Can I Get a Refund on This Body?

Deanna Eppers
5 min readNov 1, 2021

How Halloween played out at my house.

I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. In writing this I am merely stacking up frustrations I carry each time I fall down again. If I could stop getting sick, I would, but I’m not terribly in control of this body. Yeah, I have the usual platter of lupus, nerve pain from another immune issue, a paralyzed stomach, migraines and whatever. It’s the cold that turned into a tight bronchitis which in turn activated my lupus (thanks so much) that has me upset.

When can I catch a break? I have a doctor appointment tomorrow, but I was going to ask for a referral to a marijuana doctor for some pain; and now this infection is going to be what I’m dealing with. And I’m mad. Steaming, hopping mad at my body. I’d love to trade with somebody. I would willingly take a healthy seventy year old body right now. I won’t state my age, but I am north of fifty. And I want a trade-in, except who would want to trade with me?

I know. There are many very ill people in the world who would love to be me. I understand that. I suppose what happened today was the icing on the cake. I woke up at the cabin feeling like a truck hit me. I am cutting back on some meds, so sleeping eight hours straight while being dead to the world means my body isn’t keeping up. We tidied up the place and left, and my son and his fiancé were at our home with their daughter; so we visited. They left to do trick-or-treat at their place, while I went upstairs to face plant into my bed.

Photo by James Kemp on Unsplash

My husband walked in pronto, saying he was packing for his trip, so I took my blanket and found a different bed. Not super comfy. Don’t visit right now, because the mattress on the only queen bed we have is hard as a rock. I need new pillows too. Did I mention I have A.D.D.? I didn’t sleep, went downstairs in time to dump all the Halloween candy into a big bowl and set it by the front door. All fine.

Except. We live down a long driveway. The only one in the neighborhood, so the plan was to sit in chairs at the end of the drive, drink whiskey and hand out the treats. I told my husband I didn’t feel up to sitting outside, and he looked a bit crestfallen and handed out candy at the door. When he left at the halfway point to buy subs for our dinner, he called saying everyone was outside enjoying trick-or-treat. Of course that was going to get to me. I do have FOMO, but I do miss out all the freaking time! It’s what I do. I miss out.

I wound up taking a chair and candy to the end of the driveway, where I tried not to hack on the kids. I even had a coughing fit so bad I had to run to the house for cough syrup. Not actual running, because that would entail feeling well enough move quickly and procure the cough syrup and water. I coughed like a person with Covid at times, and I even told someone I am fully Moderna vaxxed, and took a Covid test that came back negative. I felt sick and guilty outside, though I had a lovely conversation with my next door neighbor. Too bad he’s moving to Florida. Right, where was I?

I let the kids pick out their candy. I didn’t touch a thing, except the whiskey. Which was medicinal.

Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

I drank the cough syrup straight from the bottle. Please don’t tell my husband, as he finds that incredibly unhygienic and he won’t drink the bottle after I have. Though, at the rate I’m going I’ll be down three bottles in five days. I know. I should drink the one with codeine in it, but that keeps me awake and makes me hyper. So. I returned to my post and drank the scotch, and then went inside. I did something I never, ever do. That’s what killed me. My mood. My state of mind.

I watched the original Halloween movie, but that was all fine and good. This was the killer: I went on Facebook and read all about what other people are doing. I didn’t know you could go out with the ladies Friday night, then watch a kid or grandchild’s game, go to a a college football game, then a baby shower and finish up with a Halloween party all within one weekend. I’m not even mentioning the football watch parties and the groups hanging out for trick-or-treat. Where do they get the energy? Is it me, or does Facebook exist to make others look really good? It’s me. I know.

A healthy version of me feels impressed by my friends. But healthy takes me back to seventeen, and I did lots of stupid things back then. I don’t want that version of me. I’d take a me minus lupus, though. I think I could do about half the things the super achievers in the world do. I’d just spread one of their weeks over a year and call it a day.

Back to this sick thing. I’m now inside. It’s officially November. I have to keep it together, but my best friend is in a cult and I have to tell her, two of my kids have birthdays this month, and Thanksgiving is at my house this year. Like it has been since 1997. Please. Don’t go all Hallmark on me and mention Christmas is right around the corner. It’s always around the corner, except on the actual day itself. I have a November to experience. Can I do it without walking pneumonia, please? I’ll even keep the lupus.

Good. I’m glad I got that off my chest. Now I have to drink more cough syrup. Or whiskey. It really does quiet a cough.



Deanna Eppers

Musician, ex-CPA at KPMG Peat Marwick, volunteer, decorator, renovating another house, mom to three, wife to one, blogs about finding happiness