Sick

From December 18:

It was yet another sign that I was nearing a breaking point.

Stephen came home at the end of a typical (rough) afternoon, as I was trying to cook dinner and hold Cranky Jem at the same time.  He broke the news: he had been feverish and achy all day, and his doctor-brother thought he might be coming down with the flu.

My response was pretty much as selfish and unsympathetic as it gets.  I slammed cabinet doors and snapped at the kids.  I bit my tongue so I wouldn’t actually say the words, “You WOULD get the flu today!” out loud, as if contracting an illness was Stephen’s passive-aggressive way of sneaking out of responsibilities at home.

After just a minute or two of mental ranting, I had to acknowledge the truth: My so-called anger was really just jealousy.  “For YEARS I have been wanting a sick day!” I thought, fantasizing (yet again) about a whole day or more to lay in bed, unable to do anything but sleep and read and watch Netflix.  Feverish chills, vomiting, and all the rest seemed a pittance to pay for that kind of guilt-free solitude.

We ate dinner (hamburger steak with a side of white rice and stony silence), and I bathed the kids and put them to bed while Stephen (like a champ!!) cleaned up the kitchen.

A cocktail of over-the-counter medication, sixty gallons of water, and a good night’s sleep seems to have done the trick for Stephen; he woke up feeling much perkier today and we’re hoping he just had a touch of the same pseudo-flu that went around my family last week.

Alas, I woke up feeling fine as well, nothing out of sorts except a little lingering self-pity and December blues.  The doctor says I need to take a pinch of Solitude and a large dose of Get Over Yourself for as long as symptoms persist.

Follow Up:

After years of waiting and hoping, I finally was blessed with a sick day of my own just a few days after writing this post.  It was everything I’d dreamed it would be, except that my head hurt too much to get any reading done.  But I got lots of great rest, feasted on lemon-lime Gatorade and chicken broth, and watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and the Polar Express for the first time.

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7 responses to “Sick

  1. Your bravery to be honest and show the person you are (even in the bad, more selfish days) rather than a polished, pristine mask is not only comforting and inspiring, but enormously appreciated. You show the need of the cross rather than boast your ability to be fine without it like so many of us do at any given day when we just don’t feel like putting the drawbridge down from our fortress of fakery.
    I miss your wisdom, humor and smile. I enjoy reading everything you pen because it is soothing for the soul. :) Thank you Lindsey. Again and always.

  2. Haha! Yes! Cliff was sick the week of new years, and while I sure envied the lounging in bed and lots of sleep, I remember the seemingly months I was sick last winter all too well to wish to actually be sick again.

    • When I was pregnant with Jem my fantasies were about being put on bed rest. I know it’s the same thing– not the treat that I imagine it would be!

      And I AM thankful for good health, most of the time. ;-)

  3. Oh, you crack me up! The hard part is laughing without waking Bobby. Thank you for saying it for the rest of us. I haven’t gotten a sick day (thankfully?) since Bobby was born, other than a stuffy/runny nose, which apparently isn’t bad enough to stay in bed and ignore all household duties. Clearly I need to eat less fruits and veggies.

  4. HAHA! Cliff always ends up with some foreign, mutated version of the colds that I have. I will be sick for 2 days, still keep the kids alive and fed, and make dinner. He gets 3 days in bed, and limps around the house when he does come out. :( I suppose this is why we are the ones home caring for the them! And, there do come those rare occasions when we do get a “sick” day, and it goes by way too fast!

  5. I admit, I’ve had that exact same thought when my husband gets sick on a weekend… wouldn’t that be nice! I’d love to lay around sleeping and reading all day. I’m sorry to hear you got sick, but glad that he let you take it easy and get better. Everyone in my house except the baby (thank goodness!) had a nasty 24-hour stomach bug over the weekend. It. Was. Gross. Definitely NOT the kind of sick day you wish for!

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