Tuesday, October 17, 2006

In Sickness and In Health

My husband is on a business trip and I am sick. Until yesterday, I took for granted the gift of having someone else in the house while I am ill. I realize now I never had any appreciation whatsoever for the toast and tea my mother brought to me faithfully whenever I got sick as a child. Whether she brought the tray to my infested bedroom or to the living room couch upon which my sick self would alternately sprawl out or huddle, fetus-like, it always arrived right when I needed it. When matrimony transferred to my husband the role of primary caregiver, I instilled in him the importance of these toast and tea deliveries. He carried out his duties admirably. I was not so much grateful as satisfied.

This weekend he left for California and I came down with a laundry list of maladies best not described here. I almost vomited into The Boss's oatmeal as I spooned it as fast as I could into her birdlike mouth. Two day's worth of dishes are piled into the sink, where they will remain until I can look at the congealed spaghetti sauce without retching. Tasks that I was so eager to complete in The Partner's 3-day absence either never got started or are sitting in slovenly wait.

By yesterday evening, I could finally stomach the idea of eating something--a tiny something--and I yearned for toast and tea to arrive miraculously at my side. For a long time I just laid there, since standing up would inevitably cause a series of abdominal spasms that would leave me nauseated and doubled over. But my sad solitude won out, and I trudged to the kitchen to put an English muffin in the toaster and a mug of water in the microwave.

Back in the living room, The Boss was fixated on the same Baby Einstein DVD that had been playing on repeat for the past hour and a half. A foreign female recited the names of various animals as a result of the fact that I had programmed the DVD to play in French translation. It's something that I do each time in homage to The Boss's paternal ancestry. A little seal peeked out from an ice hole. "Le phoque," said the voice. This "phoque" sounded, for all the world, like my favorite American swear word. I giggled through another stomach cramp. I looked to see if The Boss had any reaction. She just stared at the screen.

Settling back into my hot indentation in the couch, I brought the mug to my lips and spilled a long dribble of tea onto my tee-shirt. I had no napkin, so I rubbed it in with a sigh. I was sick, sad, and lonely, and I couldn't keep anything in. "Le phoque," I said.

11 comments:

jen said...

oh. poor you. want me to come and watch some einstein w/ the boss and make you soup..?

GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

Bleh. I'm sorry you're sick. I'm right there with you, mama. Here, have some soup. And a hug.

toyfoto said...

I hope you feel better soon. ... Although perhaps not soon enough that you can't pawn those dishes off on the absent caretaker.

Lauren said...

Ha! I read that post aloud to my mother over the phone because I knew she'd appreciate it as much as I did. If you're not feeling better soon, call me, I will drive down after work. I can't have you doubled over with puky-pukiness.

Jerri Ann said...

dear me, you've got it bad...keep your head up

T. said...

Me sick too.

Had to go to the doctor while packing my sister's six month old baby with me.

After I told her I was too sick to babysit, she replied she was too poor to care and then dropped him off.

I've been kissing him all day, just to get even.

Poor thing, he's caught in the middle of a battle between sisters. I really am not a nice person.

Hope you feel better.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Feel better soon. There's nothing worse than feeling like death and having no one around to bring you the puke bucket.

Binkytown said...

Im so sorry. Thats the pits. The worst! (are you trying to tell us you are pregnant too?):)

ECR said...

Binkytown, bite your tongue! ;) No, that is definitely not what I am trying to tell you. But, thank you all for the well wishes. I am feeling much better already and think I should be close to 100% tomorrow. Which is when my husband returns, of course.

T, I hope you're feeling better soon, too--hopefully before your sister drops a sick baby at your door ;)

Michele said...

Ugh. That type of sickness is bad enough to deal with alone and all the worse when you are the sick one and you have to care for someone else.
All four of us had it last year, simultaneously. It was fabulous. Just phoqueing fabulous,

Jene said...

so how is that different from the normal state of your kitchen? :)