This title, which I stole from of Linda at Life on a Colorado Farm, gave me pause.
I’m typing this from my son’s hospital room. Andrew, 19, who gets wiped out by the common cold…
…but is otherwise healthy as a horse, active, joyful, and independent, contracted the Epstein-Barr virus and developed a disease known as mononucleosis, a.k.a. mono.
At best victims get a sore throat, fatigue, fever, and body aches that lay them out for a couple weeks and linger for about a month. Emphasis on at best. Swollen lymph nodes and tonsils are also typical. Common complications include an inflamed liver with associated blood problems, a swollen spleen, and nervous system issues. It usually takes two or three months to run its course.
Why am I being textbooky and boring? Because MY son can’t be. Oh no! He has only half of the normal symptoms, but the worst ones; the inflamed liver thing; and pneumonia, which is a WTH?! complication. So lots of things conspiring to keep him in the hospital. And my child’s hospital room is my hotel room. Today there is lots more to ask for.
I wonder how this scenario would have played out a hundred years ago, or more? Can you imagine? So often we romanticize the past, when people dressed nicer, had finer manners, or lived “simpler.”
Honestly, though, how many of us would have survived to the age we are now? Would we still be able to see or hear? How many teeth would we have? Or limbs? How much pain would we live with every day? If I had been born a century earlier I probably wouldn’t have survived childhood. My daughter wouldn’t have survived infancy. My 19-year-old son would be dying right now.
To be sure, modern medicine isn’t perfect, but today we are here. We have lived to adulthood serviceably intact. Andrew is ill and uncomfortable but far, far from death. Today, I will not ask for more than that.