Monday, December 2, 2013


OK, tell the truth…

It's the title that made you curious, right??

Well, first of all, let me tell you that it's not a new strain of flu.  It is not a rodent version of the recent Avian Flu bug.  It does have a scientific name, though…

Sickius Horriblus.

However, I also looked it up in Sharon's Acrostic Dictionary, and this is what I found:

F eeling
L ousy:
U nderstatement

Yup, it is true, I am just now beginning to recover from a nasty case of flu.  It flattened me, literally, for days on end.  And, because misery loves company, I've decided to regale you with a listing and descriptions of my fun symptoms:

1)  Fever and Chills:  It's a whole lot of fun to be feverish AND chilly. Especially when it's like 40 degrees and rainy outside, and you're under 20 blankets.  Only to throw them off a few minutes later when you start roasting. Tell you what – it almost made me miss the good ol' days of hot flashes…almost.

2)  Aches and Pains:  Ah, who knew that hair follicles or cheekbones or toes could hurt so much.  Every joint, every muscle, every bone, every single inch of skin hurt.  Not to mention how much it hurt to look at my face in the mirror.

3)  Headache:  A cleaver right in the middle of the top of my head. Stabbing knives behind my eyes.  An arrow piercing through my temples.  A hammer pounding on my forehead.  A vise gripping the back of my neck. Yeah, the flu brings out the *tools and weapons* imagery.

4)  Bags Under the Eyes:  Who needs luggage?  I toted around a pair of Samsonite for days.

5)  Congestion:  I have used umpteen boxes of Kleenex.  "The Hub" thoughtfully placed a brown paper bag next to the bed for "discards."  That poor man was emptying it on the hour.

6)  Sore Throat:  Swallowing glass, using an emery board on my tonsils, abrasions on my voicebox, forks jabbing at the roof of my mouth – these are all accurate descriptions of the pain.  I hate sore throats.  Until that blessed day when you wake up and there seems to be a "coating" that makes it not-quite-so-excruciating to swallow.

7)  Earaches:  Gave me a whole new sympathy for the earaches that plagued my sons when they were little.  Also, since our noses seem to be connected to our throats and our throats are connected to our ears, the pain seems to be an equal-opportunity giver.  I'm sure this connection has a good purpose when we're well.  When you're sick?  A highway of discomfort.

8)  Nausea:  Maybe from the fever, maybe from the virus – nonetheless, a fun accompaniment.  Echoes of morning sickness.  Crackers and plain English muffins were my friends.  Oh, and pretzel sticks.

9)  Wonderful "I'm Sick" Attitude:  Yup, I am a terrible sick person.  In the beginning, I get all small and needy.  I want constant attention and company.  I feel sorry for myself, and I'd like the feeling to be reciprocated. Then, when I get really sick, I become comatose.  Yes, it's a respite from the whining, indeed, but mumbling moaning isn't pretty either.  Finally, as I begin to get better, I become oh-so-cranky.  Impatient with being a patient. Grumpy.

Are we having fun yet??

But, the last symptom that I want to mention is the worst – and it is the source of the title of this post.


What is the rat's nest, you ask?

It is what I call the thing that used to be my hair.

I have quite long hair.

I have long hair for three reasons.

One, my husband really likes my long hair.  Two, I really like my long hair. And reason #2 probably has a lot to do with reason #3 – rebellion.  Most of my life I had very short hair because that's the way my dad wanted it.  He thought it looked "sporty."  I thought it made me look like a young boy, who then got metal braces, and was gangly and quiet.  (I still can't figure out why I didn't date in high school…HA!)

So, when you have long hair, and you're sick with the flu, and you spend inordinate amounts of time in bed…you end up with a rat's nest.

A tangled and mangy and dirty mass of something – more accurately, some THING – on the top of your head.

Sure, I tried to manage it.

I tied it up in a topknot with a scrunchie.  "The Hub" said it just made me look like a Who from that famous Dr. Seuss book.  (Where was Horton when I needed him??)

I tried braiding it.  Then I just ended up with a semi-decorative rat's nest.  And, in the end, this was much harder to unravel.

I tried letting it run free.  That was the biggest error.  Those of you who remember your Greek mythology – (and don't we all, because we loved it so) – might remember a certain woman named Medusa.  Well, free-range flu follicles can often resemble a broody nest of reptilian rascals.  Just sayin'...

So, Rat's Nest Flu.

Get the picture?!

A matted, messy, unmanageable clump.

(Looked up clump in the Thesaurus – enjoyed these alternative words: cluster, tuft, thicket, clod, lump, wad, glob.  All accurate.)

So, today was the day that I decided something had to be done.

It was time to untangle and clean up the mess.

