Monday, October 18, 2010

In Which I Try to Be Sick and Take it Easy

On Friday morning, I felt it coming. Sickness. I've been hearing other people complain of sickness a lot lately, but I was feeling quite smug about the fact that I have not been sick at all since February. But I definitely felt it coming, which wasn't so much fun because Friday is my school day. I leave for classes at 7:30am and don't get home till almost 6pm. That's a long time of sitting in a chair, listening, trying to learn, and trying not to focus on how good jammies and bedtime sound.

In Microbiology, we got to do some pretty interesting experiments, which diverted my attention from the muddy feeling in my head. There is a species of jellyfish that can bioluminesce, or in other words, glow in the dark. Biologists have isolated the gene that allows them to do this, and we got to first, put it into a plasmid, which is sort of a container for genetic material, and then introduce it to E. coli bacteria. (Hi, nice to meet you!) If all goes well, the E. coli will take up our plasmids, spliced with this bioluminescent gene, and will glow in the dark. Stay tuned. I thought about how fun it would be to have glow-in-the-dark children. The professor said that one of the first intended uses for this gene was to put it into Christmas trees so they wouldn't need lighting--they'd just glow on their own! Very cool. It's also been put into an albino rabbit. I was thinking it would be cool to make a whole farm of bioluminescent animals, so they look normal in the daytime, but once the sun goes down, you turn on some black lights, and WOW! Glowing cows, sheepies, chickens, horses. The kids would love it!

Anyway, I came home and hit the sack early-ish, after taking a pile of magic get-well pills.

I got up early Saturday morning to take Lyndsay to run her first 10K, a charity run for Autism awareness. I was so proud of her. I tried not to, but I still cried as she took off across the Start line. I figured she'd need about an hour and twenty minutes. She runs 7 miles in about an hour and ten, but this was on a trail, much of it sand, much of it uphill, and some of it through 6 inches of water. At an hour, I approached the finish line to catch her coming up the path. I wanted to snap pictures and then run with her as she finished. I waited and watched as carefully as I could, for several minutes. At one point, I turned around to see the crowd, and there came Lyndsay, walking towards me, with her medal already around her neck!

What? I missed it! How did that happen? I have no idea, but I felt utterly awful about it. She finished in about 54 minutes, and we both missed each other. I made her do it again, without the medal, so at least the pictures would look authentic. Those are the moments when you feel like a complete loser of a mother.

When I'd woken up that morning, my thumb was swollen to the point of bursting. The pressure was so great that was actually what woke me up that morning, before I went down to cook Lyns some oatmeal before the race. It was weird. I remembered having a hangnail that Friday in school that I'd bitten down too far. Hmmm. I followed very strict aseptic techniques in the lab, but my mind started going over all the microbes we dealt with that day. I started having fears that Staph had gotten into my cut and was having a hey-day in my thumb. I pictured the spreading infection throughout my hand, and an eventual amputation of my thumb to save my life. (See how tired I am?) Then the drama of the piano teacher with no thumb, and how I had to find a special teacher who could teach me to play with 4 fingers and a popsicle stick attached where my thumb used to be, and then the Dateline episode where having overcome great obstacles, I perform to the inspiration of millions.

Well, you can forget all of that, because just as mysteriously as the swelling came on, it disappeared, so I think I'm in the clear. What a relief, right?

I really wanted to keep being sick, but apparently everyone was "starving". So, I made a batch of guacamole and hooked up all the TV addicts with chips and dip. I baked the rotting bananas into banana bread, and then some Black Bean soup for dinner.

I went to bed early-ish again, and got up for Church, not feeling all the way better, but not worse. Just kinda stuffy and sleepy. I felt like I had to go, because I knew I was getting released from my calling in the YW presidency after 3 1/2 years, and I wanted to be with those girls one last time. I did not expect to cry the entire day, but these days everything makes me cry, so I should have. No new calling yet. Stay tuned.

I tried again to take it easy Sunday afternoon, but everyone was near death again with hunger, so I made a roast and potatoes and carrots. Played one game after another for children requesting me to play with them. And at 3:30pm I swear it felt like 9pm. I went to bed at 7:30pm, and got up early for Seminary this morning.

Greeted by rain. Perfect. I love a rainy day! I haven't so much gotten to rest yet, but I did sit in my bed while I listened to and took notes on two different Micro lectures. And Aiden is home sick with me, keeping Conor company, so it's not all bad. Maybe by the time I actually get to rest and recover fully, I'll be better anyway. Isn't that just the way it works for a mom?


Hannah said...

Poor Jenna. I seriously laughed out loud when you talked about your missing thumb. You're so funny.

Hope you feel better soon!

Tristi Pinkston said...

You're inspirational even with all your thumbs intact!