Monday, February 23, 2009

The Voldemort of Illnesses

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.                                                 -Proverbs 27:1

I started laughing when I read this passage.

I had talked to my friend Kathy on the phone the other night and we spoke in our usual, very careful, code that allows us to talk of something without boasting… or even so much as letting the word escape our lips.

Pneumonia.

It’s my own personal Voldemort – the illness that must not be named.

She said, in her subtle yet knowing tone: “Uhmm… it’s almost the end of February. You know? Don’t say it. But, you know?”

Yes,” I replied, as I heard her knock on wood and I tried to remember if the salt should be thrown over my right shoulder or my left, “never seeing human beings is really paying off.”

Because I’m not actually superstitious, I feel like it’s safe to tell you all that this is the first winter since 2003 I haven’t either been in the hospital or had home nursing come to my house because of pneumonia. It’s the first time I’ve gone a full year without getting that major illness.

I haven’t had to spend a week in the hospital. I haven’t had to have nurses coming in and out of my house every day. I haven’t had to worry about infected picc lines and breathing treatments. And, above all else, I haven’t had to have rosephin and steroid shots in my hips for 14 consecutive days. And, believe me, my hips are thanking me for it.

That great result hasn’t come without some very diligent sacrifice. I stopped trying to travel home, which was beneficial from a pain standpoint, but also because the strain of it wore my body down too much. I’m certain not going out in public helped from a germ standpoint, but that was an unintentional side effect of not being able to breathe the outside air, I’m afraid. But the hardest part: my friends have had to stay away. A lot.

I have gone months at a time when the only human beings I came in contact with were Dawn, who cleans my house, Linda, who gets my groceries, and Ron, who delivers my prescriptions. Winter is tough around here with colds and viruses and flu bugs… and the plain and simple truth is that someone could walk in here with an ear infection and I can get pneumonia. So when my friends are healthy, I am the happiest woman on the planet. Suz was just able to visit last week for the first time in ages… her cough seemed to hold on forever. And my friend Jenny and I have decided to stop trying to plan a lunch date because, inevitably, the day before she’ll get a cold. A cold that doesn’t lay her out in bed or stop her life, but one that would end up doing that to mine.

So, after I hung up with Kathy the other night I sat down to check some blogs and got on Twitter to chat with a few people, and it occurred to me that this technology, to me, is the same as when people have children. At some point they sit back and say, “What did we ever do before these people came into our lives and kept us so busy? We must have been so boring…”

I sat there and thought, what would I have done all last summer and this winter when I became so confined? Life would have been so boring. So tedious. So lonely. But I get to come here every day and read your comments, which mean more than you know. I read your blogs and have conversations with total strangers who have become dear friends.

I have never had a year where I’ve been more isolated, and it happened to be the year that I’ve met the most amazing people. Thanks so much for keeping me sane, peeps… my life must have been so boring before you came along!

66 comments:

  1. oh this made me so teary reading it!!! what you don't know is how blessed I feel to have "met" you this year. you are one of my favorite friends in this blog community. if I'm tellin my mama about you, know you are special. ;-) HA!! :*

    Recent blog post: Eventful Weekend….for us. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. what the heck is a voldermort????? *DONT_KNOW*

    Recent blog post: Eventful Weekend….for us. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. :) Voldemort is the evil dude in Harry Potter. Everyone in the wizarding world didn't speak his name for fear of his powerful magic. Rather than say Voldemort, they would say "He who must not be named."

    I loved Harry Potter. I'm still in withdrawal from those books!

    Recent blog post: The Voldemort of Illnesses

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tell your mama I think you're pretty great too :)

    Recent blog post: The Voldemort of Illnesses

    ReplyDelete
  5. God is faithful. in so many ways.

    i see His faithfulness all over your life. and i see it in His bringing you into mine.

    Recent blog post: everything’s right

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, sweet friend. That's why I can't be mad about how my life is... because too many beautiful things come along with it that I wouldn't trade for the world. You being one of them :)

    Side note: love that new photo!

    Recent blog post: The Voldemort of Illnesses

    ReplyDelete
  7. I got teary reading this too! It's crazy how you can become friends with someone, close friends even, without ever having met them in person.

    Since Mother Nature can't make up her mind, things are starting to bloom down here. Maybe we can call winter over and done with, and that's less for you to worry about? Here's hoping! :-D

    Recent blog post: Tanner

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are precious to me, too, Gitz. It is wonderful that you haven't had pneumonia this year! I am so thankful. You have given us so much as well. I can't imagine having spent all these months without your encouragement, your inspiration, and your great sense of humor!

