4.14.2011

I Lose At Being Sick

My hubby is one of those guys that is good at just about everything.  It's really quite ridiculous. While I am superior at a handful of skills, there is no denying the fact that my hubby can trump me at most things.  Really.

The man is even better at being sick.  

Take Tuesday, for instance.  I had spent the morning with some girlfriends and on the way home, I noticed that I was starting to feel a little under the weather.  There are a multitude of bugs going around so I decided to play it safe and head home to lie down.  After slipping into a coma-like sleep for three hours, I drug my ailing self to the school to pick up the boy and then proceeded to lay on the sofa for the duration of the afternoon.  

When the hubby got home from work, he commented that his head felt a little congested.  I suggested the possibility that he was suffering from seasonal allergies, but didn't give his ailment any further thought.  By that time I was feeling miserable and decided to go to bed at 9:00.

At around 10:30, I was awakened by my hubby, burning up with fever, literally moaning in agony.  He informed me that he felt "like he was going to die" and would I mind getting up to find the heating pad.  After tucking the pitiful man into bed, I fell into a restless sleep, punctuated by my hubby's violent, feverish shivering and moans of despair. 

After ensuring that my boy was fed, dressed and off to school, I climbed back in bed and slept for an extra two-an-a-half hours.  I awoke feeling a slight improvement.  The hubby, on the other hand, was still on death's doorstep.

For those of you who make think that this is probably just one of those random coincidences, you would be wrong.  The hubby and I have an ongoing joke that no matter how sick I am, he will always manage to swoop in and be sicker.  

The most glaring example occurred in January of 2005.  After thirty-two years of slamming my toes into the legs of furniture, I had finally broken a toe.  It was my first fracture and I was going to milk it for all it was worth.  After an x-ray confirming the break, the doctor sent me home with an armload of medical tape and detailed instructions on how to bandage my toe in such a way that it would heal and I could walk. 

The boy, who was four at the time, spent the majority of his free time wrestling with our new puppy, Brick.  Despite the pain, I was looking forward to relaxing evenings sitting on the sofa, foot propped on a pillow, while my hubby managed the wild beast and boy.  

Unfortunately, my plans were cut short.

The day after the great toe snapping, my hubby came home from work barely able to walk.  The pain in his left big toe was excruciating.  While I suspect that my pain threshold is higher than that of my hubby's (I'd like to see him pass a 4 mm kidney stone 36 hours before giving birth.), the man is no wimp.  

I had never seen the hubby in such pain.  I swear the man would begin moaning if someone in China sneezed.  Imagine his wailing when our four-year-old and puppy decided to wrestle on the floor beside him.  Wearing a sock was unbearable and the weight of a sheet resting on his foot would nearly bring him to tears.  

A visit to his doctor provided the diagnosis of "gout-like symptoms" brought on by the horrible car accident my hubby had been in just a week before.  The seat belt, which had literally saved the hubby's life, did significant damage to the muscles in his torso.  In fact, the tearing was so sever that my hubby's entire torso, upper arms and hips were the deep color of an eggplant for over a month.  

As the doctor explained it, when massive tearing of the muscles occurs, the body releases significant amounts of uric acid.  Since our bodies are not designed to process such a high amount of acid, the surplus tends to settle in the lower extremities, particularly the joint of the big toe.  The doctor said the acid crystals are like little slivers of glass that settle into the joint.  Every time the toe moves, the crystals scratch the snot out of the joint tissue causing excruciating pain.

While I wanted to feel compassionate for my hubby who was clearly suffering, part of me wanted to scream.  I had broken a bone, gosh darn-it, and the hubby had managed to out-ail me again.  I began to wonder what a girl had to endure to get a little coddling.

In reality, I could at least hobble around with minimal discomfort (thanks to my nifty tape job).  The poor hubby was in agony with the slightest movement.  As a result, the hubby spent the next two weeks with his foot propped on a pillow while I wrangled the beast and boy.

His superiority at being sick is now a huge joke at our house.  Whenever we feel a simultaneous ailment coming on, I ridicule him for being such a wimp while he mocks my puny illness.  Not only is it great fun, but it actually makes us feel better, if only for a few moments.

How about you, dear readers?  Who is the champion of illness at your house?

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