Sick and Alone


I’m sick today. Nothing serious, just a bad cold.  I decided not to go to work. I was up at five am, and then passed out again until ten.

Only one local friend and my daughter know that I am home here alone.

I’ve thought more than once about what would happen if I were seriously ill. Two years ago, on a Sunday night, I felt very strange. I lost my appetite. I needed to walk around and my stomach was a bit sore.  Five hours later I thought I was having another baby, although I had by then succumbed to taking tylenol with an Oxycontin chaser. Oxycontin was left over from some other ailment, probably a migraine episode.

My ex’s migraines. He refused to get more effective medication for his migraines until I dragged his daughter to the neurologist when she came down with the same problem  at age nine. Consequently, I have a stockpile of vicodin and Osycontin, like most American homes, I suspect.

Long digression. The Oxyocntin didn’t work, and I was begging for a ride to the hospital by 11 pm.  I threw up on the ride.

There was already enough emotional distance between my ex and I that the nurse at the ER asked if he was a friend or a spouse. Pretty soon it didn’t matter. I was pumped full of Dilaudid and I didn’t give a damn who I was married to.

It was a kidney stone.

I’m not sure what my ex did. He did stay around and I had a scan and a lot more medication and then I threw up and they kept me longer and I went home in the early morning.  I spent the next day in bed.   I remember I asked for water and didn’t get any.

I was okay. It was a tiny stone, just in the wrong place.  Another day of pain killers, a follow up visit, a belly that felt like it had been punched a few times.

Today is not nearly so bad. I even ran to the bank.  Came back with a fever, but spent a good fifteen minutes outside the house. I had some things to eat, like tea and juice and strawberries and Top Ramen.  I spent most of the day on the couch, watching reruns of the West Wing and movies I’d seen before. I’ll probably go to work tomorrow with lots of Kleenex  and a store of ibuprofen in the car. 

I’ll drive slow and keep the bar low for the day. Thank goodness for guest speakers.

What scares me is …what happens next time? I am going to be living alone. Should I get an alarm button? I’m middle aged, not elderly, but if I couldn’t make it to a phone…or if I had an illness that required continued support or supervision? What then?  A friend of mine had a recurrence of long absent MS symptoms this past year. She has a husband and fairly active parents to help her.

I’m glad her family was there for her. I don’t have that.

I’m okay today.  I hope I will be tomorrow.  I need coping strategies for “sick, and single”.


3 comments on “Sick and Alone

  1. heya – – just checking in on you. I do hope you’re feeling better very soon. Wish I could bring you some of my famous matzo ball soup. Sick and Single is a tough one. Do you have any other single friends you could be one another’s check-in buddies during times like this? Sometimes the best “family” is someone else in the same position as you who can relate because “they’ve been there” and is grateful for reciprocation. I’m not saying misery loves company but two single women in the same boat would hopefully not get sick at the same time and can each vow to be there when the other one is. Just one idea…it’s a toughie. ;-( Best wishes for speedy recovery.

  2. Thanks for the check in. Yes, better today. Working from home…I sound like Marlo Thomas. I do have some people I could call on…I think I just need to make sure it’s okay with them, as I think about it. Wish I could sample that soup…I love Matzo ball soup! Thanks.

  3. I too have thought about what would happen if anything happened.

    I did had a home security system installed with remote control. The remote has a button I can press in an emergency and the police would come. So as long as I can get to the button, at least ‘someone’ would come.
    As for any long-term care ….. I have not figured that one out yet.
    So I focus on remaining as healthy as I can so that nothing serious eventuates 🙂

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