Extreme Compassion?

Reflecting on all of the friends I hugged this morning, I sure hope that's what it was.

I mentioned a few days ago that friends of mine lost their 20-year-old son last week. This morning was his funeral. I woke up very early this morning with Susan and Lee and their family on my mind.

I noticed that I felt kind of queasy all morning; but not sick. Definitely not sick enough to keep me from going. I also noticed that I could hardly make myself work out. I stopped riding the bike at 20 minutes. And that's not even a work out, as far as I'm concerned. In my mind, I might as well have taken the day off. But I didn't have the energy to continue.

The queasiness did not let up. So I briefly considered taking one of John's anti-nausea pills (left over from chemo). But they all warn not to drive because of the possibility of reactions and/or side effects like severe dizziness, lightheadedness, etc. So I decided against that and put some crystallized ginger in my mouth instead.

I arrived at the church, thinking the worst of it might have passed and wondering if it could possibly be anxiety. I have gotten queasy and lightheaded in the past while watching someone else suffer. One of the most amusing instances was when my sister-in-law, Cheryl, was in labor at home with Lexi. I knew the sound in her voice and the pain she was suffering. She is very tough when it comes to pain. But I knew she was hurting very badly. And I got so queasy and dizzy that I had to go lie down on the couch. Pretty pathetic, but it was compassion. It was not a weak stomach (which I do not have at all). It's a very physical reaction that I cannot control. I experienced something similar when John had his first bone marrow biopsy. He was fine. I was in tears because I didn't want him to suffer.

Well, I got there and I waited in line with friends for over thirty minutes and thought I was okay. During that time, I hugged quite a number of people in passing. I told Mark and Anita I had been queasy all morning and we all wondered if it was my nerves. I was maybe a dozen or so people away from hugging my friends when that terrible feeling hit me and I knew I was going to be sick. I was in an unfamiliar place and had no idea where the closest women's restroom was located.

I wandered for a minute or so and then realized I'd better ask someone for directions. I was willing myself to make it. And I almost didn't make it. But I did ... just barely. How awful it would have been to throw up in the hallway in front of all those people ... at a funeral, no less. I am so thankful that did not happen.

I felt instant relief. But I was afraid to stay at that point. I didn't know if it might happen again. And I sure didn't want to expose more people if I did have a virus.

So I'm home ... sipping Diet Sprite. I don't feel like attempting to eat anything. But I haven't felt sick again. I think I'm fine. But I'm glad I didn't make it to Lee and Susan, just in case I could have given them anything. They sure don't need that. And I'm glad I had already gone to their home, hugged them and let them know how much I care.

The church was so packed. And I heard people were waiting in line for over two hours last night at the visitation just to get to them. So I know I wasn't needed. They are completely enveloped in the love of friends. But it was a terrible feeling to have to leave that way when I so wanted to be there for the service.

If you are one of the friends I hugged, I'm sorry. I hope my body was just reacting to emotional stress and nothing more. It's entirely possible. (And, if not, it seems to be a quick recovery.)

Comments

Love the new look!

I'm sorry you're sick. :-( It could also be emotional upheaval / triggering from reading old emails and things lately. Take care of yourself and I hope you feel better soon.
Shari said…
Thanks, Hillary. I know that sometimes stress can lower our resistance to things. Which may have been a factor. I succombed and ran a temperature all afternoon. But I feel like I'm on the mend.