There is a great truth about yours truly: I don’t get sick often, but when I do—watch out! My husband and I have been together for two and a half year and he had yet to see me ever become really ill. He got his chance last Sunday.
I woke up at 2 a.m. with an awful stomach ache, which by 10 a.m. had manifested itself into a full-blown stomach flu. My husband, half-awake when my aches and pains began, offered to go out and get me anything I wanted at 7-11. I was in such pain that I had to sign the letters C-V-S to him (it took him a few minutes to figure out that I wasn’t signing “I love you”).
So his first trip out he came back with Pepto-Bismol and a Sprite Zero. I took two sips of the Sprite and a swig of the Pepto, hoping it would help with the nausea. It didn’t.
He felt so helpless, as did I. I told him not to worry. He said it was his job. That I always took care of him and now he could take care of me.
I just don’t get sick. I’ve never broken a bone and the last time I was in the hospital I was 7. The worst that has happened to me were years of ear infections, which led to my parents deciding to put tubes in my ears.
I picked up my cell phone and handed it to my husband: “Call Dad.”
My father, 2,000 miles away always seemed to know what to do. My father was teaching Hebrew school that morning, so my husband left a message.
Then I said: “Call Bubbe.” The queen of taking care of people asked my husband what my temperature was—my husband, of course, put it palm up to my forehead. I looked at him and said: “Honey, other side.”
We didn’t have a thermometer—or if we did it would have taken months to find. My husband said he would go out and get one, but before he could leave, the phone rang again. Dad had called back.
“Are you achey?” he asked.
“I’ve never felt this bad in my life,” I told him.
“You should take some Motrin,” he told me.
Here’s the problem. I don’t take pills. I can’t take pills. When I was younger, I would hide the yucky chalk-covered pills needed to help my ear infections. When we moved, there were seven under the couch. Any kind of medicine I take needs to be in liquid form—and flavor is important, too.
So my husband left the house one more time (as I tried—and failed—to get back to sleep) and returned with a digital thermometer and some children’s Motrin (grape flavored).
Turns out I had a slight fever. It wasn’t bad—but it was enough to give me hot flashes over the next few hours.
I looked on the side of the package of the Motrin and it said “better if taken with food.” So, my husband brought me some applesauce—and ordered me to take my medicine. It wasn’t that bad—I just had to double the dosage.
By the end of the night, and after sleeping on and off for the next six hours and being able to keep down the oatmeal my husband brought to me on a TV tray, I felt so much better.
At one point I managed to walk to the living room and saw my him collapsed on the couch—face down—with the TV on. I decided not to wake him. I must be a harder patient to care for than I thought.
I might not get sick very often, but I know that when I do, the sweetest nurse in the world will be there to help me—with help from Dr. Dad and Dr. Bubbe.
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