In sickness and in health…


Whenever I fell ill as a child, (which was quite often!) the whole household revolved around me. Ditto for my brother too. Whenever one of us, or both of us (most of the time) fell ill, my mom stayed home and had a perpetually worried face. Dad called every hour to check on us. Everyone joined forces to make sure I swallowed my medicines.

This pattern continued well in to my late teens.

Once I came down down with a viral when I’d just started working.

“You go to work” I told my worried mother. “I’m old enough to take care of myself”

Reluctantly, she left me with instructions on what I should eat and what medicines I should take, still with a worried face.

I dozed off into a fitful sleep.

I woke up at lunch time. Tried to get up and walk to the dining room a few feet away. But my feet just didn’t co-operate…

Wobbly, I held on to the wall and staggered to the table. I fed myself and staggered back to bed.

Now I had a horrible headache plus a raging fever. The tablets lessened the fever, but the headache refused to go away.

After much tossing and turning, I drifted off to another bout of fitful sleep.

I woke up to my mother opening the front door.

She came straight to my room to check on me.

“Don’t ever leave me when I have fever again!” I croaked.


Years later I fell ill when I myself had became a mother. My husband just couldn’t take off from work, but he did his bit by dropping off my 2 year old at his parents’ during the day and picking him up after work.  My dad brought me my lunch. (perks of living within an 8km radius of one’s parents and in-laws!)

Again my raging fever and headache stopped me from reading or doing anything remotely enjoyable. But surprisingly, I didn’t falter when I had to walk around the house.

My rest lasted only 2 days, since my son spent his second day whimpering & crying for me alternatively and refused any nourishment.

So the third day  I had no choice but get up and take care of him!

A few months ago, I was sick again, but never had the luxury of a  lie in. Armed with paracetamols, I drove my son to school, did all my usual chores for the day. Only difference was I napped for an hour in the morning and again in the afternoon.  And went to bed early.

But what surprised me was, I somehow had the strength to do all my chores.

So it brings me to an essential question… Is illness merely a state of mind? If I have responsibilities, my body gets the energy to perform the chores and when I don’t, it runs totally out of it?

Or is it just one of the curses of motherhood?!!



  1. Foreign Desi said,

    July 31, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I”ve wondered that too! Usually when I’m sick I just mope around the house and procrastinate everything. Two terms ago I got sick during exams, so I had no choice but to STUDY sick, then drag myself to my exam rooms and write my exams with my 104 fever. Last term I was in EMERGENCY on saturday night from some infection, and back at school on Monday at lectures. I guess you just gotta do what you gotta do?

    wow!! writing exams with a 104 fever!! can’t even imagine how u did it!!! hats off!!

  2. kusublakki said,

    July 31, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    I think a lot of it is in the mind. My family has always had the approach of never fussing around anyone when they are sick. Appa always said ‘Stop being a baby. Nothing is wrong with you.’

    Yes, amma reminded me to take my medicines on time, prepared special food for me and such, but still regular work went on, and I hardly got to take the day off school unless I cried in pain!

    In comparison I had a friend who took a day off for little things like common cold, a slight headache and such.

    i was more like your friend! my dad used to be so over-protective. forget being sick.. he refused to let me go to school even if it rained heavily! i remember spending a whole morning crying, coz he made me bunk a monthly test because of a cyclone. all i got in return was an earful for treating a mere monthly test like an IAS exam!!! 🙂

  3. Pearls said,

    July 31, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    I was fussed over as a kid but my mother never fell ill.
    So i think you night have a point with ” curses of motherhood?!!” 🙂

    yup! i know! 😉

  4. sachita said,

    July 31, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    depends on what you have to face with it also, I suppose.
    As a child, my Mom would just send me off to school after giving me a tablet, mostly depending on the intensity.

    These days at the slightest headache I take off from work:)

    ps: i came here from Maami, have been visiting your site for sometime now.

    hey, thanx for visiting sachita! for me its the other way round! i used to bunk so much during school and college but can’t even think of bunking work because i work from home!!! 🙂

  5. buddy said,

    August 1, 2009 at 9:27 am

    i agree. when i was younger my parents were as strong as oxen, now that im older, they take more rest when they are ill

    ya, the privilege of lesser responsibilities now i guess…

  6. bombaygirl said,

    August 2, 2009 at 3:33 am

    All I know is that when my mother got sick (very infrequently) it was really bad. And I always thought she was going to die, because it WAS so infrequent, it was scary.

    you poor thing…. it is scary when one’s own mom falls ill…

  7. maami said,

    August 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    sometimes the curses of motherhood are its strength too. the cross ma, the cross!
    since the past 2 months i’ve been down with bouts of pharyngitis, severe fever, flu, the cough and body ache still persist, but hey i’m the one who’s pulling the chariot, phelgm, knee pain, sleeplessness be damned.

  8. Foreign Desi said,

    August 7, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Haha I never said I wrote the exam well.By the way, passed an award your way 🙂

    hey! Thanx!!! 🙂

  9. Nishita said,

    September 3, 2009 at 11:33 am

    I was sick so often as a child, it became a way of life for me. I basically was too energetic anyway to lie down and rest, and I kept on playing through all the fevers and colds…I am pretty much the same now…

    Came over here from “String of Pearls”, and am liking your blog very much 🙂

    Thanx Nishita! In your case, its the mind winning over the body! I wish I could be like that!!!

  10. Harish Ramaswamy said,

    September 29, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Maybe its just understanding that you have responsibilities which drove you to finish everything inspite of your sickness!

    proud of you!

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