We have a some what typical living situation for these days. Our family consists of a little girl (did you know that the new norm is 1.8 children, not 2.5?), my mother, my husband and me. Both my mom and Mr. Malakoa are insomniacs. Today my daughter got in to my bed some time between 1:30-2. She is pretty sick. She’s been coughing and coughing. I try to prop her up so the mucus isn’t draining unto her throat but it doesn’t work.
This whole sickness thing is not good for us for a number of reasons. Number one is that my poor baby is sick and her skin is fiery hot. Number two is that I need sleep. I’m not like most bipolar folks who have trouble sleeping. Most of the time I crawl in to bed and almost immediately go to sleep. I stay like that for eight to ten hours. It’s a good thing. I need that sleep. If I don’t get enough sleep my mood can start cycling. I go rapidly from being depressed to being high. This sort of thing can last for weeks or months. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Tonight, however, things are not working as desired. I curled my body around my little girl trying to both cool her off and keep her warm. No stop of the coughing though, and she’s still burning up. She likes the taste of Tylenol and I don’t want her to. I want medicine to be considered (Since I take six different prescription medications, I can’t have a double standard on that one) but not to be the only thing considered. I pray for her and want her to pray for herself. Prayer is the first and last step, and I believe it should coast along her path of healing until she is well. And after that. I want to mention I’m not adverse to giving her the meds, I just don’t want them to be the only way to get well – the only thing in her doctor’s bag should not be a drug.
All that to say this. I’m in bed, not asleep with a little coughing little girl. I decide I’m done with night-time parenting and go to find Mr. Malakoa. As usual, he’s asleep on the couch. Ever since the burglary he has done this. He’s protecting us. And he’s fast asleep. I’m happy for him, but darn! Why is tonight the night he sleeps soundly?
I tried my mom as well. She claims to get about four hours of sleep a night. I snuck down the hall, opened the door and peeked in. Again, she is not moving, so much that you’d think she was dead.
So, the only good sleeper in the house is blogging just after 3 am.
Do I have anything witty or kind or encouraging to say? No.
I’m reminded of the verse, from Corinthians, “My grace is sufficient for thee. for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutors, in distresses for Christ’s sake. for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
My daughter is not there yet, philosophically. Who knows if she ever will be. But these verses, I think, aren’t talking about a cold, they’re talking about things one suffers for the sake of Christ, not for the sake of a little virus. (Or a big virus, if you consider the effect it’s having on the both of us.). There are people who read this blog who are irreligious, agnostics, and a various other belief systems. I say, “Welcome! Come one come all!” Sometimes it works out and we have either a great relationships in real life or online. Other times I’ll get all kinds of nastiness I have to moderate out. Some folks might say that I’m suffering persecution. I don’t think I am. If I was shot by a disgruntled reader, or arrested and taken to jail, I mean, that would be a true infirmity. I’m not buying that my blog is brining me suffering. My feedback is shocking sometimes, or confusing. (Why would you take time reading a blog that is markedly Christian if you were totally hostile to beliefs that are different than yours? I am delighted to have you, but consider yourself in my mental home. Why be a jerk ? I don’t go in to your blog and try to share the Four Spiritual Laws)
I believe my bipolar + can be used suffering for Christ’s sake. I’m not raking in the converts, but I believe my suffering is being used to help others heal, and that helps me to heal. This isn’t limited to the church. I am here on the web, I am in mental health programs and I’m at school with my daughter. While none of these places have served to make me sicker (except maybe my daughter’s school. That teacher is a train wreck.) I think being able to function effectively, despite the illnesses. I can work, write and love even though I have a type of mental illness considered the worst to treat. I’m bipolar every day, but it’s to provide comfort to others. I’ve talked about being a ‘rib’ before, one that helps protect the heart and inner organs so healing can begin. I still think of my self that way.