Nothing like getting sick, I mean really sick like in the worst pneumonia sick, like I mean the kind they call “whopping pneumonia, and “that’s the worst right lung I’ve ever seen,” to get one thinking: how the hell did I get this sucker?
Denial is one way I got sick. Over working is another way I got sick. Not resting between my yoga gigs is another way. Like not paying attention to my life and how it’s going.
Okay, okay, I’m awake. I’ve sort of got it. I teach 27 classes of yoga Monday through Friday. On Friday, I consider myself resting with one or two classes at most and they are fun and one is tango. I always have my after the tango lessom margarita with my friend, John, and we discuss politics, the pros and cons of voting, and real estate. I’m his new real estate guru and I love having that friendship thing going on whereby I protect him (adore him) like there is nothing more important on the planet for me. The weekend is gravy: I dance and rest somewhat on the weekends.
Lately, however, incorporated into my regular work schedule is the planning and marketing and book signing for SIXTY, SEX, & TANGO, and trying to get some articles out of the PR person I hired, and flying to Vegas to see my grandchildren – now five – I got myself into a pickle, Olie, and I’ve got pneumonia to prove it. What’d ya think of that kettle of fish?
Not good. Last weekend in Vegas I ran around with both my son’s growing families – to lunch with Jordan at his school, to Luc and Greyson for Shabbat lunch at their school, to family gatherings, taking care of two babies, and then a change of plans. Greyson got a kid’s modeling agent and there was a photo shoot in LA. on Sunday I drove back to LA with son #2, wife and two kids crushed between two baby seats with the air condition blowing on me. What a life! The LA shoot went extremely well but I was “on call” for that hour and a half. A late stop off for a fabulous milkshake at “Million Dollar Milkshake” and I was home. Yep. There is a fplace called “Million Dollar Milkshake” in West Hollywood on Santa Monica Blvd. (plug for you guys)
There was no rest and the week began again. My muscles started to ache on Tuesday night and I thought I had the flu. All week, I delayed and delayed and put off and put off until I was huddled outside the doctors office on Saturday afternoon waiting for them to open emergency care. I couldn’t stand up.
I was almost delirious and in severe pain as I walked into the doctor’s waiting room. Of course, I had just driven back from an hour and a half session with my website designer in Long Beach of all places. I was sitting in Starbucks, where else, and freezing and sucking on some good tea and drinking water by the galleons and not quenching my thirst. I had been dehydrated for days. When I got into the doctor’s office and was given a blood panel, it took twenty minutes to get the blood and I passed out sometime during the time arm #2 was being drained. The chest XRAY proved conclusive that I had whopping pneumonia. As in, “I’m going to whop your ass if you don’t get a new attitude!”
“I need to put you in the hospital,” Dr. Boui said. “A case this severe calls for complete bed rest, preferably in a hospital.”
I immediately pictured myself in a hospital bed in a shared room with someone wheezing and grunting and millions of bacteria gathering around me to infect me with staff.
“I’m sorry,” I said to the doctor. “That’s not possible. I don’t do hospitals.” Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God, please never put me into a hospital.
“Then you must do nothing for four days,” she replied with the upmost seriousness.
I almost laughed out loud but I knew this was serious. I had been a very bad girl and I must be punished, I thought, so I’ll take my punishment like a soldier.
“Yes, I promise,” I replied with my most serious actress face.
I was so relieved just to crawl out of the office and cross the street to CVS to get the antibiotics that I didn’t even care of a car ran over me on San Vicente. I waited for the drug that would give me my old life back.
The pharmacy only had three pills left. I wanted to scream but instead I cried. I cried in CVS, not for the lousy service and the creepy store and the snot-nosed kids trying on their Halloween costumes, but because I wanted my fix.
“Come back on Monday afternoon and we’ll get you the rest,” the eternally sweet pharmacist said to me.
They gave me the three pills free because I was so pathetic and I walked feebly out of the store, thinking I was home free. But I wasn’t free of anything, including my continued need to work and be productive and stay close to my family. In spite of having to rest, to go to bed at 7 pm and soak my sheets with sweat all night, I was so wishing that I was at my gala milonga Saturday night dancing with my adorable new Greek friend who had dressed up especially for me. God, I hate it when it works out that way.
I remind myself of a petulant adolescent who wants what she wants what she wants. It’s not a good state to be in, but I am reflecting today as I blog that all hope for me may not be lost. This is a moment for reflection and for care. Om namah shivaya – translated to “I honor the divine within myself.” I say this mantra every day but I evidently haven’t understood it lately. So, I’m deciding to really take care of myself. I’m going to Curaco in December for a real rest.