Wednesday, April 17, 2013

In Sickness and Health?

I remember the first time in our marriage that Brad got laid-out, miserable, coming from both ends sick.
I remember getting him water then going to the store because he complained he needed gatorade. Cleaning the toilet and sheets after, well...gross. Getting him applesauce because that's one of the things you can supposedly eat. And if all that weren't enough, I was expected to *rolls eyes* rub his back because he was all whimpery and expected me to hover like a doting nurse-wife.
Through the years I have begrudgingly done various things at the request of my oft-sick husband such as go to the grocery store to find this Kosher, Jewish-made chicken broth that all good Jewish wannabes eat when they're sick. Supposedly it's a miracle-cure that his rabbi friend told him about. *eye roll*
I have gone to the store multiple times to get gatorade because apple juice would not suffice. "It doesn't have electrolytes!" he complained. I've gone to the store to get ginger ale because that's what his mom gave him.

More recently I have gone to the store for some kind of "Carbohydrate snack" that my husband felt he needed in order to keep up his strength and recover.

"What kind do you want?" I asked.

"Whatever. Just get a variety."

I come back from the store with a few choices, none of which are acceptable. I still remember his complaint that the chips I got were all "too sharp" and might stab his throat going down. (No really, that's what he said!)

*Insert stupefied incredulous look* "Uh, Brad, that's why you chew them before you swallow. Why don't you just eat the applesauce if you are so worried about things stabbing your throat?"

"Because..." whines the DH, "I need carbs."

*Insert 'if you weren't so sick I would smack you for being so dumb' look* "Whatever Brad. Eat the chips or don't eat the chips. I am NOT going back to the store."

Hours later the DH lies in his miserable sick-bed: "My mom says I need a humidifier. Will you go get one?"

*Eye Roll, eye roll, eye roll while cursing said Mother-in-law who so obviously spoiled this man when he was sick as a child* Then I go because if I stay in this house with this nancy-man any longer I will probably make him cry with all the mean things overflowing in my head. I also pick up the %&$#@! saltine crackers he asked for after failed snack trip that he should have told me he wanted to begin with.

My husband, when sick, will invariably think it likely that he is on his death bed.
"Should I go to the doctor?" he asks.


"But what if this is something serious?" he pleads.

"It's not."

"How do you know?"

*Exasperated sigh* "You're eating. You're drinking. You don't have too high of a fever. You're fine."

"I think I'm dying. What if I really am dying?"

"I'm not worried," I reply. "I have life insurance on you."

Through the years, he has become like the boy who cried wolf when it comes to being sick. It doesn't matter if he has a cold, the flu, or (like last year) pneumonia. He still behaves the same way about it such that when he asks me if he should go see a doctor I say, "If you want to" because I have no friggin' clue how sick he actually is with the way he acts. And he has this ingrained fear of getting sick. If his throat starts to tickle he has to take major evasive measures. He's a hypochondriac about it, actually, and it's like life is over if he's got the sniffles.

Now I, on the other hand, am a stalwart sick person. I got the stomach flu last year and was laid up in bed all day. I didn't ask for a thing because I got it all myself in between puking. I knew it would be over soon so I just endured. But when Brad came home from work and saw the state of things (ie, every toy the kids owned out in the living room) he started summoning the force of the relief society to come take care of his poor sick wife because CLEARLY a messy house for a day is an indication that I am indefinitely bedridden and unable to fend for myself or keep children alive.

I was like, "Brad, do you remember when you went to CA three years ago and I was at home with a two-month old baby(Iyov) that screamed all the time and never slept?"


"Well did you know I got strep throat during that time? I took care of 2 kids and a newborn, kept everyone alive, and did you know the house was a disaster during that entire week? But guess what? I cleaned it up when I felt better. I think I can handle a day of puking without bringing in the cavalry."

And quite literally, and to my embarrassment, I had to politely explain to the relief society president when she called later than evening to arrange meals that no, I'm feeling quite better. Don't listen to my husband. He thinks I'm a permanent invalid because he can't handle the sight of the legos on the living room floor.

Anyway, I was thinking about all this today because Beya is sick. The "Can't move and can only lie around and puke and go to the bathroom every now and then" kind of sick. She is NOT a stalwart sick person. She moans and cries when the nausea gets bad and asks for me to rub her back all the time and sit next to her while she suffers. I thought maybe this kind of whiney clinginess is hereditary.

 Yesterday I was trying to book some plane tickets while on my computer, Beya laid out next to me even though I really didn't want to be around all that sour sickliness (see how much I can sacrifice for my children?), and she asked me to rub her back.

"Sorry," I replied."I need both of my hands right now."

"But Dad rubs my back."

Ohhhhh, I see now. He's spoiling my children when I'm not around. I brought it up to him later that unless he planned to be around 24/7 when our kids got sick, he needed to keep his molly-coddling to himself.

"Did you know when I got sick as a kid, my mom only had to hand me a bucket, a drink, and the TV remote and I was good? I never bugged my mom," I said.

"So that's what's wrong with you," he replied.

*Eye roll*