    Don't even get me started on Riley. :)

    You are a tremendous blessing to us, your readers. We love you. I love you.

    Recent blog post: JuJu's Birthday

    ReplyDelete
  9. Giving thanks today for your good year. It has been a pleasure to "meet" you and get to know you a little bit. Want to share a post with you that a friend did yesterday, and to tell you that you are indeed a "woman of strength" - she says it better than I could: http://matteroffactsite.blogspot.com/2009/02/im-not-strong-womanbut-i-am-woman-of.html

    I will never, ever doubt the effect Riley has had on your health, either! Puppies are so good for us!

    Recent blog post: A Day of Drama: Smells Like Chicken

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jessica Schim TurnerFebruary 23, 2009 at 6:07 AM

    I know it has been hard, but I am so glad that V has not come knocking. love you.

    Recent blog post: A New Way to Sleep

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a great post. I could have written that last part myself. My illness has left me very isolated as well but the people I have "met" in the blogging world have helped me through. What a great connection the Lord has made. He is so good to bring us what we need when we need it.

    Praising God for a pneumonia free year for you.

    Recent blog post: Checking In

    ReplyDelete
  12. You're in prayers and thoughts whenever I read your blog.
    I've lucked out, til this past week, on not being sick myself this winter. Not the same I know...
    Prayers for continued good health!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just want to say I love how you write Gitz, and that I'm glad your health has been so good this year. Praise God!

    Recent blog post: History Schmistory - Freakin’ Part V

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am so thankful that you haven't got sick this year. Praise God! i know it must be hard not being able to get out like you would like, so I am elated that you have found other ways of staying in touch with everyone and keeping busy. I would go crazy if we didn't have internet...what did we use to do?

    I was thinking the other day of people who would be good hopecoaches at the hopeline, where I volunteer, and I thought about you. You have an awesome perception on life and truly know the Father and what being in His presence is about.

    I am thankful for your blog =-X

    Recent blog post: I won! I won!

    ReplyDelete
  15. What's your patronus? Probably a little white puppy, right? In any case, you obviously have some new powerful wizardry working in your favor, and I'm glad to hear it.

    Btw, have you ever listened to the Harry Potter series in audio book form? Jim Dale has got to be the most awesome narrator in the world. Each character in HP has their own unique voice, and it's so entertaining to listen to. I recommend them if you haven't tried audio yet, even though you've read all the books before.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'll try to keep my gushing in check :-D I hope you always know how much of a blessing you are to me! The beauty in all of this is how symbiotic the whole blog world experience seems to be. You are the epitome of gathering and scattering :) You scatter well my dear... your faith, all your words, your cute dog, your gift of friendship, your wit and humor... see gushing :-[ So if anyone earned some time out from pneumonia, despite everything else you still have to endure, it would be your sweet self! Love and blessings to you and Riley pup, today and every day! :) :) :)

    Recent blog post: Happy 9th Birthday Madison Leigh!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I found your blog one day after reading comments on Pioneer Woman. And, I must say YOU have been a blessing to ME.
    Nancy

    ReplyDelete
  18. Mary @ Giving Up On PerfectFebruary 23, 2009 at 9:19 AM

    Hmmm...funny how God knows these things will come and prepares us, isn't it? :) I'm so glad you've found a way to deal with the isolation. I've also been isolated this last year, and you're right - I don't know what I'd have done without this online community!

    Recent blog post: Carnival Week: Not Me Monday

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm so glad we can share with you. Your joy and faith are inspirational. I'm rejoicing with you on this year of good health and technology that keeps us close to those we can't visit with often.

    Recent blog post: Old Faithful

    ReplyDelete
  20. I too am in withdrawal from the lack of new Harry Potter material. Such a sad day when I finished the last book.

    Recent blog post: I have been consumed

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am so happy to hear that you have not had pneumonia anytime soon. I used to get pneumonia and bronchitis at the same time yearly, right around Christmas time. It was not unusual for me to miss a month of school because of it! My lungs have gotten better and this is no longer the case, thankfully.

    Recent blog post: I have been consumed

    ReplyDelete
  22. You make me [want to] cry.
    I don't cry.
    But if I did... You would've started waterfall on my face. :'(

    Recent blog post: 5 to 5

    ReplyDelete
  23. Woo hoo for no illness!

    Recent blog post: Free Movie 02/16/09

    ReplyDelete
  24. Robin Rane' All Things Heart and HomeFebruary 23, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    Oh Sweet Pea if you could just know how very much of a blessing you are...take this morning...I jumped up at 5 and checked my phone for YOUR twitters from last night during the Oscars! I don't get any twitters on my phone except yours! I love being connected with you...you're awesome. XOXOXO

    Recent blog post: Super Scrappy Bookmarks

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm honored to be one of your peeps...I truly am!

