Monday, October 10, 2011

Love In The Time of Cholera

Good Morning Everyone. I hope you are enjoying a beautiful autumn day where you are. As we are discussing love today, I'm afraid the title of this post has nothing to do with the book LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA. It is, I'm afraid, a misnomer.
(Although I have heard that book is fantastic.)

You see, I've been sick. Very sick, as a matter of fact, since last Monday. It is that time of year when the weather changes, and living in the foothills of the Piedmont, the temperature goes down at night, and then during the day it gets hot. However, when the breezes blow, they whisper cold.

And that is what I got. A cold. Only I never get the common cold, where one can function normally, albeit slowly. NOOOO, I get a cold, then a sinus infection, then an ear infection, then either bronchitis, or pneumonia.

I knew it was coming, I could feel it last Sunday night, that little tickle in the back of my throat. I immediately called my mother to make me a pot of chicken soup, which she did. But it didn't help. Monday morning, I woke to a scratchy throat, funny eyes, pain in the head, and an all-over funky disposition.

I hate being sick, I mean, really, who enjoys snots, aches and pains, and coughing til you puke. I hate it though because I can't do anything. And because of my inability to remain in bed, I push myself to do the things that need doing, therefore getting sicker.

Tuesday morning, barely able to move, I called the doctor, who thankfully had an opening at 11:30. I stumbled into her office, plead my case for a Z-pac, which she sympathetically bestowed upon me, and I made it back to my house and into my bed where I remained for the next four days.

I haven't been quite this sick in a very long time. My mother thought I had contracted the flu. I refused to believe that, but suffered through flu-like symptoms for 2 days. I could not move. I won't bore you with the details of my illness, but I will tell you, at least the flu is good for something. I lost eight pounds.

Now, The Monster was sick as well, though she only had a cold, so she pretty much had the run of the house while I was down. My mother took her for the first part of my malaise so I was left alone to fend for myself. I did nothing but remain in bed, too sick to even watch tv.

When The Monster came back, so did her father. He stayed with us while I was down, which was a blessing. I could at least be assured she was eating on a regular basis. However, he did not once offer to feed me. Or get me water, or Tylenol, or even do the dishes.

When I emerged from my sickroom on day four, only wanting to take a shower and crawl back under clean sheets, I found the kitchen a dumping ground for every single dish, pot, pan, and glass from the cupboards. I then made my way downstairs to the laundry room to put the dirty sheets in the washer and found a pile of clothes on the laundry room floor a mile high.

What is it about men and their inability to do anything when someone is sick? He said, "But I didn't want to mess up the laundry. You know how I shrank all your stuff the last time." Which was true, but no matter how you try, you can't shrink towels. And the dishes? "Well, you hate the way I load the dishwasher and I didn't want to piss you off on top of being sick." And I do hate the way he loads the dishwasher, but I think I might have let that one go as I was on my way back to bed.

What is it about men, that they do not seem to possess a compassionate bone in their body? Or is it just my particular man? Come to think on it though, I don't think I've ever had the pleasure of any of my former men waiting on me when I was sick. Not one glass of water, not one Tylenol, not one hand brushed against my forehead.

And now, he's sick. Yes, I knew he would get it eventually. He's upstairs in the guest bed, fever, chills, coughing his lungs up. I've given him Tylenol, cough syrup, chicken soup, orange juice, water, cough drops (the good kind), checked his temp -- 101.9, gotten him another blanket, another pillow, a box of Kleenex.

Now I know why women are nurses.

Tell me -- Does your man help when you're down and out? Or do you get up and deal with the family because you know he won't? Is he a total baby when he's sick, or does he grab a couple of pills and head off to work?

PS I am feeling much better now, thank you very much. Getting ready for the cocktail party which I hope you will all attend. Details coming soon.


Em-Musing said...

