Blisters begin to materialize in my throat; I attempt to absolve the scratchiness and the sore-like sensation with water and hot tea. My eyelids become heavy and the fatigue only escalates as a headache ensues. My body is telling me to rest, to slow down, to stop what I’m doing.
In sickness, I’m compelled to stay inside and forego other plans; I’m forced to sit still. In the quiet, in the physiological discomfort, I have no choice but to think. When there is a nagging, unresolved issue, it will certainly rear its ugly head, even more-so, in sickness.
While lying in bed, sucking on a lemon-flavored lozenge, I’m jolted back to the time he told me that he’d share his bionic immunity, if he could. My immune system isn’t the greatest, and on that particular night, I had a legitimate flu. My feverish state encouraged me to reach out; in sickness, my desire to connect increases, my vulnerability intensifies. He expressed his get well wishes, and somehow, we got into a conversation about nutella. The details are a bit murky, but whatever we discussed made me smile. That I just know.
I flip my pillow over as the humid, May air seeps into the confines of my room. I sit up to turn on the air conditioner, an action that I deem as my personal start to summer, and I lie back down again, allowing the weight of my body to sink into the mattress. My hands clutch the purple blanket, and I fidget about, trying to find a trace of comfort.
I close my eyes and conjure up a memory from this past winter. I was already sifting through some medical concerns, so when my throat became blistery and the referred pain traveled to my ears, I felt anxious. I recall texting him, and I remember how he told me that a lot of it is mind over matter, and how I should nap while listening to Zero 7 on Pandora. It was the day before Christmas, and he was busy at work, but he still found ways to make me laugh. That I just know.
I open my eyes and take long sips of water. They’re no longer a message away anymore. In sickness, I have to confront. I have to reflect. And so I do, until I finally drift off to sleep.