In Sickness And In Health / Gifted

A black and white photo of a woman led on a sofa with a glass of water and some tabets nexct to her, suggests colds and flu

Because sharing really is caring, either way.

I’ve been sleeping on an air mattress on the lounge floor for five days running now. That sounds like I mind it, but I don’t, not at all. Make no mistake, I miss my bed and I miss Matt, but when we’re both coughing, sniffling and generally restless? The air bed doesn’t seem like such a bad solution. It’s kind of got a whiff of nostalgia to it, back to my old days under canvas in rural Wales. I’ve got my own sort of camp set-up, too: My air bed, piles of pillows and blankets, and a tupperware tub of full of my nightly esentials. Quite quickly, I developed my own systemic way of doing things.

On Tuesday, I saw my mother. She was coughing and breathless, but otherwise seemed to be okay. She assured me that she’d had these symptoms a while, and because she has now had Covid not less than three times, nobody can rule out “Long Covid” as the cause. Mum is now on an inhaler to help with her breathing and she is waiting for a chest x-ray to check her lungs. Lasting symptoms, we thought, but no infection.

Then Matt’s nose started to run “like a tap”.

Oh heck.

By the second day, he was bedbound.

By day three, I struggled to get anything done. I wasn’t ill per se, but my body hurt more than usual and everything seemed to be more of a concerted effort. I went into “survival mode”, isolating Matt in the bedroom and treating the bug the same way we’d survived Covid-19 – with gallons of Dettol, social distancing if one of us showed symptoms, and frequent and thorough handwashing.

But by day four, I too was bedbound.

Waking up yesterday, I’d forgotten how it felt to be ill. My face felt sore, my ears hurt and even mustering the energy to answer a simple call of nature took several attempts.

“Come on, legs. Work with me here!” I growled. The room was spinning, even without vodka.

When I’m unwell, then for whatever reason, my medical fetishism kicks up even more. Perhaps it’s not a fetishism as such, but it’s an acceptance of help. An acceptance that, for once in my damned life, I too need to be cared for.

I lost myself for a while in some medical cold/flu ASMR, allowing myself to feel that little bit cared for. It definitely does exist, if you’re wondering, and it did actually help a little bit, too.

At one point in one video, the suggestion of cannulation came up and somewhere in the back of my mind, the well part of me wanted to protest.

No needles! No scratchy things! I’m not okay with this!

Despite my internal protest and want to change the video, I barely even let out a whimper. Even if I wanted to move, my body refused.

God damnit! Ill me is really fucking weak.

On Wednesday and before being floored by a cold, I did break free of the chains of my past. It hurts in a way and yet, I also know that it’s for the best. Cherished items and habits had to become mere things to me, I had to disconnect from them somehow because as soon as I gave them thoughts or memories, I knew that I’d let guilt and hope consume me once more. Once they were gone, I decided, I could let myself grieve.

The granola and yogurt is now off to be turned into electricity at a plant in Avonmouth. Power turned into power? The thought brought about a wry smile. A moment of strength in a moment of weakness? Perhaps.

And yet, laying in bed last night, a sudden realisation struck me: I’d opened my heart and my mind to rhe idea of another after this, but I’d already been gifted to another and without even realising it until now – Bill.

Bill and I have discussed a dynamic before, but nothing had ever come of. Bill and I are friends, close friends – best friends even – but we’d never sought to take our relationship beyond that. Bill’s partner, Red, had never given him permission to go any further, and out of respect for them, I’d never pushed.

Bill knows me, really knows me, and he’s seen me through some of the hardest moments of my life. When I appealed my claim for PIP, Bill was more of a source of support and information than even my representatives were. When I lost my father, Bill sent me a candle plate with bees on a it, a nod to the bee-themed funeral that we had for my father. There’s also the copy of The Little Book Of Quick Fixes For The Impatient Gardener that sits on my bookshelf, because Bill knows my tendency to try and do everything yesterday, including the garden.

