Being Sick Is A Lonely Endeavor

I don't know how it's possible, but I feel even worse than I did yesterday. And that's physically as well as mentally.

My little family is one of those LA conundrums that has refused to buy a second car. My husband and I have always managed to work it out so that one of us is working either in the neighborhood or in a location that's easily accessible from the subway. We've managed to work it out like this for eight years and even though it's sometimes a true headache when our schedules get really busy, it's not so bad and we're saving the environment that much more.

Last year for my job I used to easily spend 2-3 hours a day in the car, driving to various schools. So now that I'm lucky enough to be writing from home and doing some PR for a local band, also from home, my commute time has been boiled down to a ten minute walk, give or take a few minutes depending on how slowly the little one drags his feet.

Yes, my "commute" is walking my sons to and from school.

I like getting the exercise and it's a good time to talk to my boys. It's weird how they open up about things in a different way when we're walking together.

I do this walk three times a day: I walk my kids to school in the morning. I walk to pick up my youngest from pre-k. Then I walk to pick up my eldest in the afternoon. What is that? 50-60 minutes of walking in this lovely city? Yes, it's definitely good exercise.

Lately though, my youngest has refused to walk. He says his legs get tired going up and down the hills. So I let him ride on my shoulders. And that's normally cool...when I don't have a fever and it's not 87 degrees out.

Today, short stuff just could not understand that if he rode on my shoulders we might both fall over. My eldest son was so concerned that he offered to carry his 35 pound little brother on his back. They actually tried it too. I would have laughed on another day but today, I just couldn't see the humor.

Today it just made me profoundly sad. Here I am, sick as a dog, and I have no one I can call and ask, "Hey, can you please go drop my kids off at school?" I have no family here. My closest friend is five miles away and she barely can get herself out the door in the morning, let alone come over here to get my kids.

Besides, the dropping off isn't the biggest problem. It's the picking up piece. The school will not release kids to someone who's not on the emergency card and I seriously felt like if I called any of my friends and said, "Go pick up my kids for me because I have a raging fever and I feel like I'm going to die," they would have been like, "Huh?".

Fevers are just not that big of a deal in our world. You get your ass up, take some DayQuil and go to work. I took the DayQuil and surprisingly, it had almost ZERO effect. And my husband, you ask? He gets the fun task of leaving the house at 5 AM to be at his job by 6:00. He works a good 25 miles away and is driving with traffic.

Yes, I'm whining and feeling sorry for myself.

Yes, I actually cried over this earlier tonight.

But truly, being sick is a lonely endeavor.


Anonymous said…
I feel your pain. That is the pain of catching whatever is out there that everyone and their mama is catching. Not a good feeling. Try Theraflu, the natural lemon flavor. It knocked it right out of me...just in time for my flight to NYC tomorrow. Of course, my friend and I have tickets to The Color Purple on Saturday!! The producers and stagehands had better get back to that bargaining table before Saturday at 8 pm. :)

Get well.

P.S. It takes a village, so find someone you can trust to put on that emergency card....
Jen said…
I'm so sorry. Seriously. And I remember those days to a "T".

But do whatever you have to to take care of yourself, because those things can escalate, and your whole family needs you.

Maybe DH has to stay home for a day or two, if at ALL possible.
Mes Deux Cents said…
Hi Liz,

Maybe it's time for a second car. From what you say you won't be driving it that far and maybe not everyday, so the impact on the environment will be minimal.

That might relieve some pressure during times like this.

Feel better.
Jameil said…
awww!! poor liztastic!! i hate being sick! *hugging you from pittsburgh*
Liz Dwyer said…
I'm so glad you are better for your trip! I'm feeling better this morning as well. Thank Goodness! I ate three garlic cloves and took TheraFlu. Whew!

I hope you get to see the show and that the stagehand walkout is over by the time you all get there.

I think next time I'm sick they just have to stay home from school, which is not ideal, but I probably could have gotten better more quickly if I'd just been able to sleep. They're good boys when they're home so I don't have to worry too much about them setting fire to anything. I wish my husband could have stayed home but he can't.

I've definitely thought about it but I also like not having a car payment! Maybe I can find a little beater to drive around the neighborhood though.

Thanks for the hug! Lord knows I need it. I seriously hate being sick and I'm the biggest baby on earth!
Liz, I hope you feel better. It's hard to be out here without neighbors you can called on in a pinch or family.

I have never felt so alone out here (and I do often) than when I am sick. My parents live thousands of miles away in the Caribbean and both siblings are on the east coast.
Toni Campbell said…
You took the words right out of my mouth. Every time I get sick it is not the illness that is most troubling, it is the fact that there is no one around for me to send to the store for medicine & food. I believe that whining & feeling sorry for yourself actually speeds up the healing process. And crying loosens up the congestion!!:)
Kari Carlson said…
loneliness hits us at the most interesting moments. it hit me hard when i came home from a trip and due to travel delays arrived at midway after midnight. i couldn't think of ONE person i could call for a ride at that time on a weeknight. and then i immediately thought of all the driving i do for others and felt super duper lonely.

of course, things change constantly in chicago so now i could make a list of willing chauffers.
Liz Dwyer said…
I know you know exactly how I feel. I think if folks haven't lived in LA they can't really understand what a lonely city this can sometimes be, especially when you're sick.

I'm starting to feel better so the tears must have done some good!
Anonymous said…
Well this is a good time for me to beg you once again - MOVE CLOSER TO ME!!!!!I would have picked up the kids, fed them, let them spend the night and taken them to school the next day!!!!LOL You know I couldn't resist.
Liz Dwyer said…
I have often felt that who could I call if I was sitting on the side of the road at 2 AM? I could probably call a couple of folks, but I sometimes feel like I couldn't. My very best friend who lived here moved away a couple of years ago and I suppose I still haven't really recovered from that.

Hah hah. I wish. But, um, you could move yourself out here! Then your kids would have TWO aunties within driving distance.
Anonymous said…
I'm sorry to hear that your cold has not subsided. Unfortunately, the world does not stop when us moms fall ill. I feel myself heading down the same path,thanks to my kids, so I rushed out to Wholefoods tonight and purchased a box of Gypsy Cold Care. The guy swears it works. We'll see! Feel better soon.

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