This began with a wrestling match between my hair and my brush.  Getting through "the nest" is NOT easy.  Especially when you're really trying hard not to pull all of your hair out.  It's a tango dance of holding the hair at the scalp, gingerly combing out the ends first, and sometimes it involves separating individual hairs.  (Oh sure, every now and then, a tiny battle is lost, and scissors have to come out.  Just for ONE particularly tiny knot, mind you. Short hair is a thing of the past…)

Ouch is involved.

But, once untangled, it's time for shampoo and conditioner.  And boy oh boy, does that part make it all worth it!

I can't leave you today without a spiritual thought.

And this one's a stretch in some ways.  But hang in there, I did think about this as I was standing in the shower.

How often do I try to "fix" the little (or big) glitches in my spiritual character by dressing them up?

That little tendency to gossip maybe?  Let's put a colorful *scrunchie* on it and call it "just a prayer request for someone because did you know that they…"

Or how about that propensity to be distracted?  I can *braid* my life up in lots of busyness – especially when I want to avoid something that would require obedience to God.

Might I just mention how I complain?  Or criticize?  Yup, sometimes I just let that tongue of mine *run free* – say whatever I want.  I don't even try to tame it.  I just let it go.

But in the end, all I have is a rat's nest of tangled sins and messy mistakes – a matted clump that stifles the Holy Spirit.

And there comes a time when there is nothing left to do but clean it up.

Letting Him untangle it all is hard sometimes.  Though He's infinitely caring in the way He treats me, sometimes the work He does hurts. Pulling out stuff is painful.  Sometimes it's a long process, and sometimes it involves painstakingly precise pruning.

But in the end, I can jump into the shower of His blessingsclean and warm and shining again.  Drenched in Living Water.  Beautiful once morebecause of His tango dance of transformation.

Trust me, it's worth it!!

X-Ray of Seriously Sick Sharon 

"...Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2:17, NIV)

"Wash yourselves and be clean!...Give up your evil ways." (Isaiah 1:16, NLT)

"Soak me…and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life." (Psalm 51:7, The Message)

"Jesus said, 'If I don't wash you, you can't be part of what I'm doing.' 'Master!' said Peter.  'Not only my feet, then.  Wash my hands! Wash my head!'" 
(John 13:8-9, The Message)

What *untangling* does the Holy Spirit need to do in your life?

A great quote:  "That's why sometimes it's best if we just sit quietly and wait. And let God do some work and untangling on our behalf." – Lysa TerKeurst, Proverbs 31 Ministries

(SIDENOTE:  Let me tell you, "The Hub" is a sainted man.  He played doctor/nurse throughout the whole ordeal.  He was attentive, patient, kind, and tenderhearted.  He made food, made beds, piled on blankets, took them off, helped me take a shower, checked on me constantly, held my hand, held his tongue – in general, he took CARE of me.  I am so grateful for him.)

Linked today with:

Jen at UNITE
Darlene at TITUS 2SDAY

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Sharon, only you could describe a bad case of the flu and use it in a stand-up comedy act! You are hysterical, girl...and then turn it around and put a spiritual slant on it! It sounds like you must be feeling better..,praise the Lord for that! Have a healthy week ahead :)

  2. I don't think you stretched it at all to tie the scriptures to your rat's nest flu post. You always make me laugh and then hit me over the head with the frying pan of God's Word. Thank you, my friend! Praying for restored health for you and a resilient constitution for your hubby.

  3. Well, I am sorry you had to endure the flu but glad it is nearly over. What a wonderful husband you have. Thanks for the laughs even though I felt bad laughing at your misery.

  4. Pam, the title certainly caught my attention. Sorry to hear that you were so under the weather but glad you are feeling better. As always I like the spiritual lessons you connected.

  5. Gosh Andy has those symptoms and we went to the doctor last night he and he had strep throat! I hope you feel better my friend. I hate being sick too. sandie

  6. You said it in living color! There are few things that make us feel more miserable than a full blown version of the flu. I related to every symptom, and could almost feel your pain! I am so glad you are beginning to feel better, and a big high five to 'the hub' for being such a good caregiver.

    Here's to a healthy December, no more flu!!

  7. (((Sharon))) Sounded like an awful flu, but loved your humor about it (now after the fact I'm sure when you are feeling a bit better). I liked how you tied it all together too with a great lesson we all can learn! Do take care of yourself!