SO glad you're feeling better. What a time you had! You should read Love in the Time of Cholorea and you'll see that some men do possess feelings as deep as a woman's. Like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, my man is a Latino, and when I'm sick HE feels it. Last time I was here in Akumal, I got sick from being in a smoke filled room for a few hours. My sinus's kicked, but I figured out what was going on, he ran to the store and got me something like benadryl that knocked me out for a whole day. When I got up, there was chicken soup (Mexican style) waiting for me, the villa was spotless, and he was a mess worrying why I was sleeping so long. I tell you Anne, there ARE good men out there. And like your ex, my husband was a stinker and I could have rotted before he knew something was wrong with me.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry you were that sick! Allergies in addition to the change in temperature get me feeling funky this time of year.
My wife is rarely that sick, but even if she's just feeling bad, I's still do stuff around the house. We've always split the housework so it's no big deal. Even though she says I load the dishwasher wrong as well.

Anne Gallagher said...

Em -- I'm sure there are good men out there, but I'm not looking. I've got enough to do these days.

Alex -- Thanks. You're a good man. But I knew that about you already.

Linda G. said...

Oh, you poor thing! That does sound more like the flu than a cold. Glad you've made it through to the other side. :)

I'm pretty lucky with my man. He pitches in all the time, and when I'm sick he's and angel. (Yeah, I know how lucky I am.)

Anne Gallagher said...

Linda -- Yeah, still a little sniffly, but at least I'm up and around today. And it's good you know how lucky you are. I'm sure he feels the same about you.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I kinda milk it a bit for the added attention. Not too much. But a little bit. Glad to hear you're up and running again. No fun being sick.

Clarissa Draper said...

My man doesn't help me much when I'm sick. He however becomes the most needy person when sick. I think that's true of most men. Sadly. I'm glad you're feeling better now.

JeannetteLS said...

I think some of the time, we make it easy for them to opt out. I used to get annoyed because if my ex went to the store, he got the "wrong" brands of things. My counselor said, "Well. Which is better. Having the wrong scouring pad but NOT having to deal with the shopping, or having the RIGHT scouring pad, but having to do all the shopping?"

I let go of the "wrong" stuff and actually kinda LOVED not doing the shopping. We want them to help us clean, but we want them to clean the way we WANT things cleaned. I think that is part of the issue--it makes them easy to say, "Well you don't like the way I do it so I didn't."

I made it a practice from the getgo NOT to wait on my ex when he was sick after the first time I was back from the hospital and he was waiting for me to fix dinner the day I got back! Nope.

I think they do not get quite the compassion button we have, but I have to say I think we go overboard a bit. When he got whiny about a cold I used to say, "I'm going out for breakfast. HOpe you feel better honey. There's juice in the fridge. I'll bring you back an egg sandwich."

I don't get the wimp factor in men, but I agree they have it! Maybe that's why he left me, but in that case, I really don't mind!

I''m not sure most men realize love is a selfless act. I had one boyfriend who, if he DID help me when I was sick, seemed to think that this meant I should then do his laundry, make his meals, and give him perks whenever he liked. "After all, I DID take care of you that time..."

So glad I am not at all bitter!!!


Talli Roland said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better! There's something going around on this side of the ocean, too. I'm quite lucky that my man is very helpful on the domestic front. Thank goodness.

Jamie Burch said...

Sorry you were so sick, Anne! So happy to hear that you're feeling better. I just came down with a headcold yesterday. Definitely that time of year.

My guy is a total baby when he's sick. I get him soup, meds and all that. But when I'm sick he's usually working and I have to go out and get whatever I need. Oh, well. :)

Francine Howarth: UK said...


Good to hear you're on the mend! I can tell from the angst orientated post.

My hubby's a dream when I'm ill, tends to my every need when not at work, but he still leaves the dishes until he's run out of cups, plates and cutlery and can't possibly re-use them. Same goes for pots and pans. And oh boy, when he finally gets around to cleaning up: yee gods it is time to bury head between pillows. The air becomes blue, the clatter and banging enough to wake the dead. Even the dog leaps on the bed believing in safety in numbers! ;)


Jennifer Shirk said...

eight pounds? My goodness, you were sick!