    Recent blog post: Having Fun With The Boys

    ReplyDelete
  26. You are such a Blessing! I am so thrilled to read of your walks in Faith! Bless your heart sweet girl! ;)

    Recent blog post: Menu Plan Monday

    ReplyDelete
  27. Sara,

    You are such a sweetheart. Praise God that you haven't gotten sick this year and I'll continue to pray that you DON'T!! Amen to that, sister! Just so you know, I am so thankful for you and your wonderful thoughts that you openly share with all of us. You brighten my days and make me proud to call you my friend!

    Love,
    Jess :)

    Recent blog post: First Pair of Shoes

    ReplyDelete
  28. We just had a bit more snow this weekend here... I am so ready for green grass and sunshine and singing birds!!!

    Recent blog post: The Voldemort of Illnesses

    ReplyDelete
  29. If Riley ever goes missing, I'm looking at you as the first culprit :) You need a dog.

    Thanks for the always kind words...

    Recent blog post: The Voldemort of Illnesses

    ReplyDelete
  30. I just went and read that post... really cool poem. Thanks for pointing me there and thinking I fit in that category.

    And yes, Riley above all else keeps me sane! Hope your Lucky has a good day today, and that his food area stays clean ;)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ok, I hope everyone reads these comments just so they can see your avitar photo of Elias. Talk about the best part of finding the blog world! Kiss the little man for me.

    ReplyDelete
  32. "what we need when we need it" ... I swear that's the story of my life!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks for the prayers... and I hope you start feeling better soon! Some of these bugs that are going around sound brutal!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks, David... so fun to see you here when I'm used to seeing you on Twitter!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks, Steph... I always love when you write about your experiences at hopeline. Just another example of technology really making a sincere, personal impact on people. It's a great thing you do.

    ReplyDelete
  36. hahahaha! I never thought about my patronus before... but yes, a white pup would be perfect. Small, so easy to produce, but quite powerful and protective once you get to know them! :-D I might have to check out the audio books...

    ReplyDelete
  37. Silly girl... I think you all forgot that I was gushing on you all in this post, not asking you to gush on me. :-[ But you are always good for my spirits, chickie, and I appreciate it. :* [and I see you're enjoying the new emoticons =-X]

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks, Nancy. It's amazing how we find each other randomly on blogs, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  39. You're so right, Mary [I still want to call you Photoqueen ;)]... so many times I look back on things in my life, like starting this blog, and realize, "Oh... THAT'S why I did that. Perfect."

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks, Kristy! My friend Suz, who lives in town, and I were Skyping last night. I love how technology connects us even when we aren't that far away. And am so glad it connected me to all of you!

    BTW, that baby of yours in your avi is SCRUMPTIOUS.

    Recent blog post: The Voldemort of Illnesses

    ReplyDelete
  41. Oh, Jess... I'm SO glad you don't go through that anymore. It's so exhausting, isn't it? Glad you are well and hope you stay that way. Besides, you have way too much cross-stitching to do to be laid up :)

    Recent blog post: The Voldemort of Illnesses

    ReplyDelete
  42. My sentiments exactly!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. I feel so very fortunate that you have started this blog as well. In the recent years, it was so hard to know the best way to stay in contact with you, and I am so sad to say, that I just didn't. Finding your blog and getting to hear from you every day has been an amazing gift to me. I am so thankful that you do this.

    Also, for those of you Harry Potter fans, have you read the Twilight books? I was totally NOT excited about reading a vampire story, but my friend made me promise to read it. She said, while I was buying the first one, I should just go ahead and buy all four because she was so sure I would love them. Then she added that if I didn't, she would buy them from me! Well...I did buy them...and I wasn't sorry. They are awesome and very difficult to put down.

    ReplyDelete
  44. :) You probably had a lot to read... it was fun watching them with "the gang" on twitter. I actually fell asleep "early" around 3am... so the world went 2 hours without one of us awake... it's a wonder they managed!!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  45. Right back at ya, neas... hope that leg is healing well and you get home to that hubby soon!!!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hey, Brianna... I just saw your email this morning; thanks for the kind words. Glad you're here!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thanks, girlie... that's so sweet and kind. I appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Heidi, I feel the exact same way... I am SO glad this brought us back in touch, truly.