  8. Hi Sharon, Oh this has to be one of your top posts, but sorry you had to suffer, to be inspired. God Bless Nita

  9. Hi Sharon
    Oh, this is how Fm/CFS feels every day, so I also don't wash my hair as much as I used to. My hair is also long and has a fine texture, so for me the washing is one thing, but combing it out with all the tangles is quite another. As much as my Hubbie loves me, this is one thing he refuses to do for me.I heard there is a new foamy hair product on the market that you just put on your hair like mousse. It is expensive, but I want to give it a try.
    Blessings XX

  10. Sorry, Sharon, I forgot to say that this new hair product makes your hair fells clean and fresh again for the in between days.XX

  11. Hi Sharon,
    I knew exactly what that title meant as soon as I read it...Being a long haired woman myself! (until last week that is)
    Been there and done all that!
    I love how God took your awful experience...mess that it was, and turned it into such a great faith lesson... And made me laugh (I love the way you write!) I really needed a laugh today and a lesson too.
    Blessings and love~ Lisa

  12. Hi Sharon! Oh, you poor baby!! I get so sad when I'm sick. I suppose it's because I am the ultimate control freak, and being sick is not on the schedule. I'm so glad you are feeling better...that emery board on the throat thing really made me squirm (very descriptive!).
    I am trying to let the Lord guide my life, and stop making up all the things he could do for me. He knows best, he'll detangle me and my life. I just have to keep that faith.
    I bet your hair is gorgeous now!
    Hugs :)

  13. Okay, the X-ray picture is what drew me to your post - thought it was hilarious. And then I read and laughed some more. Great stuff here. Hope you get to feeling better soon. I love the prayer on your blog sidebar - I've never seen someone post a personal prayer like that and I really love that. So glad I found your blog today. Happy hair brushing!

  14. I do hope you are feeling better by now. I enjoyed your illustrated symptoms of being sick and then your bringing to around with a spiritual lesson. Thank you for sharing with us here at "Tell Me a Story."

  15. Well first, I'm glad you are on the mend. I have been distracted with a sick friend and am just getting here. (She passed away. I'm blue. Just felt like mentioning that.) I loved your analogy, and it's right on target. I loved the braiding one the best, mainly because I would never have thought of that one.

  16. Oh my! How do you take something so awful and make it so great!? :)

    Thank you for linking with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday! God bless!

  17. Sweet mercy - I'm so sorry. I do hope you're emerging and that you've experienced success with your "rat's nest" ... on top of your head and in spirit as well.


  18. Sharon, you crack me up! I hope you are feeling better. Thanks for reminding me that I can't do much of anything without the Holy Spirit's help. :)

  19. I love your humor mixed with truth of the bible. You are fun!! I love the reasons for long hair. I have long hair too and for the same reasons as you...I started growing it when I was 15 when it got cut way too short for my liking. I am linked after you over at Missional Woman and I saw your post on my blog and it sure got my

  20. Hoot and a half, here, Sharon. Glad to know you're better. All that just so the Lord could give you a great word picture of a spiritual principle for your blog. LOL. Sounds like you had a doozy of the flu. You should keep some of the Thieves essential oil for such distresses. Message me via email for info on getting some for your meds cabinet. Ed and I never get cold and flu sick - though - every year the joint pain gets worse. The better to trust the Lord in, my dear.

  21. Oh friend, I hope you are feeling better! And oh how I get you will pulling out the tangles in our lives...sometimes they hurt, but in the end, it's always worth it! UNITED in Him, Jen

  22. When you described some of this I thought of the time my husband and I had malaria in Uganda in May, '95. We were a day off from each other. So, one hot, one cold. We had one blanket. So, when the cold one needed it, the blanket was there and the hot one -- Dave or I -- snuggled to the cold one to get less heat.. It was quite serious, but quite funny in a way. And we recovered weeks and months later. At any rate, alone is one thing, together is another. OH, and we didn't deal with rats at that time, but right in the midst of our seriousness, we dealt with bats. I could tell you a funny story. Maybe I need to post about it. It was serious, but it was a God gift to make it through successfully on time. [Oh, and we WERE taking the pills before, and that kept us alive and less sick, even though it was the worst sickness we could have imagined. It's similar to flu in how it feels, BUT it's significantly BIGGER]

  23. Laughing Out Loud....Literally. Made. My. Day. Laughing even more because I, too, just recovered from an 8 day bout with the Type A flu myself! I brought it home from Ontario! It hit me like a freight train at 11 a.m. Tuesday the week before Thanksgiving.

    The body aches were horrible! Felt like someone was hitting my legs with a hammer. The real flu is not vomiting and diarrhea and it sounds like you had the real thing too. It is fever, severe aches and extreme fatigue and malaise. Sometimes a sore throat, headache, chills...No fun!

    I had it a few years ago right after Hurricane Katrina...we were living in Missouri and had went to Louisiana for a conference, came back home and boom! Same thing...I went to the doctor that time because I was so sick and they tested me. It wasn't in my little town and he couldn't figure out why I had it. Then I said I had been to Louisiana...three weeks I was sick that time! I feel for you friend!!!

    My hair is long too and I didn't look so great, I did manage to wash it the third day. Couldn't stand it...crept back to bed. :) Hope you are on the mend and back to your old self!! Blessings and thanks for the laugh! ♥

  24. Poor you. I haven't had flu for several years but I still remember the times I suffered in the way you are now and feel your pain. Get well soon!
    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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