No sympathy

Sunday, November 08, 2009

It's been a week.

Last Sunday, Terrance made some moaning noises about not feeling well. But honestly what is new about that? The man is perpetually either sick or tired, and frequently both sick AND tired. After nearly 2 decades, I simply tune it out to the background noise of the house.

I ignored him, as per my wifely duty. I went about my day, tired from Halloween and getting Em de-toxed from her sugar high without resorting to specific threats of bodily harm. Add into my mix the rabbits. I've not yammered on about the rabbits too much here...but they are a lot of work. No, they don't need to be walked rain or shine, but great googley moogley - I spend more time than you can imagine cleaning litter, chopping salad, washing floors - only to be patently ignored by both rabbits who then act as if the second coming of the Rabbit savior has appeared when Terrance walks into the room.

Um, yeah. I am a little bitter about that.

Because Terrance is a perpetually sick person, moaning and whinging about the state of everything from his sinuses to his lower back, I have naturally developed a resistance to paying attention. Add into my callous nature the fact that my Mother, as a pediatric nurse, had to view an organ or other disturbing shows of bodily fluids to agree that we were actually sick and you get a pretty hardened judge of illness.

On Monday morning, Terrance and I begin the dance:

Terrance: "I don't feel good"
Dawn: "Mmmmm"
Terrance: "I think I have a fever"
Dawn: "Hmmm"
Terrance: "I didn't sleep at all last night"
Dawn: "Oh. Mmmmm"

With each non committal murmur emerging from me, he feels the need to amp up the symptoms:

Terrance: "I think my sinuses are bleeding."
Dawn: "Oh. Did you take any sudafed?"
Terrance: "No, but they are bleeding"
Dawn: "You might be dehydrated..."


By the time I get home, he is ensconced on the couch.

Terrance: "I think I have a fever"
Dawn: "Why do you think that?"
Terrance: "I can't get warm and then I get the chills"
Dawn: (pause - looking at Terrance from across the room) Did you take your temperature today?
Terrance: "No"
Dawn: (Sigh) "Ok, let me feel your forehead..."

This is a crucial moment. When I give in and agree to feel foreheads, I May be on the road to acknowledging that he May indeed be sick. Since I live with a grade A hypochondriac ( the man had his glasses autoclaved when Emily had conjunctivitis as an infant), Terrance assumes he has whatever might be in the news. In this case it is, of course, H1N1.

Dawn: "Oh. Well. You do feel a bit hot. Let me go get the thermometer..."

I pop the thermometer in and wait for the beep. I wait quite awhile.

Terrance: "well?"
Dawn: "You seem to have a fever...."
Terrance: "what is it?"
Dawn: "103.7 - I think you need some ibuprofen, let me get that for you"
Terrance: "Should I go to a hotel so as not to infect you and Emily?"
Dawn: "What?!?!"
Terrance: "Well, Its probably H1N1, so maybe I should go to a hotel room for the next week..."
Dawn: "Why don't we wait a day or so to make sure it isn't a random virus before you go all Bio-Hazard on us, Ok? It could resolve by the morning..."


Its been a week. A week of shivering and dry cough and fevers that spike to 103.8, then drop to 95.5. We knew he felt better yesterday when he got up and started bossing us around - pointing at rooms that needed to be cleaned. The doctor remains amazed that neither Em nor I have contracted it as of yet, although I chalk it up to years in childcare in which we most likely had strains of similar things that give us some vague immunity.

Although, I must admit, I have one hell of a headache tonight.

8 Baleful Regards:

jwg said...

Oh yes, the early childhood immunity, a well kept secret. Spend enough time with those little germ factories and nothing can harm you. On the other hand,the first few years until the immunity kicks in are a veritable festival of crud.

Dawn said...

Oh - you are not kidding - Ems first three years of life was one thing after another. By four she was pretty healthy and by Five she became an iron horse of health.

Same with me - My first two years working in child care? I got EVERYTHING. Croup. Conjunctivitis. Ear Infections...

But now? I may be immune to the plague.

6512 and growing said...

Poor husbands. I too have not near enough sympathy for mine when he is sick. I'm more like "What? That sure is an inconvenience!!"

E. said...

I hope your headache stayed merely achy and not skull-splitting and accompanied by high fever and coughs. I've had a bunch of students with the "heiny" as we've taken to calling H1N1. Their reports upon return from the chasm are grim. I hope I don't have to go there.

Jaelithe said...

My husband almost never gets sick. But (suspected) H1N1 took him down for a MONTH. He got bronchitis after the virus, you see.

In our house I'm the sickly whiny one. My husband takes care of me despite my divaish reactions to illness, and almost never complains. But when he was sick, I was like, what -- you are actually SICK? You mean I have to take CARE of you? Don't I already do that with the kid?

Honestly, I don't know why he puts up with me. I must be hotter than I think I am. Or maybe it's just that I bake things.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean you and Terrance decided to give it another try? I wish you all the best.

mamatulip said...

My husband got sick this weekend. First, he diagnosed himself with H1N1. Then mono.

Turns out he had a throat infection.


MOCK! said...

Dawn wrote The doctor remains amazed that neither Em nor I have contracted it as of yet, although I chalk it up to years in childcare in which we most likely had strains of similar things that give us some vague immunity.

See, I always think that for myself and as soon as I say it out loud....BAM!! I'm out for a week.

Things are calming down at my school. We hit almost 20% of the school out the last week of October!

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