Tuesday, March 18, 2014

They say that pain is the great clarifier, forcing you to focus only on the essential.  Well, let me tell you, it is amazing how fucking focused on the essential 24 hours of stomach bug can make you.  

Since both kids had it earlier in the week, I knew it wouldn't last forever, and it helped to keep reminding myself I wasn't throwing up from chemo. I didn't have something really wrong with me. Dramatic, I know (this is me after all), but a little perspective can go a long way.

I was so grateful to have a warm house and have a bathroom all to myself, so that all the hours hunched over the toilet at least didn't get interrupted by other family members needing to use the bathroom. When I was able to move, I could take a hot bath to combat the chills and shaking.  

Between taking care of the boys during their illnesses, and my own bout of it, I was home for a week.  How lucky I am that I can do work from home, that I can take care of my kids without worrying about getting fired, or about how we are gong to eat because a quarter of my pay for the month just disappeared.  

And then (again, me being me) I couldn't help but think of all those right-wing politicians who lecture the poor to just stop being poor. Just get educated, just get a job, bootstraps, etc. etc.  And my heart went out to all of those moms who have to look at tending their sick kids as something akin to running through a minefield.  Do you help them in the short-term by staying home to wipe the vomit from their mouths and hold them when they're shaking? But maybe that costs you your job. It certainly costs you income.  How are people supposed to pull themselves up by their bootstraps when something as common and minor as a stomach flu has the potential to be a major catastrophe?

I am not a believer in heaven and hell, but sometimes I like to think they are real, just so I can imagine the looks on the faces of all the politicians who vote to cut food stamps, and vote against raising the minimum wage, and vote against mandatory paid sick leave, and vote to cut education funding, when their lights flicker out and they are ultimately confronted with the morality of their choices.  

And then I think, screw waiting for them to die, I'm doing whatever I can to make these sociopaths pay with their jobs now.  

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