My whole family has a terrible cold. The baby has it. My MIL has it. CH has it, and perhaps, worse of all, I have it. I say worse of all, because I rarely get sick. The last time I came down with anything beyond a mild 2-day sinus infection was back in 2006. And as anyone who has ever known me during this time will tell you, I’m not a good sick person.
CH is a great sick person, very stoic about the whole situation, makes himself some Theraflu and goes about his business with grim determination.
My MIL retires to her room when she’s sick, submitting to the healing glow of Food Network and HGTV, and only coming out for food and a bit of company.
My ear-infection prone baby is pretty used to this by now. She doesn’t let any virus stop her play and the only way you’d know she was sick is her sudden touchiness and her need to snuggle with you while wrapped in her security blanket every half hour or so.
As a reward for their good behavior, all three of them get sick all the time, seemingly catching every virus and cold that comes strolling by.
I, on the other hand, am … not that great when I get sick. I become impatient and snappish. I remind folks about every ten minutes or so that I’m sick. I resent everyone and everything. I wonder out loud if this sickness could be indicative of a bigger disease, since I never get sick. I become angry, because I have stuff to do and absolutely no time to be sick. With the little time I have, I surf WebMD, then talk about what I found with my husband before going to sleep at night. I pepper people who get sick more than three times a decade with questions like, “How can you stand this? You put up with this all the time?” with a tone that insinuates that I would have ended it all by now if I were them. I say things to my husband like, “I guess now that I’m a mom it would be inappropriate to ask you to put me down like Old Yeller.” I become maudlin, and try to remember if I stipulated anything about DNR in my will, which we made in happier, healthier times. I wonder what “stiff upper lip” even means anyway. And why is it considered so great to have one?
The sad thing is that I’ve actually gotten a lot better. You should have seen me before I had the kid. And now that my cold has metatisized into something with two golf balls in my throat that make it hard for me speak, I for the first time since Fall Semester 1996 when I was the fourth person to check herself in at Health Services with a super flu that would eventually go on to take out over 50% of the college (true story!), am about to call my doctor for an immediate sickness.
Still, it’s striking how differently we all handle sickness in my family. And this has me wondering how you all handle getting sick. Sound off in the comments!
featured image credit: Articulate Matter