I woke up last week, battling to breathe. I have had struggles with my lungs in the past, to the point where I have suffered respiratory arrest. Of course, this didn’t stop me smoking unfiltered Turkish cigarettes as a youngster, a fact that now makes me cringe. The damage that my spine has suffered has compromised my breathing, so if I catch a virus, I feel it ferociously. A doctor who administers Botox on the side was able to see me, his secretary pulling faces as he repeated orders that she had already seen to. He had forgotten that she can pre-empt his every move. He is a raconteur, a larger-than-life medico. He was straight onto what needed to be done to help me breathe.
I started on my steroids and various medications, unable to lift my head from the pillow. My little girl put the washing out, fed me and schooled herself, using online resources. I was drenched in sweat from my fever, and drifted in and out of disjointed, fitful sleeps. A dear friend who is undergoing chemotherapy brought around soup and rolls. “I think it was Auntie Di,” my little girl said as she brought in my lunch. “She had a scarf over her face.” I was so glad she did! The next day, another friend left a bag at the back door. This lady is a single mum, and not well herself. To have friends call around when they are going through tough times themselves…A little girl called Blossie popped in with her mum to visit, and word of my pneumonia even hit the street. We found a little doll and card lovingly placed in our letterbox, overflowing with a local character’s best wishes. People offered to help in any way they could. It meant so much. To know people cared, and we weren’t alone. I am overjoyed that my daughter is able to see such striking examples of kindness. I could have got worse, and needed to be in hospital, and the assurance that friends were nearby helped alleviate a great deal of worry.
A container of soup is much more than it’s ingredients. It’s the energy of love, comfort and support. It says that you care, and want to nourish your loved one. Thankyou to my beautiful friends for being there. It’s back to the real world this week, and though I still feel weak, I am bolstered by the kindness shown. At this stage, my doctors won’t operate to provide pain relief to my spine, as it simply wouldn’t help. It is only when mechanically I need to be rebuilt so I can breathe easier that they will go in. I just need to get through winter, and then I will be okay for another year. I reckon I can do it! I have been reminded that I am not doing it alone.