Memories of the Infirmary.

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I called it in today.

Yesterday was a disaster; I should not have left the house and am none the better for having done so.  Today I feel pretty much the same, and have nothing left to prove.

I am sick.

I am disgusting.

I am no fun to be around.

Plus, it’s around -40c with the wind chill out there.  And if you think I’m stepping outside when my head is so congested it could possibly explode like glass, you’ve got another thing coming.

But laying in bed, feeling sorry for myself (like I had so desperately wanted to do yesterday), my Mommy Guilt kicked into overdrive.  Not only was I feeling weird about being at home while Bee was at daycare, I also couldn’t stop thinking about all the things I could be doing instead of resting – things around the house that I can’t really do with Bee running around my feet:

  • could  vacuum.
  • could do a load or two of laundry.
  • could organize the pantry (something I’ve been wanting/meaning to do since we moved in 3 years ago).
  • could organize Bee’s toys, dust the piano, change that burnt out lightbulb, throw out the stash of old magazines hidden in the ottoman.

I could, I could, I COULD….

But, no.  NO, dammit.

Not today.  TODAY, I AM SICK.  And I am going to laze around in bed, write, stalk old boyfriends on Facebook, watch TV and NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT.

Well, maybe I’ll nix the stalking thing.   That might not be the best idea.

Side rant:  Who the deuce are these Duck Dynasty wackos?  I mean… seriously??  Is it serious?!  TV is so weird these days, don’t you think??


While I was laying bed, drifting off to sleep, I was taken back to the feelings of being sick and staying in the infirmary at my old high school, which strangely, is somewhere I loved to be.  I have nothing but cozy, warm memories of the infirmary, which probably aren’t adjectives you would use to describe a place you’d stay when very sick, surrounded by other sickies coughing and wheezing and barfing….


I went to a boarding school, where viruses swept the halls like wild fire.  The worst were the winter months – everyone trudging through the connecting corridors, avoiding the frigid outdoor air.  Understandable when your daily attire is a skirt or flimsy pants, a button-down shirt and a blazer.

The infirmary was a small, cottage-like building tucked behind one of the boarding houses.  After chapel, the sick and faking-sick would shuffle  like zombies across the road, up the rickety wooden stairs, through the old door and sit in the waiting room until they were called to the nurses window.  If they deemed you “fine”, they’d usually give you an expectorant or a decongestant and send you off to class.  If you were visibly not well, or really good at faking it (wink!), they’d let you spend the day in one of the beds in the rest rooms to sleep.

Those rooms, in my memory, were dreamy and cotton-like, soft and hazy, despite the army-style single beds that felt like they were straight out of wartime: rounded, wrought-ironed frames painted white, with crisp, starched sheets tucked into perfect hospital corners.  Itchy wool blankets folded neatly at the bottom, just long enough to cover your body if you pulled it straight up.  The pillows, smooth and thin, perfectly cradled your throbbing head as it nestled in.  Each room had about five beds lined up side by side, and a big window with curtains that let in just enough light to let you know it was still daytime.  It smelled so clean (a nice change to the shared bathrooms) and was oh, so comfy.

Whether sick or faking it, I always enjoyed spending the day there.  I’d curl up into the crinkly bed and wake up hours later, dust dancing through rays of the setting sun.  I would feel rested and renewed, ready to face an evening of homework and interhouse drama.


My matrimonial bed is much softer, a better place to spend days like today, when I can barely muster the energy to get dressed.  It’s a big, grown-up bed, with a solid wooden frame and a pillow top mattress.  You could sink for days into the duvet, and the sheets are feather soft.  Even though I have lovely, coddled memories of the army-like infirmary beds, at my age, and with the state I’m currently in, this is the perfect place to recover.

And to hide from the TV.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go blow my nose for the bajillionth time today… and throw a load in the dryer.

Hey, when the cat’s away, right?!

2 thoughts on “Memories of the Infirmary.

    Kat Inokai said:
    January 7, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    We had ‘the sick bay’ at our school! Although ours was not pristine and lovely and no one really wanted to go there. Unless we were dodging classes or had debilitating cramps. Or both. 😉
    I am very glad you took time out. You NEED to. I wrote a post about it a while back. If I find it, I’ll send it over.
    I am also sending virtual soup, hugs, Dr. Vee’s smooshes. And you know what’s going to make you feel way better, right?! Trying on new hair dos over at InStyle!! 😉 xoxo

      mamabethbarnes said:
      January 8, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Porkchop! I remember that post, it stayed with me for a while. As parents especially, it’s critical that we take care of ourselves – there’s nothing worse than being sick with wee ones pulling at your pant leg. I can feel Dr. Vee’s smooshes! I woke up feeling so much better this morning 🙂 And I wish, I wish, I WISH you had reminded me yesterday of how desperate my look is for a makeover! That would have come in handy while dodging “I’m A Virgin In The ER, Get Me The Hell Out Of New Jersey Shore Weddings”.

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