Many years ago, while watching Dr. Phil, the doc suggested that you really get to know your partner when you have the flu–and there is that moment in every relationship. This horrified me. I don’t like seeing illness, much less being seen in a deathly ill state. Colds are fine because you get sympathy since you are just healthy enough to drag yourself to work and show off your chafed nose and Lauren Bacall voice. But no way could anyone witness me as a wan and feverish little flower. In the past, when involved, I’d allow my suitor to see me only when I could prop myself up and apply my makeup like Shirley MacLaine in Postcards from the Edge. So basically, being in a serious relationship was out of the question for me.
This all slipped my mind when I married Sam. Dr. Phil was right. We’ve grown closer over Sam’s strep of 2010, bronchitis of 2011 and 2012–which I also caught–and the accidental ingesting of zinc on an empty stomach. There were two incidents of food poisoning, as well as the occasional raging headache (our cure: coffee). Sinus issues flare up seasonally, so my vertigo adventures make for some dizzying memories. I haven’t even covered the psychosomatic illnesses.
We take vitamins, eat well, Purrell as needed and are hyper-conscious of germs, but sometimes, we fall hard to airborne predators.
This past weekend, after almost two years of pristine health, Sam predicted that his sniffles would blossom into the mother of all colds. And he was right. We got the tea, Nyquil, Theraflu, cough drops, Advil, soup, tissues and ginger ale ready. Because Sam didn’t sleep, I didn’t either and when he sneezes, coughs and blows his nose, it’s 10 times louder than it needs to be. As a loving partner, I buy into the real (and exaggerated) suffering–and secretly Purrell myself as he enters the room. Though not a great nurse, I did make the supply run, check on him and keep him company. When he was less toxic, he bought ingredients to make chicken soup from scratch. Life is almost back to normal, and on a good note, I did get through my New Yorkers and Vogue.
So now, the worst is over, but I find myself sniffling. Can a marathon of Frasier and Vicks Vapor huffing be far behind? I’m going to think positively.