It was a long week, filled with several opportunities I did not seek and do not wish to repeat. Monday brought the third and fourth of repeated migraine onsets within a ten-day period. Tuesday introduced the dizziness that by Wednesday had progressed to the point where I could not have passed a field sobriety test. Medical diagnosis indicated a blending of fluid buildup behind the inner ear, sinus congestion, low blood pressure (maybe induced by or at least connected to the migraines) and low pulse rate. Of course, it’s entirely possible that the low pulse rate is due to the incredible physical conditioning regimen that I used to practice on an almost daily basis. Let’s not bet the farm on that one, though. The clinic insisted on performing an additional EKG just in case my heart actually had quit beating and the nurse’s assistant had merely overlooked that fact.
Between the medical appointments and personal incapacity, I missed a couple of days of work. By sheer strength of will (pronounced “stubbornness) I put in two or three hours on Wednesday morning because of the critical nature of the tasks at hand. The HR director, recognizing my debilitated condition, insisted on stepping in for me and offered to have someone drive me home. She became somewhat insistent about that as well but since I have a reputation to live down to I drove myself.
But other than the pain, instability and frustration, things weren’t too bad. Within two days, the prednisone had alleviated the dizziness to a helpful degree. By the end of the week, I was able to walk in the intended general direction with only slight deviation and the pain had subsided to more of a distraction than a consuming force. Still, I’d have to admit that I pretty much felt like a bag of dead mice without the accompanying odor. So far as I know, that is.
On Friday, according to the reports of others, I participated appropriately in what might appeared to be the concluding round of faculty negotiations for this year. I took care of a few other things in the office and left only an hour later than our summer early dismissal time. In spite of my progress, I’d admit that I still felt pretty low on energy and ambition.
When I got home, Randa was mowing the yard. Even though she was at that time mowing in the shady part of the yard, her face was somewhat flushed and sweat beaded on her forehead and rolled down her face. Almost every man cell in my body wanted to hand her a glass of iced tea and take over the mowing. That would be the manly thing to do.
But then there were all of those dead mice cells.
So I ended up sitting on the couch underneath the ceiling fan in an air-conditioned home while my wife finished mowing the front yard in ninety-degree heat. There are times when all the pride in the world and all of our good intentions cannot rival the strength and wisdom of letting someone else do something for us. Most likely, we will have the opportunity to return the favor. And I am gradually learning that there are times when the most appropriate reaction is gratitude instead of guilt.
That one may take a while but I’m feeling up to the task. And besides, I do know how to make real iced tea, Southern style.