Yeah, my hubby is pretty terrible when I'm sick. A nurse he is NOT. I guess it's just not in men's DNA.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i think it might just be your man. Though, out of the two men in my life (my dad and my brother) my dad would take care of everything and my brother wouldn't. Not cuz he's not compassionate, cuz he really is, he just wouldn't think about cleaning things he normally doesn't, because he has blinders on. Shrug.
I hope you're feeling better. Being sick sucks

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

You poor thing. I'm glad you;re feeling better now. (But be careful so you don't catch it back from the sickie in your guest room!) My hubby isn't very comfortable being a nurturer, and I'm not very comfortable having someone take care of me, so it kinda works for us. Kinda, sorta.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Well, I don't get pampered or anything, but my husband does take care of things around the house. Like tonight - I had two clients today, three more this week, two seminars, and I'm meeting the Book 'Em founder to go over some things, all of which are out of town. My husband did the dishes, made dinner, put away the clothes, and even promised he'd make the weekly phone call to my mother because he knows I'm already exhausted and completely stressed. Now that is love!

Ciara said...

I'm so sorry you were so sick. I had to leave a conference early because I caught my kids stomach virus. Being sick is never fun. I'm glad you are feeling better.

Anne Gallagher said...

Stephen -- Well, I hadn't thought of that one. I guess I'll have to do some digging and see what's what with the guest upstairs.

Clarissa -- Thanks. And why is that men are complete babies when they're sick? Is it built into their genes or something?

Jeanette -- Unfortunately, I don't think there's a happy medium. I think all women should have a built in maid to follow them around at all times. It would make life so much easier on us.

Talli -- You're one of the very lucky few. And don't catch this bug, whatever it is. It's not pretty.

Jamie -- Isn't that always the way? Hate that.

Francine -- I think I've only ever dated one guy who was a maniac with a dish cloth. Truthfully, I think he was a little OCD.

Jennifer -- Yeah, eight pounds. I didn't eat for days. Still don't really feel like it. I don't know whether that's a good thing or not.

Sarah -- He's not my man. He's the Monster's father. Just to clarify. Yeah, you know, why don't men think about stuff like that? Are we supposed to think of everything?

Susan -- Thanks. I hear what you're saying, I'm not really into having a man take care of me, but when I'm sick like that, it would be nice to have someone bring me water and check on me once in a while to make sure I'm not dead.

Diane -- God, your hubs sounds like a real love bunny. Do they make those in extra large?

Anne Gallagher said...

Ciara -- Oh no, you had to leave the conference! That just sucks. I'm sorry. I hope someone took notes for you.

Anonymous said...

I rarely in my life have been as sick as you were. I'm so sorry you had such a rough time! My first husband, I have to say, did help when I was down, both with cooking (he was a better cook than I) and with the children. I was never that down with my second husband (a marriage of only 7 years), but I suspect if I had been he wouldn't have been very good in the care giving department. I remember how helpless my father was when my mother was sick. I think it is a "man" thing, for some men anyway.

Hope you're feeling much better now! I'm getting a flu shot on the 18th, and lying low, as I always do this time of year because I have to. What would my disabled daughter do without me? The aide isn't here 24/7. We do what we have to do to take care of ourselves.
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

Carol Kilgore said...

So glad you're better. I hate being sick, too. Live-In Handyman is fair-to-good about helping when I'm sick. And what is it with men and dishwashers?

Al said...

Given I am a man I will just tiptoe very quietly away

J.L. Campbell said...

Glad to hear you're doing better. I got me one of the gooduns. He'll do stuff if I'm incapacitated. Not to much, mind you, but enough to be sure I don't kill him when I'm back on my feet.

VR Barkowski said...

So sorry you've been sick Anne! Glad to hear you're feeling better, but take care. We don't want to hear about any relapses.

Mr. VR is pretty nurturing when I'm sick, but I'm a good patient and not demanding. He, on the other hand, is a total baby, complete with whining. Once ill, he's always certain he's on his deathbed. One reason I dread being sick is because I know he will probably catch it, and then there will be hell to pay.

Anne Gallagher said...

Ann -- I'm firmly starting to believe it's in their DNA that makes them useless when sick. I'll just have to marry a doctor someday.

Carol -- I think they all watched "Tim the Tool Man".

Al -- I'm sure you're not one of "those".

Joy -- That's funny. So I don't kill him later.

VR -- I'm not demanding. I just want to know if I cough up a lung he'll at least get me a glass of water. No such luck.

Sherrie Petersen said...

So funny about the dishwasher! Oy! Glad you're feeling better. Looking forward to your party :)