Waiting on the Guillotine

Photo: Babies on the mend. They want to be out in the sunshine, and thanfully, we have a big old yard and no need to get anyone else sick. And with the big wheels and our little plastic slide, the boys don’t see the miss the playground. Thank God for good weather and simple needs. It makes some of this a little easier.


Ursa Minor’s blotchy little bumps are scabbing over and falling away. The eczema looks less angry, though it’s there and he’s sensitive about it. He continues to be a huge trooper–paying them as little mind as a toddler could.

Ursa Major’s bumps spread from his feet and hands to other areas, but not to the same extent as his brother. He stopped complaining about itching and even slept the entire night through last night (after waking us up thrice the night before).

But dear reader, my husband woke up sick yesterday. So sick. Could barely get out of bed, could barely sit up, even. He had a pretty good fever rolling, the shivers, he complained that he was cold, he complained that he was hot… he ate half a sandwich and a bowl of ice cream…

and it was a demoralizing blow. On Monday night, we thought that we were going to be passed over. We stayed up, watched cartoons, laughed… he was perfectly fine on Monday night. No symptoms, no cares. Here it is, first thing in the morning, and he should be walking out the door to get on a train. Instead he is here in a deep sleep, just as sick as he was yesterday.

And so I am the last one standing.

And I’m convinced that the guillotine hungers for me, too.

And that would mean two sick adults and two babies on the mend. The least desirable combination.

So the prayers came fast and easy all day yesterday: Dear Lord, please let me wake up tomorrow morning with enough energy to keep the house functioning. Even if I have to be sick, Lord, please let me be sick and functional.

Cold cuts were purchased. Spaghetti sauce was made. Laundry was done. Surfaces were cleaned. Floors were prepped to be swept.

And I went to bed still praying, but convinced I’d be the next on the chopping block.

But here I am, typing. Not sick, perfectly functional. I won’t tell you that Mama’s get immunity and that I’m going to be ok. I will tell you that prayer works. God looked down on this mess and was like, “yeah, you can have an extra day.” Hopefully he extended my window long enough that I’ll get sick while The Husband is getting better, and we can switch off on the baby duties.

It’s really jarring to see him this sick, actually. It takes a lot to take him down. He’s built like an ox! I’ve seen him with the sniffles, and even those only last a day perhaps. I’ve only seen him knock-down sick three times in the entirety of our relationship. Seriously. But I think that’s what makes this so demoralizing: If this virus can knock him down like this, I know I don’t stand a chance. I can hear the countdown clock just ticking down the minutes. Bad stuff, ya’ll. Bad stuff.

In the meantime, the world keeps spinning and it seems like the whole entire universe wants to know what I’m doing. I’ve been getting calls and text messages from all over! “What are you guys doing this weekend?” “Can we get coffee? I finally have a free moment!” “Wanna see you before we move out! Come to our party!” Not gonna lie: Happy to have an excuse for some of this stuff. Parties aren’t my scene. But the other stuff, especially the playdates, it’s sad for me to type in “hand, foot, and mouth disease” and then read the “OMG! EWWW” replies. Everyone has been very supportive… but distant. My mother yesterday: “Well, if you do get sick, I can buy some stuff and leave the grocery bags on the lawn for you.”

Love you, mom. I’ll take what I can get.

I’ve told myself that if I can keep eating well and keep chugging some ginger ale and orange juice, maybe, just maybe, I might be able to keep this away. My grandmother has told me that mothers can “will themselves not to get sick. For the good of the family. It’s just one of those powers that you get.” Because I have an affection for whimsy, I believe her on some levels. But I think it only works on the sniffles. I’m not sure that it works on a big boogie virus. But hey, I’m gonna try.

For those of you who care about my writing adventures, I started editing the second part of my novella, which, fortunately and unfortunately, transforms itself with every portion that I write. What started as a serial story has turned into a large singular story told from three viewpoints. The first portion is done, and I’ve shared it with a few people and got awesome feedback. That was supposed to be a stand-alone story, but I was pushed to expand it and “finish” it in one telling. Thus, I’m on this crazy journey. I completed the second portion two weeks ago, and started editing yesterday because I spent all last week outlining part three. I am pretty sure that I have two more portions to write after I start part three next week. Then, of course, I’m going to have to weave it together, edit it as a whole piece and then… then? Do what it takes to publish it. It won’t be September 27th, but I’m still keeping the deadline up there. Because it might be close… you never know. But I’m still working on it. With all of the things going on, I’m still working on it.

I  hope that I have Quiet Thoughts on Friday and that I have energy enough to type them out and post them here. I pray that maybe I’ll get passed over for this one. It’s clearly no fun and I don’t want it!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I have been meaning to comment when you first wrote that your kids had Foto, hand mouth desease. We hand it in the house two years ago, you know, when my dauert daughter was a new born baby. And i was soooooo scared that seh might catch it. So I kept me and her quarantined from the husband and my son and read a lot about it. Often, people get infected but never develop and symptomes. It’s like a lottery. Oh, and you can catch it again. Apparently there are several different strains out there that Do not cross-immunize. Anyway, I hope that you’ll be as lucky as me and my daughter.

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      I am so glad that you and your daughter didn’t get it!! And you are the second person to warn me about immunity. I am so depressed! God I hope we don’t see this again! It has been such a huge disruption! I guess I will probably know by Friday if I won the lottery or not. It will be 7 days of exposure tomorrow… hopefully my magic Black Woman magic will kick in and I will be saved!

      1. I really hope for you that you will not get it! And, this magic trick might actually work. Back in college, I only ever got sick during the breaks when I was done with my exams. My body could do it just right. (So, the first year I was ALWAYS sick during the breaks…)
        Anyway, we haven’t seen this sickness again, and I never had heard of it before, so maybe it’s not very frequent. I hope. (I don’t want to see it again, either.)

  2. Miriam Joy says:

    That idea of willing yourself not to get sick reminds me of a scene in one of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels where one of the witches says she “doesn’t have time to get injured” and therefore holds a knife unscathed, just because she can think her way out of it. Later on, she says to her hand, “Okay, I’ve got time now,” and the cut appears as though she only held the knife at that moment. Crazy stuff.
    I hope you hold out against the virus. Sounds nasty. :/

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