    And I LOVED the Twilight series. I have my friend Kathy on the lookout for when the movie is on DVD so I can watch it IMMEDIATELY since I couldn't go to the theater. I know it won't be as good as the book, but at least it's something. :) I think I might have to have someone secretly video HP this summer when it comes out ... I'm not sure I have the patience to wait for the DVD... =-X

    ReplyDelete
  49. No need to cry... just super grateful I met you. :) And I need to get over to your blog to see if your new music is up yet... I really should get your fan club up and running soon...

    ReplyDelete
  50. Okay Sara...I am so nooob to this comment thingie here. Not sure if I'm using it right. I am honored to have joined your peep community! I look forward each day to reading your posts and I don't think I could make it without you for a week so I am thrilled that the "P" hasn't found you this winter. I know you pay for that in other ways and I hope that in time you'll have more of a balance instead of having to pay so fully without visits from your gal pals. Hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Mary @ Giving Up On PerfectFebruary 23, 2009 at 2:16 PM

    I know - it was fun being "Photoqueen," but I decided I wanted people to
    really know ME - and part of that is MY name! :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. You did it perfectly, Aubien! :) If you put your blog address in the URL field, starting with http://www.... then it will post a link to your latest entry so people can easily check your blog. Kind of fun, eh?

    Recent blog post: Flashback Friday: It’s a Yahweh Chewyday

    ReplyDelete
  53. I am thankful you choose to share you time with me through your blog and Twitter. It is great to make new friends and the Internet has opened up the new whole world of people for us to meet.

    The word community has taken on a new meaning. Being apart of this community has enriched my life. I look forward each day to sharing it with you.



    Recent blog post: Life Rolls On

    ReplyDelete
  54. Oh how I know what you mean. What a way to bridge the gap of life when you can invite folks into your world and learn so much from them. YOU my dear are a blessing to me!

    Recent blog post: Next Time Won't You Sing With...

    ReplyDelete
  55. It really does open up the world, doesn't it Ed? I love how small the world can become...

    ReplyDelete
  56. And that it opens your worlds up to me is just as fun :)

    ReplyDelete
  57. Bless you, sweet girl! You bring more joy and inspiration to us than we could ever bring to you! HUGS!!

    Recent blog post: adventure beckons!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Thanks, Marla... but I'd beg to differ. You have no idea how sane you people keep me!!! Just left a message on your latest post... I so relate to your "photos of nothing exciting"!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thanks for your comment on my blog! Honestly? I would love a blog post about the book you're reading. I'm nerdy like that. :)

    Recent blog post: adventure beckons!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Okay, so I just realized that you replied to me on here. FUN! And I also realized that my last blog post shows up. FUN! Your blog is like a PARTY!!!!

    Recent blog post: adventure beckons!

    ReplyDelete
  61. HA! I just installed the new comment system and it's supposed to email my reply to the person as long as they listed their email. I LOVE that part, but I really got it so all of your blog posts would show up. I figured more people will check out each other's blogs that way.

    Just trying to keep everyone on their toes! :)

    ReplyDelete
  62. I just got the e-mails!! How FUN! And now I'm going to leave you alone. I promise. ;)

    Recent blog post: adventure beckons!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Wow. And I thought we were the ones blessed to have found you in the this amazing world called cyberspace and blogland. ;) You are an amazing woman, with an even more amazing heart and outlook on life despite the seeming unfairness of your circumstances. You challenge all of us on a daily basis to stop sweating the small stuff in life, and embrace the life full of abundant blessings that we have. Life is what you choose to make it. YOU have helped me realize that. Thank you. And I know I don't know you in person, but I can say that I truly love you my dear blog friend. And am so blessed to have found you.

    Recent blog post: Debt Massacre 2009

    ReplyDelete
  64. It goes both ways, Rach... I would never have imagined people I will never meet in my lifetime could become so important to me, but they have. And you are definitely on that list.

    Recent blog post: The Voldemort of Illnesses

    ReplyDelete
  65. You are so kind and appreciative. It IS the Little Things.
    Being a stay at home mom of a toddler and running a horse breeding business, I don't get time to follow/read blogs like I'd like (I try to comment on yours when I can). I've cut myself back to 5 now- with yours' as one of them. You give me that perspective I need. You have a reason and purpose, for people like me, that are sometimes selfish and unappreciative of the Little Things.
    I thank you for that and YOU.

    ReplyDelete
  66. YOU have helped me. So many times I have gone to other blogs and read your responses and I had to sit there a moment to hold back tears. You reach so many people. Know that. I am glad and incredibly BLOWN over that I can call you friend.

    Recent blog post: Unique Piece Of Luggage

    ReplyDelete