Somewhere back in the unremembered annals of history, specifically three weeks ago, a fairy flew into my bedroom window. Lit with an inner glow and trailing golden sparkles, this diminutive magical creature gracefully flew in my direction. I didn’t know if I was awake or asleep, but either way I was too mesmerized to flinch as she halted in mid-air in front of my face, then reached out a little wand and ever so gently tapped me on my nose. Or, what would have been my nose, had I not been wearing my CPAP mask.

I don’t know if you have ever worn or seen the medieval torture device known as a CPAP mask, but suffice it to say it can get in the way of fairy blessings, not to mention profitable sleep, or a sex life. I am convinced that present day doctors who prescribe CPAP therapy are all direct descendants of The Albino from the Pit of Despair in The Princess Bride. If the CPAP doesn’t work, there is always The Rack.

A blessing?

I always imagined a visit from a fairy would be a delightful experience, a turning point of blessing in my life. I would wake the next day to find a nice boost in my voice-over bookings or a new BMW sitting in my driveway. But no. None of this happened because when the wand made its delicate downward swoop, the CPAP deflected whatever blessings I might have had coming, sending them bouncing them off my cat who bit me because she wasn’t very happy to be woke up, then rebounded off the mirror, hitting me full in the chest. I immediately started coughing.

I have been coughing ever since.

Never having had a visit from a fairy before, I decided not to tell my wife about it since I normally try not to give her excuses for having me committed. Not always an easy thing to do. She still doesn’t know, so keep it quiet, okay?

Now I am sure many of you are scoffing at my explanation of how I got sick. A fairy, really? Well, what ridiculous story do you believe? Bacteria? Germs? Viruses? Itty bitty tiny organisms so small you can’t see them that are all over everywhere which randomly invade your body and try to kill you for no apparent reason? Suuuuure. I’ll stick with fairies. Your idea is too scary.

Unintended consequences

From that fateful night where blessings went astray, my nose began to run. My head began to ache. The dripping and the coughing became more frequent. My cough gradually changed from a throat tickle to a heavy, wet hacking from deep in my chest. Speaking more than a word or two became impossible, as any little thing would set off a coughing fit which simultaneously threatened to invert my soft insides through my mouth while splitting my skull into bloody fragments for good measure.

Have you ever uncontrollably hacked out phlegm from your nose and mouth at the same time while also wearing a face mask? How about hacked sloppy gooey chunks into our mouth but you don’t know whether it is the lunch you just ate or pieces of your lung tissue, and there isn’t a tissue handy to catch it all so you gag as you run to the bathroom with your hand over your mouth, but the running sets off another coughing fit on the way and now all you can think about is cleaning up the spewage before your significant other sees it? Let me tell you, it isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. Right after that episode is when things started to get bad.

I will spare you the really gross stuff.


For the duration of this exercise in fairy folly I have been isolated in my own house because I desperately do not want my wife to get whatever I have (BTW: it isn’t COVID). She has been incredibly helpful by delivering my food and bringing me popsicles. She has never complained. This doesn’t make up for being able to be in the same room to have a conversation, eat a meal, watch a movie, etc., but I have been very grateful for her care. I have great sympathy for those who deal with being very sick but who have no one to bring them popsicles.

Unfortunately, she has also been learning to her great delight that sprawling out to cover our bed at night without my being in the way has sweet, sweet advantages. I’m not sure I will be completely welcome when I get well enough to sleep in my own bed again, but it will be a few more days before I need to worry about that.

Getting better

After a couple of doctor visits and a couple of prescriptions, I have begun to get better, but WAAAAAY too slowly. At the current rate of recovery, I expect I may be able to speak a full sentence without coughing within a week or so.

As you might correctly surmise, I have not been able to record a single thing. My booth has been as lonely and isolated as I have been. Hopefully I can rectify that soon!

The moral of the story

I don’t write all of this to get your pity, or even sympathy. I write it because… because… I’m not sure why I am writing this. My brain isn’t working very well after having been sick for so long. Oh yes, I remember. The moral of the story.

There are lessons to be learned in everything we go through. These past few weeks for me have been less than fun to say the least. It is no exaggeration to say I don’t remember ever having been so sick. I am in the process of recovering now, but am weak, and know I have a ways to go. I have also lost a lot of audition opportunities, and potentially work. All of this came in the midst of other issues I was already dealing with.


Yet, I am grateful. I am grateful for our spare bedroom which allows me to protect my wife through isolation. I am thankful for having someone to care for me. I am grateful that I have voiceover colleagues who will support me through prayer. I am grateful that things didn’t get worse than they did. I am grateful for being in the recovery process.


I am also encouraged. I am looking forward to the new opportunities I will have and the jobs I have yet to book. I am encouraged by the good things I know are coming and the real blessings I will receive. I am excited to see what fruit this time of “rest” will bear.

Despite still feeling lousy, I am reminded of one of the key lessons I have learned throughout my life: I have control over how I view my world. I’m not talking about denying the truth of what I am going through. I am simply asserting that I am not held captive by the bad things which come my way. I can pay more attention to the good—and there is always good—and be grateful for it. I have the choice to look at the great place I believe I will eventually be instead of at the shit I stand in now. Both are real. Only one can have my attention. Only one deserves my attention.

