Saturday, January 29, 2005

I'm coming out from under a week of either a moderate flu or some unnamed viral thing; this has been a weird week. Most of it is lost: all I know for sure is that I dragged myself in to school on Monday to lead services, munched it up only slightly, and then sat numbly through classes the rest of the day. Tues, Wed, and Thurs I was home, mostly asleep, which was a good place to be given the splitting headache, even if I did spend an awful lot of time having creepy dreams.

Now I'm tired, but steadily improving; I am still not fit for running around, but my appetite is back and I have been awake more than asleep today. I will spare you the more graphic symptoms!

I am blessed to have friends who called to check on me, and other friends who took notes for me, and I'll catch up somehow. Right now I'm just up late on Shabbat, and I've been out of touch with the world for a very long time. All that adds up to "lonesome," which is, I guess, a sign of returning health.

We learned a week ago in Codes that in the Shulchan Aruch Rabbi Joseph Caro wrote that on Shabbat, a sick person's suffering is lessened, because it is Shabbat. I asked Dr. P. what it would do to a person suffering with, say, cancer, to hear that he was supposed to feel better because it is Shabbat. He pointed out that context is everything -- that for the 16th century Jew, the Day of Rest could be a relief, simply because you fervently believed that it would be, as did everyone you knew.

This gives me pause to think about colds, flu, and other viral nasties. I am rather resigned in my approach to them (as my father-in-law used to say, if you drink liquids and take vitamin C, a cold will run only one week, while if you simply go about your business, it will run for seven days.) I figure on about a week, I figure it will be both unpresentable and miserable, and that the only thing to do is outlive the scourge. Now I wonder what my viral experience would be like if I believed it was always only a three-day deal!

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