It has taken every recovery tool I've ever learned to get through the past five days, and it looks like I can't put that toolbox away just yet. This morning I came down with Greta's cold.
I want to say, though, that there was one bright spot in the week. Yesterday was our town's annual celebration/craft fair. It was a gorgeous, hot, summery day. I was pried out of my boredom and isolation, and spent the day chatting with friends and customers, talking to people I hadn't seen in a long time. Yesterday I felt completely connected.
Her fever went away for a few hours yesterday morning, but otherwise is maintaining at a steady 100 degrees. Doctor says there is nothing to do but wait it out. She sits like a lump with a thousand-yard stare, numbly watching episode after episode of The Suite Life of Zach and Cody on Netflixs, coughing that scary barking cough and blowing her nose. Every now and then I push fluid, a piece of dry toast or a Popsicle, but she's weak. She has lost three pounds in five days.
Yesterday her left eye swelled nearly shut. We gave her Benadryl and iced it and it went away, eventually. Today she woke up with an orange coating on her tongue. No explanation was found for that either. The emotional roller coaster of scary symptoms, long nights and brief moments of feeling better are wearing me down.
I dutifully held Greta's hair and stroked her back while she was sick, wrapped a bandage around Finn's thankfully-not-too-bad cut, and finished cleaning up the dog mess. Then I sat on my couch and cried, softly, so the kids couldn't hear.
After a good cathartic cry I felt better. I mentally wiped the slate clean, started my day over - a trick I learned from friends in recovery. Don't like how your day is going? Start again. I got down on my knees and prayed, again, for the strength to get through another day. I prayed for gratitude and perspective, because although things weren't going well, they could be a whole lot worse.