My husband doesn’t get sick very often. But when he does, it’s usually with something mild—like a cold or a sore throat—and he spends the next 48-72 hours driving me crazy and acting like a whiny baby.
Please know that I love my husband. I really do. Because of this–and because we’ve been together, well, since God was a boy—we know what drives us nuts about each other, and we’ve decided we can live with it.
Or we scream into our pillows about it at night, praying that the other’s annoying behavior will miraculously go away.
Um, not that I’ve ever done that.
And I know he hasn’t because I’m perfect.
But I digress…
About a month ago, my husband got really sick—really, really, sick. I was worried.
It all began in the middle of the night on a Saturday. He had been feeling a bit “off” for lack of a better word, after dinner, but we both attributed it to his never-failing sweet tooth and his ability to locate any sweets in the house to eat for dessert.
But in the middle of the night, when he jumped up and ran to the bathroom yelling, “I’m going to be sick,” I had gotten the idea that it wasn’t dessert.
It was the dreaded “What’s Going Around.”
For the next 24 hours, my husband spent a lot of time with his new best friend—our bathroom. As everything he had eaten in the last 20 years came out (and for others like me who are easily grossed out, we’ll leave it at that and just assume that you can get the picture), I doted on him, giving him medicine to get rid of his fever and liquids to keep him from dehydrating.
I knew he was super sick this time because he wasn’t whining. At all.
This threw me into Super Mothering Mode: If he needed a tissue, I was there with one. Another cup of tea? Got it. A few crackers? Right here.
I realized, though, that unless I kept up my super heroine ways, this would spread to everyone else in the house. And I would be taking care of everyone and get it myself.
So I began treating our bedroom and bathroom like a hazmat area.
After I handed anything to my husband, I immediately cleaned my hands with sanitizer.
“You’re not upset that I’m treating you like you have the creeping crud, are you?” I asked him.
“No. You don’t want to get…” he said while running off to the bathroom again.
Then I got out the secret weapon that all people use to fend off germs—Lysol!
If he touched the bathroom door handle, I sprayed it and wiped if off. Turn on a light? I disinfected it. The remote for the TV? De-germed immediately.
After that first day, my husband felt a bit better. But he still had a slight fever.
So I would hand him the thermometer by using a tissue so that I didn’t touch it. Then I got a new one to get it back from him. After I put the thermometer back in the case, I immediately washed my hands.
I washed my hands so much during those couple days that they looked like the hands of a 250-year-old woman.
My husband stayed away from everyone else who lived in or came by the house. When our neighbor, Bert, went to the grocery store, he left the bags on the table, stood across the room from me and said, “No offense. I’m going to stay way over here.”
I understood. We had no idea how this virus could travel. And considering that I hadn’t gotten to the point where I was in an actual hazmat suit, I wanted him to keep clear. I didn’t want my husband to become the Typhoid Stomach Virus Man of the neighborhood.
Friends on Facebook were supportive…and not. “Oh, you’re going to get it anyway,” one said.
Gee, thanks. I appreciate the positive remark.
By Tuesday, my husband was nearly himself again and ventured back to work. Turns out that a lot of his co-workers had been out that Monday with the same thing.
The rest of my family never got it. Neither did our neighbor or his family. Neither did I.
For the first times in our lives, my husband was sick, but it didn’t bug me at all. Super Disinfectant Woman had prevailed!
Now I just need a cape.
Michele Wojciechowski, when she’s not sanitizing her hands anytime someone coughs near her, writes “Wojo’s World®” from her home office on her disinfected keyboard.
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