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So, Pneumonia. And some gratitude. After a week of triple-digit fevers, shortness of breath, tons of “goo” and related congestion, I bit the scary dollar-bullet and went to the doctor. I had already lost several days of working with the junior high and high school choirs on our music for our upcoming concert (I accompany on piano.) I had already lost a week’s worth of clients where I work as a massage therapist. I had to cancel a weekend gig, find a sub for my Sunday gig, and I have another big gig coming up on Saturday. So, if I could be mended fast for some money, the trade would be worth it at this point with all the work I’ve lost. While that’s the bargain I made with myself, apparently it had little bearing on my actual state of my body. A bunch of chest x-rays and related diagnostics later, I’m to be on another week of rest, no work, don’t infect anyone, take all these drugs, and here’s an inhaler so you have less chance of dying. As I was making the rounds of letting people know what was going on, I thought, “Well, damn, I’m kind of flattened, here.” Like, I can’t just “push through” some discomfort to “get things done,” I am instead in a position where I have to not do anything I’d normally be doing because I have pneumonia and that’s contagious. I work with lots of seniors, especially, and that’s a great crowd to be hacking-up-a-lung around. Because I’ve had to reschedule/cancel/find-subs for so many things, I am using this opportunity to first examine what I am doing with my day to day, and second to express my gratitude. Sunday morning, make the hour’ish drive to church. Rehearse with the choir and soloists. Play for Sunday service. Depending on timing, I can have lunch with one of my parents before I drive to the theatre to work in the box office selling tickets for whatever we’re performing. Evening off. Monday morning, bike an hour or so into town, play piano for the high school for an hour. Bike across town to the spa for 4 hours. See 3-4 clients. Bike to the local junior college. Sing in a community choir from around 7-10. Go home and sleep. Tuesday morning, get up extra early to bike to the junior high school, play piano for an hour, bike to the high school, play for an hour, practice two hours, play another hour, bike home. Wednesday morning bike an hour into town, play for the high school, bike to the spa, see 3-4 clients, bike to the local junior college for wind ensemble and happy French horn times from 7-10. Go home for sleep. Thursday is another extra early day, bike to the junior high, play, bike to the high school, play practice play, bike home, grab the car, drive up north for church choir practice in the evening, go home and sleep. Friday is bike into town, play for the high school, bike to the spa, see clients, bike to the theatre, work box office or play gigs. Saturday is either theatre work, music gigs, or the rare day off. It was exhausting just typing that up and trying to keep it all in the right order. So to actually get sick, really sick, means I have to talk to people involved with The spa The high school The junior high The church The church choir The community choir The community wind band The theatre So my phone is a cornucopia of texts and emails and “absence creation forms.” And here’s where some of the gratitude comes in. I am incredibly lucky to have the jobs I have. I am using both of my degrees (music and bodywork) in actual, real, I-got-paid-for-that kind of work. I have a “sweet! How did you get that job?” position working for a local performing arts space where I can duck in and watch the actual show for free if I want. I get really interesting gigs like The Follies and end up in interesting variety shows and such. On top of that, all of my employers have been super-chill and like, “Rest up and recover; don’t push yourself,” with this illness, with no push of, “Can’t you just take a bunch of drugs and mask the symptoms?” sort of thing. Thirdly, everything that needed a sub got a sub. People have been really compassionate and all sorts of “good luck” has shown up to “make things work.” We may even get the ghost story festival covered by another local storyteller. So, despite the publicity, I’m pretty sure I’ll just be trying to breath on Saturday, much less be telling ghost stories. https://pasoroblesdailynews.com/haunted-adobe-returns-san-miguel-weekend/76448/ Fourthly, my personal support circle has been just stellar. I expect it to be stellar, but I don’t want to take it for granted. From my fiancé driving me around and feeding me, to parental units offering to help cover some of the medical costs (all my parents are still alive and in relatively good health. Woo!) to friends bringing me ice packs and sending the random text of assurance, it reminds me of how lucky I am, and how grateful I am. But, I still haven’t slept in 6 days. If I start to drift off I choke and gag and that wakes me up. Also, the triple-digit constant fevers make for some interesting hallucinations. And the cat pee’d on the floor again instead of in her box. Gonna go take care of that.