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March 22, 2008

I’m coming out of the tunnel of dreadful sickness. I’m no wuss, really–I tend to gauge all pain by the measure of labor, and nothing in my experience comes close to that–but I was in tears, yesterday, as I bared my tonsils for a diagnosis. Strep. Strep that had crept up to my eardrum, apparently. I had shooting pain between my throat and my right ear. I couldn’t swallow. Couldn’t speak. Could hardly move my head (this made driving all the more pleasant). This for the girl who declares that she doesn’t get sick. Mostly. And apparently, this girl, who is me, jinxed things by saying that. And as I sat there on that infamous crinkly paper, awaiting my prescriptions, I watched my daughters’ faces.

Chiara and Mira had accompanied me, despite the fact that it was a school day. Mira complained of a sore throat when she woke up and I knew that there was no way I’d be able to finesse the morning routine anyway. Each step was painful. I gripped my face when I moved, as though doing so would actually ease the pain. Sort of the same thing as thinking that biting my hand in the last stages of labor with my delightful, but large craniumed, third child would somehow quench the ring of fire.

So I kept the girls home, promptly forgot to call the school and let them know, and set out to somehow survive the day feeling worse than I had in many years. Many. And after exerting much effort to get Graysen to daycare and drop Soren at his homeschooling friend’s house, I finally reached the sanctified space that is the doctor’s office. I felt desperation like never before. Waiting to be seen was excruciating. Showing my fiery throat to the searchlight even more so.

Tears fogged my vision despite my best efforts to keep it together. I don’t cry easily. When I finally collected myself I looked at my girls. Both stared at me with wide, worried eyes. Mira’s chin quivered. I squeezed her hand, told her with my eyes that I would be fine. That all was okay. Would be okay.

Three doses of antibiotics later, I’ve come through the tunnel and my girls regard me with that generally blase gaze that tells me all is right with their world now. Their lives, thank goodness, are mostly boring once again.

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