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Laurie Niles

December 12, 2004 at 5:38 AM

I should have seen it coming when my student's mom was so sick last week that she fell asleep during her daughter's lesson. Not just a dozing-off-from-boredom situation, but she was deeply asleep and very sick. Her daughter wanted to wake her but I said, “No, no, she is not feeling well. We're fine, let's just let her sleep.”

Halfway through the week my throat got that not-quite-right sense of dryness.

On Thursday afternoon came my student who is also a licensed physician's assistant. She took one look at me and said, “It's a virus,” nodding, “Starts as a tickle in your throat. Your eyes are watering. Sneezing? Yeah. Better get some Loratodine.”

Still in denial, I figured that it must be one of those mild viruses. After all, I really felt fine, other than that tickle. So more students came.

“Um, do you want us to go home?” the mother of my cute five-year-old student
said as I opened the door.
“No, I'm fine! Just a little cold!” I said gamely. But I did wash my hands and position the tissue box by my side. I kept sneezing.

My next student came, and by then I apologized for being a “little sick.” His lesson did not last its full length, as I rapidly sped down a very steep hill. His mom looked at me in a puzzled way. “You are just getting this today? You must be very contageous!”

Oh no!

After he left, I called my 5 p.m. on his cell phone. “Are you already here?” I asked. “I'm about a block away, why?” he said.

“Well...” I sent him home.

I picked up my kids from the sitter's, and by then Robert was home. Thank heavens! I went straight to bed, after sneezing about 30 times. I wanted to sleep, but all I could do was to sit upright and keep very, very still. My eyes were so swollen, I considered the idea that maybe I was going blind. My head pounded, my nose and eyes ran like fountains. Moving only increased the pain.

On Friday, I did not emerge from bed. I thought of Denise Gilman, my college girlfriend, who once stayed in bed for something like four days.

“I think Denise is dead,” announced another of my college pals, during the third of those days long ago. “Should we take her some food?”

I can thank Denise for teaching me to “Do a Denise.” Which is to say, when you are extremely sick, cancel absolutely everything, no matter how important it seems, and sleep, sleep, sleep like a dead person.

So my fever did finally break sometime in the middle of last night, and I emerged from my long slumber this morning, feeling rather beaten up but better. Today, I got up and helped my four-year-old son practice piano, then fell back into a deep sleep. When I awakened, I found the little guy sleeping beside me.

Unfortunately, in order to “Do a Denise,” I had to cancel all my Saturday lessons and miss out on the holiday concert for my Suzuki group. After so many weeks of working with everyone, I was sad to miss out on seeing them perform. :(

But every time I do anything, like empty the dishwasher or play for five minutes on my violin, my temperature shoots back up to 100. So I'm not out of the woods. But, one more day of sleep ought to do it.

Okay, back to bed with lemon-ginger tea.

From Scott 68
Posted on December 12, 2004 at 4:19 PM
aah the hazards of being a child teacher

poor girl, my sympathys

hoping you and yours are well by christmas

From Thomas McEvilley
Posted on December 13, 2004 at 9:06 AM
Hey Laurie- I take 9 grams of vitamin C a day and haven't been sick in over 10 years. I hope you heal up fast.
From Carla Leurs
Posted on December 13, 2004 at 7:20 PM
Hope you feel better soon!
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on December 14, 2004 at 2:23 AM
Laurie, take it easy for as long as you need to. We want you to get well and stay well.
From Laurie Niles
Posted on December 18, 2004 at 7:24 AM
Thanks you guys! I am way better! It took me a while, but I was glad I spent the time in a cocoon because I think it speeded my recovery. Now I just have the remnants of a cough.

Stay well, everyone!

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on December 19, 2004 at 2:34 AM
You continue to stay well, too, Laurie.

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