23 May 2009
This past week I have come closer to having the hot breath of death on the back of my neck than any time I can remember. All I can say is, Mr. Death needs a breath mint. Now that I have put some distance between him, and myself, I can breathe a little easier.
I'm not sure what it was, I think it was some kind of mind manipulation. One consolation, I have a mind that can be manipulated. For the past month, the media has given so much coverage about this swine flu outbreak that my body took it rather seriously. I did not know my body was listening, but obviously, it took everything to heart.
I was sure I did not have the swine flu; it was more like the canine flu because I was barking every other minute. How I encountered this canine flu, is something I cannot figure out. I just put it down as a matter of misguided osmosis. As far as I can remember, no dog has laid a paw on me for at least six months.
It is just the way my mind works. When my mind makes up its mind, it does not mind if I mind. My mind hears one thing and jumps to a conclusion whether it is the right conclusion or not. It heard swine flu and by the time it had run through its process, my body had the canine flu.
My biggest concern about the canine flu was, are there any fleas involved? The barking I can handle, the scratching is what drives me crazy.
Whatever I had, it kept me in bed for the better part of three days. My eyes were bleary with tears; my nose ran as if it was practicing for a marathon and I coughed my throat raw.
I must say I would not have gotten through this medical emergency without the good work and care of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. She served as my own personal Clara Barton, and kept me from getting cross. Her work was tireless and effective... especially the part of working on my nerves.
She insisted on monitoring my medical application throughout my ordeal.
I would awaken drowsy from a drug-induced stupor only to hear her say, "Did you take your medicine?" I mumbled something, which must have been a yes, because immediately she was popping pills into my mouth and forcing me to wash it down with water.
Then, according to her medical aptitude, when a person is in my state of health they need plenty of liquids. There was a constant supply of orange juice, water, hot tea with honey, water, iced tea, water. All of this was interspersed with generous doses of cough syrup.
She then tucked me in bed and off to the office she went leaving me to settle into a daze of quietness that was most relaxing.
Not being a regular drug user, I was not familiar with the state of mind accompanying such activity. No sooner had I closed my eyes and drifted off into sleep when I began hallucinating. I was seeing and hearing things not there. Of course, who is to say that they were not there? At the time, they seem quite real to me.
For one entire morning, my entertainment was these fascinating hallucinations. I no sooner convinced myself that this was simply a drug-induced hallucination and would soon pass but another problem developed.
When the hallucinations subsided, I sighed a deep sigh of relief and lay back in my bed. It took all the energy I had just to close my eyes. I figured it would take three hours to recover the strength I used in that activity alone. I did not care, I was not going anywhere.
When I say I was not going anywhere, I did not quite mean it. It was about this time all the morning liquid applications began their retribution. And believe me, I was not hallucinating. Although the bathroom was only 10 feet away, it might as well have been 10 miles away. Through bleary, teary eyes, I could barely make out the door from where I was laying.
Two severe problems addressed me at the time. I did not have the energy to set up in bed, never mind getting out of bed and walking 10 feet to the bathroom. On the other hand, if I did not find that energy somewhere, I would have a much bigger problem on my hands.
About this time, I began having a coughing spell, which, as you can imagine, exasperated my present condition, making my trip to the bathroom more of an urgency than before.
It was at this moment that my thoughts drifted back to my wife. If only she were here, she would know what to do. Actually, I knew what to do; I did not have the energy or the strength.
"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Hebrews 13:5-6 KJV).
When everyone else has forsaken you, for whatever reason, you can always count on God.
Rev. James L. Snyder