Oh, I am a sad and sick monkey indeed. I started feeling poorly on Thanksgiving, when I noticed that the whole cooking process was wearing me out more than it should. The little monkey had been fighting a cough off and on for a couple of weeks (complete with the mandatory day care nose run that he’ll have off and on all winter long) so I figured he’d given me a little bug.
But even with some rest and a failure to go to work on Monday I still wasn’t feeling better. Tuesday night I went to an after hours walk-in clinic (where I waited all of five minutes to be seen, thank you Iowa)(My average wait time at Iowa MVD’s is usually under five minutes. Same for post offices. There is something to be said for not so populated states). I left the clinic with four prescriptions and a diagnosis of bronchitis.
So I’ve been staying home from work and resting and taking my medicine and absolutely driving my husband bonkers.
Just this evening, in fact, my husband called me the “world’s worst patient” because I ventured from the house for a mere 10 minutes to go get some beverages at the grocery store. He thinks I don’t rest enough, don’t take enough naps, skimp on the medicine, blah blah blah. I, for my part, think he gets bossy and has places some weird value on resting in bed versus resting on the couch (the couch has access to the TV so I prefer to rest on the couch).
We had skirmishes like this when I was pregnant, including one mini-fight that led to an enduring inside joke (“No! You sit down!” said with weepy pregnancy tears after my husband suggest that I rest while he cleaned the kitchen. That jerk.) that still makes me smile, but it makes me think that when we promised to love each other in sickness and in health that sounded like one of the easier vows. How could you not love your partner when they are sick, when they are down? Um, how about because a moderately sick spouse is a pain in the ass? Or a spouse is a pain in the ass to a moderately sick person? Or, if you, like my husband, thinks that this perfectly normal bug is a sign of a larger failure to take care of myself, of my health?
And that is where it gets sticky. And hard. And complicated. I feel like I’ve made big strides in my life when it comes to taking care of my health, even though I’m certainly not perfect, certainly not done improving. I feel like there are some areas in which I take better care of myself than my husband takes of himself. I, for sure, feel like talking about issues of “health” are
sometimes almost always hard for me to talk about with my spouse because I can hear “health” as code for “weight” and Lord knows those are conversations I prefer to avoid.
But I promised in sickness and in health, which means that he has a stake in my health and I have a stake in his. And so we need to figure out how to talk about it without getting pissed off at the other.
But we should probably wait until I’m not doped up any more to start.