While Twitter is battling over ESPN’s decision to award the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Caitlyn Jenner instead of Lauren Hill, I’ve been battling over something much more present, but possibly less important to the world at large, especially Twitter.
A couple nights ago, I woke up with some itchiness. As it managed to keep me awake the whole rest of the night, I was able to ascertain that I had somehow acquired a big old hairy case of urticaria, also known as hives. I’ve been living my life for quite awhile flat out, with little margin for error, or for the misery of hives. Dr. Google told me they usually last for 6-12 hours, so that was my reference point. With no benadryl in the house, I had to wait until 6am to speed down to my local grocery and pounce on the allergy section. I had two benadryl in my system before I left the parking lot.
Yesterday was a rough day. I vacillated between feeling like I was going to go crazy from itching, to a couple hours here and there of benadryl-induced sleep. The doctor would be in my future if I didn’t wake up today 98% better. As it happened, I woke up 0% better. My sister had spent the night, tending to me, which if you don’t have a sister like this, let me tell you, you’re missing out.
Went to the doctor, told my story, got poked and prodded, received a prescription and went home. Oh, and the doctor gave me a zyrtec tablet, which is an anti-histamine. Her conclusion was that she thought my body was reacting to stress. Whenever I mention having a son who is in recovery from drug addiction, those who quantify stress shake their heads knowingly that this truly counts as a stressful situation.
Strange thing; before I had a chance to take the first dose of my medicine, I slept hard for a few hours. When I woke, the hives had improved dramatically. So weird. Five hours ago I was in agony and had been for 30 hours. Three hours later, I’m close to being fine. But I’ll take it!
I believe there is a connection between the mind and the body and that illnesses we have are ways of our body expressing something that is true in our lives. What spoke to me during this time was the importance of being able to receive. As is true for many women, I find it quite difficult to be on the receiving end of anything. But I recognize that that is a sort of pride, you know? I’m too [capable, perfect, unworthy] to receive.
As I think about the idea of receiving, I think about Kepler. He brings so much joy to people, just by being his sweet self. None of us earn his love and affection. He gives them freely. Who am I to decide that I don’t deserve it? We all are deserving of being loved.
Having hives has given me the opportunity to receive love and support from my sister, my husband, my mother, my daughter, my other daughter, my two older sons, Kepler, and even a few more people. And some of these outpourings of love were not of insignificant exertion! Whether or not there is objective fact in the understanding I have about the connection between hives and the importance of receiving, I know that receiving and giving are both human things to do. They are both loving things to do.
So, thank you, Universe, for the agony of itchy hives. Thank you for the loving gifts my family and friends lavish on me for no reason other than they love me. Thank you for the gift of feeling better.