For my part, I helped Bill come up with his blog name, Rope & Roses. It came to me because of what I know of Bill – a sadist, but soft in the middle and with a heart of gold. Much like my domain name though, I’d expected it to be gone. It wasn’t.

I commented on Bill’s post yesterday, and shortly after, I remembered the last time that I saw Bill. We’d all met for dinner at a restaurant in town and Bill took great delight in publicly degrading me across the table, reducing me to almost nothing; a possession, a belonging, an object. Something Bill knows that I enjoy.

Consensually anyway, when agreements et al are in place.

Logic told me to get up and walk away, but my brain refused to listen. I stayed stuck in my seat, confused, mesmerised… aroused?

Bill is my friend! Friends don’t do this to other friends!

Still, what I did discover at that meal was just quite how well Matt and Bill do get along. They both sat there regarding me, smirking at me, talking of me and not not to me. They stripped me of my control.


Matt still speaks highly of Bill to this day.

“I’d trust Bill with you” he says during one break in my previous relationship. I wave the thought off – Bill is a great friend to me, and relationships can’t be matchmade. We have an understanding of one another and a sort of ‘flirtationship’ as the kids call it, and I’ve long enjoyed dancing just out of reach, aware – perhaps foolishly – that nothing more could ever come of. Red would never agree to anything, and I knew that. I didn’t think Matt would go for it, either.

But then he did.

In essence, then I’d long forgotten what I was always supposed to remember – The Golden Rule.

If you tease another Dominant, I won’t save you from them.

“Do you realise you’ve effectively gifted me to Bill?” I challenge this morning. He looks at me and smiles smugly, he says nothing more.

9 thoughts on “In Sickness And In Health / Gifted

    1. Thank you sweet! Indeed lots of chicken soup and lots of hot blackcurrant squash too, which I swear should be an international cure for the sniffles because it really helps! hehe. Thank you chica and big socially distanced squeezes to you and the Captain too xx

  1. This brings back PTSD to just a month or two back when I had my run with COVID. I felt floored too. And as much as I spout positivity and the never-say-die attitude, I can assure you that all semblance of positivity went out the window on day three. I couldn’t even bring myself to suffer properly, lol. It was just a day of unease and desire for things to feel ‘normal’ again.

    Anyway, hope you get better soon, since it’s only been five days that you’ve been relegated to the air mattress. Do keep us updated!

    1. Oh bless you Stuart! I definitely know that desire. When you’re such a go-getter, anything that floors you is incredibly frustrating at the v ery least. On day three I remember trying to drink some water. I couldn’t even take a sip without feeling like I was drowning, so that was fun. I do remember in one of the ASMR videos that I watched though, the lady said that sometimes illness is a message from your body to take some time to slow down and get some rest. Do you think that might be true for people like us?

      Thank you! I’m pleased to say that I’m back in my own bed now, though the symptoms haven’t completely gone away. The breathlessness has more or less gone, it’s just some residual congestion now. Steam and hot drinks help 🙂 I hope you’ve recovered from your COVID experience now? Do take care of yourself and thank you for stopping by Stuart!

      1. Oh yeah, have definitely recovered. Because I have a Fitbit, I realised that my resting heart rate was like 5 beats higher on average post-COVID. But even that has subsided after a couple months since recovery.

        Under normal circumstances, I think illness is a sign for us to rest. COVID though? That’s just us being invaded by outside forces, lol.

      2. Ooh! I keep meaning to investigate a fitbit or similar but… you know that thing when you have a few dozen things you want to buy and not enough money to buy them all? Well see, that pair of sparkly pullthrough earrings winked at me and… well, maybe in a few months now, m’kay? Lol.

        I can’t speak for COVID because I don’t know that I’ve had it, but campylobacter pylori was hell for me. I’ve had two run-ins with it now and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Even once the D&V stops, there’s intense and sudden abdominal cramps that make you wonder whether you should call for an ambulance or the MIB, and chronic dizziness that every wild Saturday night combined couldn’t reproduce. Please, please keep your kitchen clean Stuart because believe me, you do not want campylobacter pylori! Lol.

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