Monday, February 18, 2008

Of course, it could be gas

Two of my colleagues and I are trying to get my title phrase here to catch on with the students. They have some of the dumbest things to say: "Kill yourself" is a popular one which infuriates me no end, among multiple other idiotic and meaningless phrases and sayings. I sound like a crotchety old woman (crotchety. should check the etymology of this word. is that how you spell etymology?), I know, but I have been sick for nearly three weeks, and you should know that I am a very, very pathetic sick person.

I'm not often sick and it's hard to get me to go lie down. It's like I'm seven and I think that I'm going to miss something if I go back to my bedroom for a nap. Don is forever attempting to get me to do the right thing, but alas, I am untrainable. I get bored. I get restless. I need Theraflu or Nyquil to make it happen, but I don't like that drugged up feeling during the day. And this makes me laugh-- the Samantha of 20 years ago lived for that drugged up feeling whenever she could find it.

Anyway, I'm sick and besides avoiding sleeping and drinking the amount of fluids I should drink (again, my husband is the reason I do anything right when it comes to this: brings me cups of hot tea; EmergenC fizzy vitamin C drink; Airborne drink, etc.), I usually, at some point, begin to suspect that I am dying.

You think I'm kidding?

Seriously, I started to develop this reaction to stress and illness about 4 years ago-- about the time that a friend of mine died from a blood clot to her lungs. She was a year or two younger than me, had been married one year, was a faculty member at Parson's in New York City, and generally seemed fine. Her husband had taken her to Disney World for their anniversary, she got up in the morning and was stretching her legs because they hurt, and next thing you know she had collapsed in the bathroom. The beautiful girl who always knew just the right color of lipstick to wear and had always had a perfect word of encouragement for me whenever she saw me was lying in a casket and it was ridiculous.

I've struggled with the fear of death ever since. It has loosened its grip over the last year or two, but it lurks. Before that, I was always afraid that I was pregnant. I'm either dying or pregnant. So extreme. Maybe it is, in fact, just gas.

When I was in middle school a friend of mine spent the night over-- hey, I should ask her if she remembers this... we teach together at Heritage now-- and I couldn't breathe. My parents took me to the hospital and they ran a bunch of tests on me all night and by the morning, the doctor-- barely suppressing a laugh-- concluded that I had a really bad case of gas. His prescription was to stop, um, keeping it in. Yeah.

But what do I have to fear of death, really? (not that gas will kill you, though some people's gas.. yikes) Oh my gosh, what is it about death? A friend of ours died on Saturday-- he had been struggling with cancer for the last couple of years while walking with his daughter through a pretty intense disease that wanted to basically melt all of her internal organs (this is a fairly chipper blog, huh?). And yesterday morning, it hit me like a ton of bricks: Rock knows all the answers now. He is standing in the presence of God. Right. This. Minute. Wow.

Anyway, I'm insane. Every commercial is about some form of cancer, so I think it's a sign. My lungs are tight and I sound like everyone I know right now-- congested, mucous-y-- but mine is some exotic form of Monkey Flu or something. Don has gone on a short trip with the youth group and I cried like a baby on his shoulder before he left. Pitiful.

Alright, so I'm back to the couch and a book that two of my students demanded that I read (some tear jerker about a kid with, of course, cancer) over the holiday. I have three gallons of hot tea, Halls cough drops and a heating pad (why? Not sure-- they just always seem to make you feel better). Of course, it could be gas. Either way, I think I'll make an appointment for the doctor.

Just to rule out Monkey Flu. Or gas.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Love this guy

Check out this crazy artist-- the song, "Jerusalem," is amazing. I need to do some more homework on him (Matisyahu), but all of the songs I have heard by this guy are really awesome-- usually straight from scripture or songs of prayer. Looks to be Orthodox Jew... More later--


Monday, February 4, 2008

...then came the rain

It's funny, coming out from under a cloud of doom. Have you ever made it through a car wreck or a really bad breakup or a scary point in a movie and realized all of a sudden that you needed to breathe again? Paralyzed by fear or anxiety, the world locks up on you and then, when it all smoothes out again, your arms are still locked on the wheel and your foot is still slamming down on the brake or you're still bracing for another hit... and it's over.

I haven't walked outside since Thursday evening.

I'm serious. Until about 3 hours ago, I have been holed up in my house alternately covered up with piles of blankets or sweating like I paid for it, but inside. When I walked outside a few hours ago, fever-free and clean at last, it felt like spring. I went inside and it was winter and Don was staring down the barrell of all kinds of trouble and when I came out, it was a little balmy and he had the look of life about him again. Nice, coming outside again.

Also, I wanted to post this fantastic quote that I read on my friend Kevin's facebook page. He's a serious, serious Jack Kerouac fan and that is officially one of my favorite things about Kevin-- he's this young, hip reporter for NPR who is fully capable of having intelligent, meaningful conversations about God and faith and his own feelings about things-- and he genuinely likes a poet that most people only wish they liked and whose name they drop without conviction. I'm ashamed to admit that I probably have more in common with the latter of those two.

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'”
-Jack Kerouac


Friday, February 1, 2008


I'm sick, so I can't write much-- but I did want to give a big old shout out to GOD! It is resolved and there is peace!! I'll figure out what I can share later, but my testimony is this: LO, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will FEAR NO EVIL... because God is so with us...