Stomach flu, it seems

Be impressed—I was seen by a doctor today. There was rejoicing in the streets, especially where my friends were concerned. The medical consensus is a well-known little bug known as "stomach flu." I was given phenergan to help combat the nausea I've been having, and told to go home and rest.

I took the medicine soon after I got home. I ate two pieces of toast, drank four ounces of juice, and settled in to read. I woke up nearly five hours later, desperately groggy, warm under my quilt, and with two purring cats nestled along my left side.And I was hungry. Tonight's supper is a bowl of soup. With crackers. And juice. It tastes warm and comforting and heavenly. It's Tuesday evening. I haven't been actually hungry since Saturday night. Jeff is eating pizza in the living room and the smell doesn't nauseate me; this is great.

Got another bit of news today that made me laugh and shake my head: my once-yearly menstrual period picked today to show up. It's otherwise known as my body's once-yearly reminding of itself that, hey, I'm technically capable of having children.

This always disturbs me when it happens. I don't perceive myself as being physically old enough or mentally mature enough to bear and raise children (despite the fact that my friends seem to think otherwise), and the eccentricity of this reminder makes it all the more piercing.

I ask myself why it bothers me as much as it does, and I've never really been able to bring myself to think the matter through to its conclusion. There are lots of factors: the entire process of pregnancy and birth disturbs me and makes me a bit queasy. (A feeling I've known all too well this week.) I've never been able to shake the impression of pregnancy, birth, doctor's visits, and endless probing and poking and prodding and testing as a hostile invasion of my personal space.

Then there's this annoying fact that I just don't deal well with small children. I don't relate to them at all. I was a strangely gifted child who developed so precociously mentally that I never really had a chance to act like a child. The end result was that I never really knew how to relate to children my own age; I looked at them then (and to a certain extent look at them now) with a certain sort of revulsion, as if they were some kind of alien beings.

But on the other hand, the thought of growing older without a family is completely foreign to me. It disquiets me to think that if I follow the path I'm on now, I probably will never be having the massive family holiday gatherings that I considered to be the norm in my childhood. I do sometimes miss the swaddling warmth of having a large family to fall back on.

In the end it comes down to the fact that I'm unwilling to make the required long-term sacrifices necessary to make that future scenario happen. I look at what life was like for my parents, how they quietly resented that they never had time for themselves, and I see the same resentment in myself.

It is said that the sins of the fathers are visited upon their sons. In my case, a slight change is appropriate: the wishes and unfulfilled dreams of the parents are visited upon the youngest daughter.

I joke often that my purpose in life is to take care of my friends. Perhaps that isn't so far off from the truth. Just because there was nobody in my immediate familial past that chose the path I'm thinking of choosing doesn't mean it's not the right one for me. Perhaps I'm meant to do something else with my life.

Now if I could just figure that out. For now I'll eat my soup, rejoice in the fact that I'm eating solid food again, and snuggle up with the catbeasts.

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