It has been an unusual three months for this Delaware Grammy. I’ve had the flu, an infection in my mastoid sinuses, pink-eye, head cold, bronchitis and now another infection in my sinuses — the front ones this time.
I’ve always prided myself on not getting sick. “I almost never get sick,” I would say, and sometimes quoted my friend, Louise Schlabach DiGennero who once said to me, “I think God allows Mommies to ‘get just enough’ sick to be merciful.” That has been something that was pivotal for me as a parent. When I was slightly miserable and sick, I would remember what Louise said and wonder how much worse the little bodies felt with what I had and a LOT more going on in their little bodies, and it was easier to be patient and understanding and even to clean up after them one. more. time. without losing my cool when I really just wanted them to get well and stay well.
And that is what I’ve wanted for me, too, these last few months. But I need to face it. Any attempts to say that I almost never get sick are futile attempts at self deception and downright dishonest. I could be tried for perjury and would be found guilty.
So my sinuses have been acting up again — to the point where I can neither smell or taste. There have been lots of attempts to correct this with essential oils as well as Musinex and even a once daily nasal spray.
Nothing appears to be living up to the claims on the sides of the boxes.
Today I took Nettie to an appointment in Lewes and since it is somewhat a tradition, and the hour was getting late, I stopped to get her lunch at Dunkin’ Donut. They have good sandwiches on croissant rolls, and she decided that she wanted a tuna salad sandwich with a coffee. Even though I can’t taste, I keep hoping that the next time I will eat something, the spell will be broken and I will be able to again enjoy some food. I looked at the menu and decided to add a chicken salad sandwich and a small sweet tea.
The gal at the counter served us our lunch in a brown paper bag, Two sandwiches in the bottom, packaged exactly alike. Nettie wanted to sit in and eat, so we found ourselves a place beside the wall, and I brought out the first sandwich. It looked like chicken salad. I smelled it. I couldn’t tell. I took out the other one. I smelled it.
“What you doin’?” asked Nettie, looking worried.
“I’m smelling this sandwich,” I tell her and have to laugh. “I can’t tell which one is the chicken salad and which is the tuna.”
“Humph!” She says doubtfully.
“Here,” I say, putting one under her nose. “What do you think? Is this tuna or chicken?”
“I ‘on’t know,” she says, sniffing away. “It might be tuna. I think I smell fish. I can’t tell.”
I smelled them both again, and gave her the one that she thought maybe smelled like fish. We sat at the table in Dunkin’ Donuts and ate our sandwiches. One bite into hers she thought it might be chicken. I offered to trade.
“No,” she said. “I can’t really tell.”
So we both ate our sandwiches, neither of us sure if we had chicken salad or tuna salad. I kept taking long, deep, smelling breaths from my sandwich, but I never did know what I ate. We drank our drinks –my sweet tea, and her coffee and she ate her donuts. I cleaned up the mess, put away the trash and we came on home. It was all okay. Two Gals who couldn’t tell what they were eating but both eating it anyway and having a good time doing it.
Yepper! That’s me and Our Girl Nettie.