Mental Fog

I’m not feeling very well. I didn’t end up succumbing to the strep throat my husband had. At least not yet. My sons have produced volumes of mucous. Meanwhile I and my epic immune system sailed through. I haven’t actually succumbed – yet – but I can tell I’m teetering.

I woke up last night sometime in the dark hours, my throat on aflame and my cough hacking. I didn’t figure I’d be making it to work today. I gazed bleary into the bathroom mirror and took some ibuprofen. Somehow, though, when morning came I just felt sodden again. I cuddled my young son and then talked myself into facing another day. I don’t really know how to take a sick day anymore. It’s been years since I’ve taken a sick day and just laid on the couch watching bad tv and eating soup from a can.

One of the things I hate about being kind of sick (and let me just make clear – I’m very grateful that I’m not ACTUALLY sick) is the sort of fog it creates. My neck hurts. My eyes don’t want to focus. My chest seems heavier, as though I’m breathing something heavier that Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide. Perhaps Mucosium instead. The screen swims a bit as I type. My rarely razor-sharp focus takes on even blunter, more-distractable edges. I have trouble focusing. There’s this odd combination of not being entirely sure where my time is going and having the day stretch out interminably. Decisions are hard to come by.

Then when I get home, I don’t have the energy to be nearly as present as I desire to be. I’m a little foggy answering my children. I don’t really listen to what they’re telling me – a cardinal sin in my parenting lexicon. I have trouble listening to the ideas my mother-in-law overflows with, and considering their implications.

I don’t really know what I want except I suspect it involves sloth. Lots of sloth. Computer games and books and baseball on tv. Of course, that’s not what this weekend holds. I have some sloth scheduled for tonight, but tomorrow morning starts with a 9:30 personnel meeting, an 11:30 funeral to play taps, a dentist appointment for Grey and aikido for Grey. Thane is at this tough tough stage where he fusses and cries because he wants to be big and isn’t. He wants to talk and can’t. He wants to walk and is afraid. Childhood is productive frustration – sometimes more than others.

I want to be so many things: a good wife, a good mother, a good daughter-in-law, a good citizen, a good friend, a good cook, a good church member (never mind the much harder good Christian), a good employee, a good, well, me. I have trouble enough balancing all this when I’m at the top of my game. Through the fog of mild sickness I can see the goal posts, but I don’t feel like I stand a hope in the world of reaching them. I don’t even think I can try for a field goal from this distance.

Guess I better punt, do my best, and wait for my white cells to clobber the offense. Goooooo team!

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

One thought on “Mental Fog”

  1. There is nothing duller
    Than feeling unspecifically off-color.

    I know, I have no room to talk, but why didn’t you go to the doctor? My husband had strept — that is reason enough. Listen to your body.

    Love, The Hypocrite


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