Down For The Count

I’ve just spent four days in bed, and not with a hot guy either. My sudden malaise began on Thursday, and is just now, taking flight.

I haven’t had the flu in ten years. To be forced to stay in bed has been more than a little humbling, and scary too. I had to hold onto the wall when I did get up watching all in my path spin like woozy ballerinas.

My body retaliated against whatever invaded it, like a Navy Seal, refusing even water leaving me in a dry-heave on the bathroom floor.

How attractive was I?

So many things crossed my mind as I crawled back to bed, I want to say like a beached whale, but was more a washed-up trout. You want to drop a few fast pounds? This is the way to do it alright. I can’t even keep my pajama bottoms up without a pin.

I hazily remembered something I hadn’t thought of in years about my Italian grandparents who lived below us when I was a kid.

Whenever I was sick as a little girl, they’d come upstairs and hold quiet vigil. They’d perch on our mustard-colored sofa with me across my grandmother’s lap, fevered and flushed, while she gently stroked my back. My grandfather would tousle my hair and say, “Whats’ a wrong with our’a little Susilina.” A four year-old had no idea how special this was, assuming it was just part of the cure alongside the soup my mother spoon-fed me and the late night alcohol rubs to cool me down.

Fluffy the cat made a cameo with her bushy tail she’d fan me with until my mother shooed her away. My father, to be funny, called her Nurse Fluff since she’d find a way to sneak back checking on her mistress.

At one point over the weekend I got emotional feeling so alone in my bedroom that was becoming like a cell, when this memory came a callin’.

I stopped my wailing, blew my nose and somehow felt comforted. Were they there and I just couldn’t see them…my grandmother in her cozy, cotton housedress, the smell of butter and flour clinging to my granddad’s flannel shirt (he was a baker)?

The thought of their care, so long ago, rocked me into a peaceful sleep.

And look at how much better I am.












About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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18 Responses to Down For The Count

  1. micklively says:

    So pleased you’re on the mend. Strange how memories can be such a comfort. The mind is so weird!


  2. You were on my mind all day yesterday and just now when I was in the shower as I was figuring out how I was going to fit a trip to the Big Apple in my week if you were no better. Dead serious!!
    I’m glad you are on the mend, but somewhat disappointed that my nursing duties may not be needed. Oh, and when I say “nursing duties” I mean keeping you company and bringing Carmella over for a visit.
    Happy to hear you are on the mend compliments of your wonderful grandparents. I just know they were with you.
    By the way the smell of butter and flour on a man would be a turn-on for this girl…a dash of vanilla wouldn’t hurt.


    • He smelled like a cookie all the time…Pops was a keeper.

      Carmela, do you know on Saturday I was so sick…like you have no idea, and all I could think of was she’ll be waiting by the gate and I wouldn’t come. Broke my heart…so in-between heaves, I wrote her a note…Dear Carm, Estoy infermas…will try to come Domingo…love, Susannah…with a biscuit in the envelope. I prayed…God…just let me get across the street to deliver this note…and I did…it was a miracle because that was it…I was in bed for three days after that.

      I’d love having you for a nurse…like Lucy showing up on her way to Connecticut LOL


  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    Sorry to hear you’re under the weather, Susannah. Nothing worse than the flu, although food poisoning is a close tie. I’m glad your memories warmed you up.


  4. AF says:

    So glad it’s lifting, and what a beautiful post.


    • Thanks, considering there were no rewrites…I was only able to sit up for a few minutes at a time, so I wrote it all day. I had to just let it be what it was first round…hope I didn’t make too many of my infamous grammatical errors. You’re very nice to write to me 🙂


  5. AF says:

    It looked perfect to me. Glad you’re getting rest.


  6. gmg says:

    Glad you are feeling a bit better. When I am sick, I always want my mother (I’m in my 60’s). So glad the memories nurtured you….


  7. katecrimmins says:

    So sorry to hear you weren’t well. When I don’t feel good I cover up and watch stupid TV shows. I always wish my Mom was around to make her chicken soup and of course, wait on me. Moms are the best but your grandparents sound pretty wonderful.


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