Are you going through something right now? When a random fairy flies into your room at night and accidentally blows up your world, which view will you take? It is okay to feel bad, to be sick, to be discouraged, to even despair. My hope is that you won’t be held captive in that place. That you will look for the good and focus on it, finding gratitude and encouragement.

As a final note, if you need someone to pray for you, ask. I will.

Be well.


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16 Responses

  1. Heh-heh-h-heh. Eh-heh-heh-heh. You said “annals.” Heh-heh-heh-h-heh. Eh-heh-heh-heh… Yeah! Yeah! “Annals!” Heh-heh-eh-heh-heh-heh!!

    “Never having had a visit from a fairy before, I decided not to tell my wife about it since I normally try not to give her excuses for having me committed.” I do believe this very sentence just won the internet. Nicely done! May I call your wife to congratulate her personally? I’ll just be needing her phone number, please.

    Hey! Let’s talk etiquette for a moment. I’m not sure you really understand the concept of sparing people things. I think you forgot to spare us ANY of the gross details, juuuuuuuuuuust before you said you would spare us. I think there are classes you can take on getting things in the right order. Be a lamb and take one of those, would you? Baaaaaaaaaaa.

    Also, “I am simply asserting that I am not held captive by the bad things which come my way.”. BRAVO. Way to go. This sentence is pure gold, and I think Theresa C. Ho would agree with you based on her most recent “Mindset” blog. It really is all about mind over matter, isn’t it? Way to keep the main thing the main thing, and not be held captive.

    PS, I really, REALLY want to thank you. After going in for a sleep study it was recommended to me that I get a CPAP. Now that I know that they are fairy-prohibitive, well I’m just going to bow out, now, aren’t I!!!! #gimmethatfairydust

    • You guys might consider trying the “nasal pillow” cpap mask. It doesn’t cover your entire face, so makes it much less nasty when you cough and sneeze. Or… maybe NOT containing the grossness inside the mask is more gross? Hmm… You know what, either way, gross. LOL

      Anyhoo, I actually like being able to breathe without snoring so loud it rattles every wall in my current 1300 sq. ft. abode, and didn’t mind the full mask too much, aside from the aforementioned downsides – fairy blessings, profitable sleep, *ahem* etc. I also found that as a migraineur, I couldn’t wear the full mask in the throes of a migraine. The nasal pillows are a little lighter on the face and around the skull, so I’ve been able to use it even in the midst of a migraine.

      It takes some getting used to. If you open your mouth, the air shoots right out, which is great if you identify as a dragon. Super awkward, though, if you’re content as a regular ol’ human, and don’t want air zipping through your nose and out your mouth. LOL

      All that to say, glad it’s all settling down finally, that definitely sounded like NOT such a great time was had by all. Yikes!

      • Thanks for reading and commenting! I do use a nasal pillow type mask and it is a lot more tolerable than the full-face ones, which I never could adapt to.

      • I never really realized just how much content I expel in a sneeze until we started masking “around the clock”. It was uh… Concerning and eye opening. And that’s without being sick, eesh!

        “My hope is that you won’t be held captive in that place.” is a very, very striking sentence to me. I REALLY like the wording you chose there – because I feel like that’s EXACTLY what happens when situations start getting the better of us. We get stuck. And I hate that so much. I feel like I’ve been getting stuck more than usual lately and it’s so frustrating. I feel like your blog was exactly what I’ve been needing to read. Thank you for your wonderful writing and encouragement Jon.

        • Thank you, Michael. Your words mean a lot to me. I will pray for you to be showered with unstuckness*!

          *Copyright 2022 by Jon Gardner, Jon Gardner Media, all rights reserved.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear that you are so sick, Jon! Poor you! I’m glad that you are on the road to recovery.

    Regarding the CPAP, I suffer from light sleep apnea and tried a CPAP for a month. I gave up! It made my sleep worse than without it.

    Take care, my friend!

    • Thanks for reading, Theresa! It literally took two years and a nasal surgery for me to be able to tolerate it. Adapting is no joke, but sleep apnea isn’t either. It leads to heart problems, cognitive decline, and ultimately can kill you. Fortunately, if you can’t tolerate a CPAP (and most people can’t) there are dental appliances which are almost as effective. Not any more sexy, but pretty effective.

  3. I love your gratitude, Jon. That alone makes all the difference.

    “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~Unknown

    Get your rest and get well soon. We need you.

  4. Geez, Jon, if you’d just let that fairy leave a shiny new quarter under your pillow, this could have all been avoided. Hope you kick that fairy’s butt into the next enchanted forest you come across when you get better.

  5. Jon I am so sorry you were so sick, sounds awful. But you are so right, as terrible as the bad moments are they 1) give us perspective to recognize the good moments, and 2) give us an opportunity to FIND the good, and 3) cause us to ask the difficult questions and GROW from them.

    • So true! I refuse to let any bad life experience go by without my having wrestled something good from it. Thank you for reading!

  6. Great post, Jon! Sorry to hear you were so sick and hopefully by now you’re feeling much better! Appreciate the reminder to stay positive even in crappy circumstances. The one and only thing entirely in our control is how we choose to think about things.

    And just to clarify, if I don’t sleep with a CPAP I should only have positive fairy encounters, yeah?

    • Correct, up to a point. The CPAP won’t get in the way, but I can’t attest to the intent of the hypothetical fairy involved.
      Thanks for reading, Tyler!

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