“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…” – by Cara Potapshyn Meyers

I’m having difficulty finding an appropriate ending to that phrase. With a couple inches of snow that fell this past week, I could say that it is beginning to look a lot like Winter. Houses in my neighborhood have holiday decorations up (including mine). I could say it’s beginning to look a lot like the Holiday Season. I’ve dug out and decorated my home with a few holiday knick knacks. And there is gift wrap, bows, gift tags and assorted gifts strewn across my dining room table. That room definitely looks like the holidays are approaching. So why the difficulty in identifying an ending to my opening phrase? Because what is heavy on my mind right now is sickness.

My son has been sick with left lower lobe pneumonia since the weekend after Thanksgiving. He has been to the doctor four times and has had three different antibiotics. Just yesterday his fever may have broke. With any luck, he may be able to go to school tomorrow. This would be good because it is a parent/teacher conference day, so he will only have a half day to get through tomorrow and a full day on Friday. So there is the hope of progress on his end.

There is another medically related obstacle on my end. When my son first came down with pneumonia, I had a cold coming on. My son’s doctor advised us to stay apart: Firstly because my son was so sick, his body couldn’t deal with a viral component thrown in with the bacterial mix. Secondly, I couldn’t be exposed to pneumonia with my Lyme Disease. It was difficult enough to manage my never ending cold. My body couldn’t take on a bacterial disease either. Adding to this, my very strong antibiotic was increased to full dose, four times a week. I started getting flu-like symptoms the same week that the fourth day of antibiotic was introduced. What I am feeling is termed “Lyme Flu.” You feel like you have the flu: All over body aches, immense fatigue and tiredness, and a feeling of being overheated. What makes it different from the actual flu? No fevers. 

I spoke with my Lyme doctor. She agreed that the extra dose of antibiotic could have triggered the Lyme Flu. There are some homeopathic remedies and herbs I am taking. Other than that, my doctor said I have to just ride it out. It’s been a week now, and I am still riding.

My son’s doctor is even more cautious. Although I assured him that I spoke with my doctor and that we agreed that I almost certainly have Lyme Flu, he doesn’t want to take a chance with my son in case I have a mild case of the actual flu. He wants me to remain separated from my son. I haven’t seen my son in close to two weeks. This certainly hasn’t been the longest we’ve gone without seeing one another. He went away this past summer for a month without me seeing him, and only speaking to him on the phone once. At least we can “talk” to each other via FaceTime on my and my husband’s phones. Both of them have been staying at my Mother-in-Law’s this entire time.

Still and all, there is a palpable emptiness in the house. An emptiness I truly need to recuperate from my illness. But an emptiness of a child’s enthusiasm as the holidays draw close. Yes, we celebrate Hanukkah as my son’s primary winter “Holiday.” But we still put up a “Holiday Tree,” decorate the house with special items reserved for the season, and wallow in the coziness of the upcoming holidays. Christmas is not a religious holiday for us, it is a celebration of Winter and ringing in the New Year with warmth, love and togetherness.

Let us hope that we can finally be together two weeks from today. At the rate I am going, all of the gifts will be wrapped ahead of time. The tree may or may not be put up. If not, the stockings will still be hung on the mantle with care. Festivity will certainly be present. Then I can complete my opening phrase with, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…Togetherness!”