About two weeks ago, my husband walked through the door and announced, “Honey, I have a viral infection.”
At first I thought he was talking about his computer and I was already preparing to yell, “WHAT WEBSITES HAVE YOU BEEN LOOKING AT AGAIN MICHAEL!” I invoke my husband’s full name when I have to deal with things like that, computer related issues because SOMEONE WAS GOING TO WWW-DOT-WHY-AM-LOOKING-AT-THIS-WHEN-I-HAVE-A-HOT-WIFE-DOT-COM?!?!” This is also why we have separate computers because I don’t want to have to teach someone how to clear the browser history so the hot wife doesn’t have to see what she doesn’t want to see even though we have had many discussions on how to clear the browser’s cache and history so THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN. And he doesn’t need to go anywhere else when he has a hot woman like me as his wife. I mean, sometimes I look in the mirror and go, “Daaaaang! Get in line fellas, there’s enough Hello Kitty pajama pants for everyone!”
It turned out that Mike was sick, very sick in fact. He had been to the doctor twice early in the week and on the first trip he was given antibiotics and on the second he was given a battery of tests. It was Tuesday night around 11 PM when a doctor had called Mike to let him know that he tested positive for influenza and yes, there was a possibility that it could be swine flu, but they wouldn’t know for a week. And in a week, if he did have swine flu, he would either recover eventually or DIE. Actually, the doctor didn’t mention anything about death, but curtly mentioned that he shouldn’t go to work and his wife and son should stay home, too.
And hung up. It was like we were on the set of The Ring and seven days later after we received this call, some dead girl was going to climb out of the TV and scare us to death.
This is when the panic set in, a panic only worsened by google searches because Mike had never watched The Ring and also google only turned up news stories about DEATH, people who died even though they went to the doctor. Children who died, grown healthy men and women who also died quickly and there was nothing they could do, the end.
So the three of us stayed home on Wednesday. I only left to pick up Mike’s Tamiflu prescription and to see the last bit of daylight before we were quarantined forever. I figured that our last run to Costco would last us for a while and then the three of us would have to fight over the final grains of brown rice, to which I would have to really think about how much I love myself versus how much I love my husband and son in a time of crisis. I’ve heard women elaborate over how much they’d sacrifice for their children and families and honestly, if we were down to three grains of rice, it would be tough to just let go of that sustenance instead of fighting for it. I’m sorry Nathan, I love you, but Mommy has faster reflexes. And my dear husband, I am young and I took Tae Bo a couple of times. I’m just saying.
And that is what the fear of swine flu does, turns normal people into savages who are willing to fight to the death over the last box of macaroni and cheese. Mike was feeling much better after taking Tamiflu so we called the hospital and managed to get some random doctor on the phone during the after hours line to ask if I could go back to work and Nathan could return to daycare. The doctor huffed an exasperated, “Well I don’t know.”
I didn’t attend medical school, but I’ve seen Scrubs a few times and I know there’s a better answer than, “I don’t know.” She then continued that she didn’t have an answer and he should call his primary care physician. Mike then explained again that his PCP was not available and she retorted, “Well, it *is* the after hours line.” Like, lady, are you kidding me? What is the after hours line for then?
The next day, we went back to normal. Mike was no longer sick and we returned to our lives. Then Nathan got sick and here we are again, spending the day inside playing Wii Bowling even though this kid is terrible. It must be his short arms and his inability to get where the “b” button is on the remote, no matter how many times I say, “It’s where your finger is! Just press it!”
I don’t know what’s more exhausting, a sick husband or a sick child. At least with a sick husband, he knows how to use a tissue, unlike my sick child who sneezes and holds the tissue with his right hand while wiping his stringy mucus with his left.
So how is it going in your house? Is everyone healthy and enjoying the sunshine? Or are you playing nurse like me?