Sometime in my 30s I got pneumonia. It started, probably, with a cold that just wouldn’t go away. Nor would I give it a chance to go away because I had to keep going and going. Just like that energizer bunny. I had a small child, a job, a house, and a myriad of tasks to do. Oh, and I also taught a Sunday School class and may have been serving on a church board. That part is lost in the recesses of my aging brain. All I knew, there was no time to be sick.
But I got sick. By the time I went to the doctor, it was bad enough that he threatened to hospitalize me. Now, that would never work. I was a wife, a mother, an employee, a volunteer. Life was too busy for a hospital room to be thrown into the mix.
“Then you must go home, get in bed, and stay there all week. Get up only to use the bathroom,” was his reply to my wail of anguish, “and if you are not better in a couple of days, you will go to the hospital. Pneumonia can kill you.”
I guess dying would not be a good thing.
I went home, went to bed, and stayed there. And got well.
Life continued. The child was fed and bathed. The house did not fall down. Someone filled in for me at work. But, the Sunday School class? No one took care of that. I don’t remember what the boys who I taught did during the time period I was away. No one from church called to say they missed me. I felt a bit betrayed by the people who should be caring about what happened to me.
That incident taught me that I should never count on people to take care of important matters. That it was important for me to stay healthy and keep doing the tasks that did matter to me. Unable to count on others makes one very independent. And well.