M started feeling poorly on Saturday – sudden allergy symptoms while we were out and about. From there it morphed into a head/chest cold, and yesterday was miserable. For both of us. Much as I love and adore my husband, he becomes the worst example of a whiney, cranky child when he is sick. And I apologize to any whiney, cranky children out there reading; M sick is far worse than that.
While I am sympathetic – neither of us seem to get sick all that often – it evaporates quickly in the reality of dealing with him. If I ask if he needs anything he’s snarky to be left alone. If I leave him alone and go about my own day/business, he’s irritated that I am not “taking care of him” while he is sick. When (not if) I reach my limit and start snarling right back at him, I am the bad guy because he is sick and I have no clue how he is suffering. Drama unfolds; I do not cope easily with drama.
Thankfully the worst is over and he was up and about this morning, feeling much better. Sick M is the Mr. Hyde version of his personality, and it is like oil and water for us as a couple. I am far more reasonable when ill, in that I take whatever OTC drugs are available to treat symptoms, and when if I fail to improve after a couple of days I go to the doctor. M takes OTC allergy/cold/flu meds begrudingly and complains endlessly about them. Mostly I tune it out, because really, what can I do? Call Sudafed and demand they change their formula?
Now that he’s feeling better and is far closer to his normal balanced self, I recognize how weighty it is when one of us is out of sorts. With the distractions of birthday festivities and seeing friends and family and hanging out and catching up, it’s easier for me to stay upbeat and in my regular positive range. Once all the music stopped and normal routines descended once more, M becoming sick M dragged me down with him. A trip to Target for more juice and Sudafed and cat food turned into those three items plus popsicles (an add-on to the get-well-faster kit), adirondak chairs (8 of them) and serious temptations of sugary snacks, reduced to a single small chocolate bar. For emergencies. If it came down to trying to smother M for whining or eating the chocolate, the extra sugar and calories are completely justified. Thankfully it did not get that bad – the popsicles and juice were appreciated, the adirondack chairs admired, and the chocolate is resting comfortably in the freezer, awaiting some future marital emergency.
When we are frictioning dims my overall outlook dims, like a cloudy day that grows increasingly colder. Life is so much harder without a full-strength M. Yes, he drives me insane with the drama and flashes of hypochondria (seriously – it’s JUST A HEADCOLD! We are not talking cancer or ebola here!), but after this much time I’m used to the baby M becomes and eternally grateful he rarely falls ill. I want him to be well because the complaints stop and my compentency miraculously returns to it’s pre-illness levels of excellence. I want him to be well because we are always better when clear-eyed and healthy. I want him to be well because there’s a trip to Ikea in our future and I will need help loading and unloading those boxes. Plus it’s no fun assembling crap on my own.
I had a point when I started this post, but it seems to have gotten lost as the workday drones on. Perhaps it is just the messiness of life and relationships. Today I am simply happy M is feeling significantly better and back to normal.