my sibs, parents and I gathered our broods to celebrate our second Christmas as the snow gently fell around us outside my home. My heart swelled with overwhelming gratitude that we shared those 27 hours together as I drove home from the airport today after bidding my brother and his family farewell. Our parents are aging, precipitously, and I can’t help but think the time together was perfect because it might’ve been the last best time for our mom.

Forgive me for the maudlin post, I just needed to express something on this wall instead of my personal one. I don’t understand the phenomenon of public disclosures like this, but I understand how they can help us feel heard and not so alone.

My mother’s health is failing. She will be 79 in June; she has let herself go for years, I’ve witnessed it most of my life; she has been lost emotionally and tactically. She has suffered so much loss in her life as well; the kinds of loss no one should have to bear, but these are her stories to tell. Our relationship has always been strained but my love for her is abiding; she means well, she just had trouble connecting the dots.

I’ve alluded to this before in my posts, but I came from no small measure of dysfunction. My parents’ relationship at times reminds me of the film, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” starring no one else but Hollywood heavy-hitters and likely arch rivals, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis; I truly marvel at how they’ve managed to stay together.

Now my sibs and I are preparing the next stages for their twilight years. It will be an uphill battle as my mother likely suffers from dementia and my father can be stubborn and difficult. But he came to us this time… so far, no inciting crisis to address, just woe and weariness. I will likely write about this more. I used to keep it under wraps because I fear my father’s judgement and his unrealistic assessment of my fame so I hope that doesn’t bring you down. I know that I will be writing about this for my sanity, from my perspective because as much as this is a situation of theirs, it’s a story of mine as well. I’ll likely come up with a theme so you can decide to not read it when I post. But the fact of the matter is: we all get old and we all die. This will be good for me to do.

Thank you.

9 responses »

  1. You bring up an interesting question about stories. Where does one person’s story end and another person’s begin. Who has a right to tell that story? I struggle with these questions myself. I think sometimes you have to write for your own well being and just hope the people in your life can understand.

    I hope no more sickness comes into your home! You need a break.

    Good advice to not sweat the little stuff and to pay attention to what is real and what matters. Being that sick really gives you a fresh perspective! I know from experience.

    • I feel like if I share intimate details about someone else’s life, then it’s not mine. I can talk about how *I* feel about that situation, but it’s not mine to talk about devastation; I can only surmise and decide to share how it affected me. MINE. that’s MY story about someone else’s. I feel as though the line is clear for me; consider a death from a DUI. we can’t really talk about the driver other than to suggest the obvious: drinking was involved; to draw conclusions about what led that person to drink and drive is not ours; what IS ours is how our lives are changed because of that choice.

      My parents and their stories are theirs… their CHOICES and how they rolled out at least into my tiny cosmos… that’s MINE. i feel as the years go on with my parents, that i might become more raw, and if i don’t sort of … distill it now, or at least begin the process, with real eyes seeing things real-time through my own filter, i might look back with either unrealistic rose-lenses or unhinged vitriol; but the way i will present it here, as usual, will be intact and in the moment. it’s all i know.

      yes, being really sick has cleared up a lot of shit from my fan. i can’t be afraid of idiots anymore. ox

  2. Glad to hear you are feeling better. Nothing like a little illness to give us some perspective. I’m sorry to hear about your bully. That’s not a good time. At some point I would love to correspond with you — off bloggy. But I will let you feel better first. Loved your comment about the Bills over at my place. Come back and leave a comment for Tingo Tuesday and win a chance for a month of linky-love! 😉

    • TINGO TUESDAY?! Where do I sign up? I’ll jump all over that. It’s really great to hear from you, Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson (longest name in history).

      Yes, I am up and at ’em so to speak. I saw your comment on Clearly Kristal today and I got a case of the warm & fuzzies so I bopped over to your site and when I saw that post about the Bills, I thought, “heck to the yeah…time to comment!”

      Please send me a note at mjtfield@verizon.net; I would love to catch up. Also, yes, the blog bullies can suck it. It has been a rough road for me. I wonder at times why I do this at all, but it’s because I can… 🙂

      Thank you for swinging by, I’ll definitely check out Tingo Tuesday.

    • Oy. Four days. I thought I was ok last night and I had a bite of pizza; not ready. Just read a CNN story about it; it’s everywhere. My oldest barged last night, ANNNND I can be reinfected. Super. It’s bad. Thanks for swinging by. I am glad you are on the mend, J.


  3. I’m glad you’re better. I know that feeling of not knowing “what you want.” It’s awful. Exhausted agitation. Can’t do anything, can’t do nothing. Good times.

    Love ya.

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