I hate getting sick. The coughing, the sneezing, the wild temperature swings, all of it.
That hardly makes me unique, I’m sure. I doubt anyone goes around bragging how much they like to get sick, but I like to think my dislike is special.
Hey, I’m sick. You can grant me that, right?
It surprised me, getting sick this early in the winter. I’m blaming it on working by myself at home the majority of the time.
Back in the day, riding public transportation, constantly crossing paths with people carrying the plague, I think I built up a decent resistance. Sure, there was always some point in the year when I’d get hammered by whatever was going around, but for the most part, I developed an iron constitution.
But, after a year of mostly working solo at home, I feel like I lost that superpower and I’m far more susceptible to what’s out there. Maybe not to the point of being John Travolta living in a bubble, but maybe Dustin Hoffman/Rene Russo “Outbreak” toxic levels.
I go out one time last week and I catch the death flu. Or a mild cold. Whatever.
I know when I’m coming down with something, too. I wake up every day with a sore throat, but if it hasn’t gone away by morning coffee, I know it’s only a matter of time before the nastiness sets in. The dread builds in me throughout the day, but I’m guessing it is probably nothing near the level of dread that my girl feels when she hears me say the words, “I think I’m getting a cold.”
Now, I always thought I’m a pretty good patient. Stiff upper lip, muddle through and all that. According to her, however, I’m the worst. A moaning, groaning, pain in the whatzit.
That can’t be right. Can it?
I’ve given quite a bit of thought to the cause of this difference of opinion, and I’m pretty sure that has something to do with the her having been a mom.
For me, getting sick meant shutting down for a few days to rest and recuperate. Sure, I’d drag myself to work, we all have to do that, but when I’m home, that means park in bed or in front of the TV and put off chores until I’m “back on my feet.”
Bear with me, I know I’m on dangerous ground.
You see, I think when we are under the weather, we guys revert to what we remember about being sick as a kid. Skipping school, resting on the couch or in bed, daytime TV — morning shows, game shows, cartoons — occasionally being looked in on to make sure we hadn’t actually developed something life threatening.
Mom, of course, never gets that option. Sick or not, her work never takes a break. Families still need to be looked after and taken care of. Even now, with the kids mostly out of the house, as much as I try to pitch in, putting her feet up really isn’t in her DNA.
So, when I’m sick, that just adds one more to the list of those who need to be looked after, and wrapping ourselves in a blanket and parking ourselves in front of the television probably isn’t appreciated.
So, rationally, I get it. I really do. But that doesn’t help when I’m looking for a little unearned sympathy (cough, cough).