Sunday, November 1, 2009

" The Sick Room "

Preface : The following is an excerpt that I found as I was skimming through a wonderful book called " Common Sense In The Household ".
It was authored by Marion Harland, pen name of Mary Virginia Hawes
Terhune. It first appeared in 1871.

While reading this excerpt it in someways rang true as to how I have been

feeling as of late. It also gave me a good laugh. I would like to share it with you.

" The Sick Room "

The sick-chamber should be the most quite and cheerful in the house-a sacred isle past which the waves of domestic toil and solicitude glide silently. This is not an easy rule to obey. Wh
oever the invalid may be, wheather the mother , father, or the sweet youngling of the flock, the foundations of the household seem thrown out of course while the sickness lasts. You may have good servants and kind friends to aid you , but the hitch in the machinery is not to be smoothed out by thier efforts. The irregularity does not annoy you : you do not notice it if the attack be severe or dangerous . All other thoughts are swallowed up in the all absorbing , ever present alarm . You count nothing an inconvenience that can bring present relief , or possible healing to the beloved one ; disdain for yourself rest or ease while the shadow hangs above the pillow crushed by the helpless head . But when it passes , when the first transport of thankfulness has subsided into an abiding sense of safety , the mind swings back to the accustomed pivot , and your eyes seem to be suddenly unbound . You find , with dismay , that the children have run wild , and the comfort of the whole family been neglected during your confinement to the post of most urgent duty ; with displeasure , that the servants have , as you consider , taken advantage of your situation to omit this task , and to slur over that ; - in fine , that nothing has been done well , and so many things left altogether undone , that you are
" worried out of your senses " - a phrase that too often signifies , out of your temper .

And it is just at this juncture-when you are called to fifty points of attention and labor at once , and are on the verge of despair at the conglomeration worse conglomerated arising before you ; fidgetting to pick up dropped stitches in the web you were wont to keep so even-that the invalid becomes most exacting . " Unreasonable," you name it to yourself , even though it may be John himself who calls upon you every third minute for some little office of loving kindness ; who wants to be amused and fed and petted , and made generally comfortable as if he were a six-months old baby ; who never remembers that you must be wearied out with watching and anxiety , and that everything below stairs is going to destruction for the want of a balance wheel . The better he loves you the more apt he is to fancy that nobody but you can do anything for him ; the more certain to crave something which no one else knows how to prepare . And when you have strained muscle and patience a little further to get it ready , and with prudent foresight made enough to last for several meals , it is more than probable that this fickle taste will suggest something entirely different for " next time." " Just for a change , you know dear . One gets so tired of eating the same thing so often!"

Epilogue : I have always been somewhat fascinated with Victorian times.
However after reading this excerpt I can say with the utmost confidence that I am so grateful that it is not 1871.

I am grateful for myself and for my husband. Poor dear would be dead.

Katie is feeling much better . I am hoping that this was just a little virus and it has nearly ran its course.

Jake is feeling better although his leg still appears to be infected and he is still having pain in his arm. We will be seeing our family physician tomorrow and should have some more information then .

Thank you to all for your kindness . God bless .


Maria said...

May your "strained muscles and patience" be renewed with a brighter week, Diana!
all the best to you and family ~ Maria

Barb said...

Hmmmm - I was a bit worried that this Victorian drama was playing itself out in your household, Di. Thankfully, not! I'm so glad Katie feels better. I hope Jake gets good news from the DR. Put your feet up tonight and relax - you deserve a break! (Have the servants prepare something nice for dinner.)

All Dolled Up Doll Clothes said...

Well Di, I guess when it rains, it pours! I'm crossing my fingers now that you will all start to get better soon. Sounds like you've all had about enough.

Rebecca said...

Loved that Victorian advice! (I always marvel at their ability to say in 2,000 words what we say in two or three choice ones - which will remain unidentified!

So hope there is a good word from the doctor tomorrow, a further lessening of pain for Jake and grace to match each and every situation you encounter.

Wanda..... said...

The excerpt did seem to be written by an overworked mother doing a little sarcastic complaining ever so politely about her spoiled husband! I bet it was harder to care for the sick in a family back then!

Hope tomorrow brings more relief and better days for everyone Diana...Take time for yourself!

Luv and Smiles,

Dr.John said...

The writing may be old but it is right on the mark.

Eileen said...

Oh, yes, Di, have your servants run amok while you were tending to the sick room?! You just can't get good help these days!

I was here earlier but when I clicked to leave a comment I got booted off your blog! I'm having better luck so far now.

I can't believe all these great things you always find and share with us, and complete with pictures too!

I'm glad Katie's feeling a little better, and I hope Jake heals soon! Let us know what the doctor has to say tomorrow.
This just seems to be unending for you!

Thinking of you!
Love and Prayers,

Jackie said...

Diana...that was a great find! I am glad that you posted it. I loved reading every word of it...and at times found myself saying, "Amen." (Baptists do that...)...and I smiled at your comment. Di, you have the most unbelievable sense of humor and calming effect on will just never know. I can't wait to meet you....and one day I hope to do that. Until then, my friend, know that I am thinking of you....hoping that the trip to the doctor with Jake tomorrow will bring more relief to him. I'm sorry that his leg is still inflamed, and I do want him to be able to find something that will help make this ailment GO AWAY!!!
I love you, my friend.

Bernie said...

Diana, I have always been drawn to the Victorian age as well but my luck I would of been the chamber maid.....I loved those long descriptive paragraphs and still enjoy a good read from that time in history.
I do hope you are getting some rest, am glad that Katie is feeling better and I am praying for Jake and that you all will receive good news tomorrow...Luv ya

Blessings each day said...

Don't you just hate it when the servants run amok behind your back? I have the same trouble with mine, Di, and then the hubby wanting new meals and so much care!!

Well, I am up at 4:00 a.m. and will have to get back to bed but at least I can leave a comment or two...guess it will have to be scattered here and there.

I prayed for your household yesterday at Mass and I do remember to pray everyday.

Gosh it is so sad that Jake has had such a rough time of it! And then Katie 'bit the dust' good to hear that you are still holding up!!!

blessings with lots of prayerful hugs,


Gail said...

Great excerpts. :-) I am prying for all good outcomes, healing and 'order' or some semblance of order anyways. ANd I am sending yu much good energy and prayer.

Love Gail

Anvilcloud said...

Don't you just hate it when the servants slack off?

Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

I enjoyed reading this, I don't think I'd could live back in the Victorian Era either.

Still keeping happy thoughts for everyone. Hope all of you and your family are better soon.

Anvilcloud said...

Definitely take chairs to the clinic. Most of the early birds did, but even the later arrivals should have thought to do that.

Tranquility Speaks said...

How very Witty! And still so true! I could identify with the feeling most certainly :) Good to know things are getting better! May God continue to be with each of you :)