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©January 2004

Carol Jane Remsburg



In Sickness and In Health





Those five little words can kill you, you know?  Oh, okay, you spoke those words with all the heartfelt emotion of one still in the throes of 'dizzy-love' and even if it were 'desperate-the-last-person-I'd-EVER-marry-kind-of-love', you really DID NOT MEAN THIS.  Trust me, you didn't.  What am I talking about? 


I'm talking about being SICK, so sick that visions of getting a shower exhaust you.  I'm talking about being so sick that getting air into your lungs is ugly and you'll gasp like a landed fish and don't care HOW you sound—SICK.  I'm talking about a SNOT-fest of world class proportions; where the intake of liquids, both hot and cold prevail, and the expelling of such are primary concerns.  I'm talking about times you WISH your mother was there to make it all better. 


We've all been sick before, rotten colds and the flu and maybe a bronchitis or pneumonia or pleurisy, but NEVER do you want this to happen to both you AND your spouse at the same time.  Toss in a young teen child you DON'T want to catch this horrid affliction and this can turn into hell on earth.


It has now been (6) six days and counting.  The only thing that's worse is that it isn't over yet.  We are now ambulatory, weak, and totally disgusted with each other, our surroundings, AND ourselves.  Another question is just what has struck this husband and wife?  A cold?  The flu?  An upper respiratory infection?  Or ought the doc's check this out?


I CAN tell you that on Friday morning, just over a week ago, hubby got up and groused that he was worried he was coming down with something and went off to work.  I worried for he rarely catches something nasty and for him to make such a comment is normally something to cause concern.  This also means I don't usually catch it from him either.  My child is usually MY source of illness. 


Hubby came home and by Saturday it was obvious he WAS sick, sounded like the common cold of the nastiest type.  I stayed as FAR away from him as possible, and kept child away too.  For mother and child, we had a great weekend and I was productive in the domestic chores and such.  Sunday night's snowstorm was almost something we looked forward to.  So on Monday I took a vacation day.  I thought I could manage losing one day from work.


Hubby went to work and came home early by mid-morning, most did due to the snow, but he really came home because he felt terrible.  Into his recliner he went, covered beneath two blankets, and remote in hand, he coughed and sniffled his way into sleep.  Food was brought, offered, and shunned.  The only thing he could ingest was either Pepsi® or steaming coffee.  I knew he was sick.


The teen was busy with her video games and sitcoms after romping in the snow.  I was catching up on my internet reading and such, when it hit me.  Out of nowhere, came three hurricane-like sneezes.  Just like that, I had it.  My head was full, my throat hurt, my head was pounding, and I had just lost whatever energy I had.  I have never gone from 'fine' to 'sick' so fast in my life—it was less than a minute. . . I swear!  It was very like running merrily along right up until you smacked dead into a brick wall.  I turned off my computer and walked into the 'sick room' sat down in the other recliner, grabbed the other little throw blanket, curled up, and wanted to die.


From that moment on our child wasn't allowed anywhere near either of us.  She'd knock on the door and inquire as to how we felt but that's about as close as we'd let her in.  Luckily she's old enough to microwave food for herself or make a bowl of cereal. 


From Monday afternoon through Thursday night, I haven't spent that much time with my husband alone in all the 24 plus years that we've known each other.  Both of us felt like hell and looked worse.  We didn't care and looked like a couple of nursing home rejects.  After we ran through all the tissues in the house and started in on the toilet paper, I knew that someone was going to have to go to the store.  Wives always get elected for this type of duty and he was worse off than I was, so it was a given.


On Thursday morning I got my kid OUT of the house and we went to the grocery store for the weekly shopping and for all the stuff the sickly require, tissues, cough medicine, cough lozenges, Niquil®, Sudafed®, chicken and beef boullion, and maybe something that actually might be appealing to EAT.  Hubby was down to toast with cheese and I couldn't even stomach that.  I can afford to lose weight, this man makes a shadow appear skinny, so he can't.


So, off to the store the kid and I go with me bringing a roll of TP just in case of a bad sneezing situation and having to pull off to the side of the road to expel things I of the phlegm family.  We went, we shopped, and after we stored it all in the vehicle to leave, I realized that I had forgotten…tissues.  How COULD I have forgotten that?  I had a list after all!  But, I was sick and not in my right mind to be truthful.  People have issues about driving while drunk, as they should, but driving while SICK, should have a sub-category as well.  Ended up I plucked some $$ out of my wallet and sent the kid back into the store for those 5 boxes of tissues while I waited at the door.


I swear she got lost….really!


Some fifteen minutes later, just before I was about to call out the cavalry, she wandered out of the grocery store doors and hopped into the truck quite proud of herself.  This shopping foray had taken only twice as long as it normally does and I still was about twenty minutes from home followed by the off-loading and putting away of food stuffs before I could again collapse into that old recliner and draw close my blankets.  I was looking at a good hour before I could rest.


Sometimes you swear God hates you.


Did I tell you that we FORGOT the boullion AND the Pepsi AND the TP?  Do you think I really cared?  Geez, most of the stuff was for the kid and the cats.  Hubby and I didn't really care for anything to eat but the boullion would have been nice for hubby and the Pepsi he preferred to the tea.  All I could claim was that I was weak of mind and body and now that I was home, I wasn't going to go back out.  He didn't care but I felt a brush of guilt.  Compare that 'brush of guilt' to how incredibly crappy I felt and guess what?  "Crappy" wins every time folks.


I curled up in my recliner beneath that blanket and listened to CourtTV as I drifted off.  Now that's another thing.  I'm never normally home during the week like some of the population.  I never knew you could actually WATCH a trial underway.  I also didn't know that even OLD folks either forgot or never learned their manners well enough so that they wound up in court—after causing someone to DIE from said bad manners.  GEEZ!  My mother would have, err, taken them to task over it quite harshly. 


Friday, I couldn't stand to stay in bed OR the recliner any more.  There was nothing that could tether me there no matter how awful I felt.  However I was feeling slightly better than a forgotten corpse, no need to explain the copious snot factory still at work in both head AND chest, but I thought my comfy chair in front of my computer might be a change of pace.


It was different and I felt a little better for a few hours right up until dark, then I got the chills and couldn't get warm so back to bed I went—knowing I only had two days left.


Saturday it took both hubby and I hours to get to the point we weren't constantly hacking and sneezing.  Hey, 5 hours and 2½--12-cup pots of HOT coffee do help.  I had to go pick up medications—AND the boullion AND the TP AND the Pepsi I had forgotten on Thursday.  I had to work UP to it.  By 11 AM I had no choice, I went and came home.  Then I stayed up but the bed kept calling, so a nap was in order.


It's now Saturday night and I've just more than 24 hours to get well enough to work, really go to work and be ON.  My job requires stamina that my body just doesn't feel up to.  At least hubby has a doc's appointment on Monday, if he comes home with antibiotics, I hope the doc gives him enough to share.


Now that I've spent nearly the last seven days chained to hubby almost non-stop, I can still say with all my heart that I love him very much.  He still makes me laugh with jokes to keep my spirits up and worries me when he is so sick. 


It's one thing to be well when your spouse is ill, but it's quite another when BOTH of you are sick.  You find out how well suited you are to each other after all.  I could make a huge joke out of it, but if I have to be sick and stuck with someone else equally as sick, I'd rather it be no one other than my hubby.  He's such a grand man and I did marry him…in sickness and in health. 


Meanwhile I'm sure both of us will opt only to try this again in ANOTHER 24 years.  I don't wanna push that "until death do us part," portion of those vows—just yet.



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