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Mothers Don't Get Sick Days

Columnist Lynn Nankervis discusses the idea that life doesn't stop even when mom doesn't feel well

Mothers Don't Get Sick Days

Anyone remember the "Brady Bunch" episode where barely a single “achoo” escapes Cindy and the entire family is rushing her into bed?

A commercial break later and both Cindy and Carol Brady, also known as mom, are recuperating at home following tonsillectomies. The family doctor is bedside along with Mike Brady, and housekeeper Alice stands by with bowls of ice cream.

It’s a good thing most of us can distinguish between reality and TV land or we could all be really messed up.

I am typically a twice-a-year cold sufferer and was really priding myself on the fact that I had gone 15 months without so much as a sniffle when I got hit with the king of colds this past weekend. And, of course, it was a completely inopportune time - not that there is ever a convenient time to be sick.

Friday afternoon the tickle appeared in my throat - I'm sure you know the fear - that "Oh, please, not now, I can't possibly be getting sick NOW" - feeling.

No such luck!

By Friday night I knew what was coming. I woke up Saturday morning feeling - and I'll even admit looking - like death warmed over. My head was cloudy and congested and I was coughing and sneezing and raspy voiced and wheezing.

In other words, just plain miserable!

Pretty much all I wanted to do was go right back to bed but my son Matthew was competing that day in the Regional Special Olympics Summer Games at USF and there was no way I was going to miss that.

So I mustered all the enthusiasm I could and I cheered, I hollered, I rooted, while simultaneously sneezing and blowing my nose. I actually carried a bottle of Nyquil in my purse and, at one point during a break between Matthew’s two events (running long jump and 200-meter dash), I left my husband in charge of walking around with the kids and I went to the car for a shot of Nyquil and a quick nap.

The misery of my cold was completely worth it, though, to see Matthew win gold medals in both events.

Sunday arrived and I didn’t feel any better. In fact, I was worse.

Wallowing in self-pity, I made myself as comfortable as possible on the sofa, Kleenex box in hand, and attempted to rest while children wandered in and out of the room every couple of minutes to ask things like:

“Mom, have you seen my other shoe that looks like this one?”

I opened one eye menacingly and glared at the teenager standing above me, one Nike tennis shoe in hand.

Or, “Mom, can you drive me, Alison and Melissa to the mall?"

Another glare, followed by a croaky, "Are you kidding me? Are you seriously kidding me," before a fit of coughing erupted.

And, “Mom, Michael just put a bag of microwave popcorn in the microwave and set the timer for 17 minutes.”

OK, that one got me up off the sofa and fast - and if you’ve ever tried to rid your house of the odor of burned popcorn you totally get why.

Somewhere mid-Sunday afternoon I remembered that this week is also spring break so I wouldn’t even have the luxury of sending the children to school on Monday and burying myself back under the blankets for a day of recuperation.

Mothers, it seems, don’t get sick days.

The good news is that it's now Wednesday and somehow, someway, I survived. 

And sometimes just surviving is good enough!

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