Last week, I immediately knew something was wrong when my husband came home from work two hours early. He hardly ever leaves work early. While the kids jumped with joy at his surprise entrance, I was worried. Seeing the look of concern on my face, he announced, “I don’t feel good.”
He wasn’t just sick. He had a laundry list of symptoms: nausea, the beginnings of a migraine, exhaustion, and more. Poor guy. He was miserable. He sent himself to bed with barely another word. Instead of following him, I stalled by feeding the kids dinner.
As I got the kids bathed and ready for bed, he texted me from our dark bedroom, asking first for painkillers for his migraine, then a cold washcloth for his head. Each time I brought his requested items, he assured me that with some rest, he’d be back to work the next day. I might have laughed out loud at that point. I might have given him a mini-lecture on why he should call out sick that evening instead of attempting to get up in the morning. Because here’s the thing: When my husband is sick, I spend a lot of time convincing him to do what he needs to do to get better, like staying in bed and getting some rest — he’s worse than the kids!
Happy that I convinced him to call out sick from work, I made sure he was snug in bed before running out to buy ingredients to make chicken soup. He stayed in bed for exactly one day. The very next day, instead of staying in bed, he tried to catch up on laundry and dishes. He even wanted to take out the garbage! These are not chores he often initiates when he’s feeling well. It’s as if my husband feels guilty for being sick. He doesn’t want to be a burden. Since I work from home, shooing him back to bed each time he gets up to “help” is more of a disruption.
After two days of feeling miserable, he admitted that he needed to visit the doctor. Luckily, he didn’t have anything serious and the doctor prescribed him meds for his nausea. Finally, he admitted that he was sick! He became a much better patient after his doctor’s visit, but then he returned to work too early. His coworkers sent him home after an hour in the office. (See what I mean?)
I love my husband, but last week was a long week. He’s feeling much better and is back at work. I just hope that when the tables turn, I’ll be a much better patient than he was. Just so I can say I was better at being sick than him.
Is your husband difficult he’s sick?