The Girls Take Care of Themselves

When you work in healthcare you get sick a lot. Those are just the facts of life. When people are feverish or vomiting you can’t rush out of the room to avoid contagion because you are the one contracted to help those people. You just have to accept that at some point, it’s going to be your turn. The problem is, it’s hard to find people to take your place. You don’t really have time to get well. You have to hurry up and get back to the job at hand so, at least in healthcare, taking a sick day is never a relaxing thing. I ended up with an upper respiratory infection that had me feverish for 5 days straight. I had pink eye in both eyes and laryngitis. All of my muscles and bones ached as if i was running some marathon, as if i was in some eternal work-out regiment that i couldn’t quit. I could get no relief from the pain. I had a constant multi-day headache that felt like someone was splitting my brain in half by pulling it apart from the sides. Light and noise bothered me to no end. I kept the tiny house curtains closed, the lights off, and tried to stay very still and quiet. I waited for the agony to end but it never ended because i couldn’t rest. I could only sleep 4 hours at a time. When the alarm went off i had to go to the bathroom, shake the little dropper of antibiotic eye drops and put two in each eye. The eye drops burned as if i had put chilis in my eyes and turned the entire eye pink for an hour afterwards but the side effects of the drops were better than my eyes swelling shut from the pink eye itself. I was delirious and in agony. I was stumbling around the tiny house, dehydrated and feverish, full of pink eye and making occasional pleas to God to help me so that i may go back to work and get back on top of my life. I was so tired. I craved a whole 8 hours of sleep but i couldn’t miss a scheduled eye drop or i ran the risk of vision loss and needing another dose of the uber-expensive antibiotic drops. During all of this the girls were existing somewhere on the property. They spent most of the day outside. Then at some point when i found myself on the floor near the dog food bin i would reach an arm in and pull out a scoop. I would put it in a couple bowls and go back to bed. I didn’t even separate them. They had to fight each other to get their fair share. The puppy eats the puppy version of the dog food…she ate the adult version for a week, cuz her food was on top of the refrigerator and i couldn’t lift it down in the state i was in so i gave her her sister’s. I put water out in the same unscheduled way. At points during each day they got some kind of food and some kind of water. They would come back in the house and i’d confirm they were still alive. I was in no condition to run things but, when you live alone, you have to. There’s no one else. Usually, Sili slept with me and Cashew slept in the crate, as she was still potty training and not to be trusted overnight. However, in the state i was in, i couldn’t have cared if they had sh*t everywhere in the house. It wouldn’t have mattered. I did not care what they did at night and i couldn’t get up to put them in the crates. I was really not well. So they slept on the floor. At one point, at 4 in the morning, i looked over and they were sleeping on each other all curled up. I realized that they had really stepped up. They were taking care of themselves because at the moment, i couldn’t.

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