How To Survive Your Husband’s Cold

“It’s strep,” Justin says as he returns from taking Balthazar to the pediatrician.

“Oh man!” I say as I begin to mentally cancel everything I’ve got scheduled for the next few days knowing I’ll have a sick kid home from school. “Why do kids only get sick at the end of winter break, not the beginning?”

“I’ve got strep, too,” Justin says as he begins to moan and get into bed. “I feel like I’m dying.”

I look at him and roll my eyes. “You haven’t felt like you were dying until you’ve had two humans come out of your vagina.” By the time I’ve finished the sentence Justin is fast asleep, clutching the remote control like it’s a baby.

Strep throat is one of those random kid illnesses adults without kids don’t get. But if you do have kids, chances are you’re in for a bright future filled with croup, sinus infections, strep throat and a shit ton of random rashes, bites and questionable skin stuff that will make you sure you’ve got an STD.

The last time I had strep throat I was pregnant with Margaux, who is now 4. I remember feeling like there were knives in my throat and being surprised to find out that I had strep. “Isn’t strep just for kids?” I remember asking my doctor who looked at me like I had a Phd in stupid. Due to the knives in the throat situation, I didn’t eat much for days causing me to actually lose weight while pregnant. Now of course, I’d kill for strep.

Most men turn into big giant babies when they have anything more painful than a hangnail. Justin’s actually a warrior of a sick guy, which is part of the problem. It takes him ages to admit he actually is sick as if being sick will ruin his Yelp rating.

In the meantime, he’ll keep me up for weeks with his sneezing and snoring, which he’ll attribute to dry air. He’ll cough so hard I’m sure he’s punctured a lung, which he’ll also attribute to the air being dry. And he’ll get a throat so sore that he can barely swallow and he’ll be sure it’s due to dry air. He’ll even Google it for backup.

All the while he’ll take enough Advil to thin the blood of a large whale, but will never actually see a doctor. He could be having a body part removed for cancer and he’ll tell the paramedics, “Just give me some Advil. It must be the dry air.”

Advil would be great were my husband suffering from menstrual cramps, but he’s not. And so taking Advil when you’re sick is like putting lipstick on a pig. The Advil does nothing, though it does infuriate me.

Compared to most guys who are sure they have cancer if they have gas it sounds fabulous to have a sick warrior at home, but it’s not. Because in the three weeks it takes Justin to realize he’s not dying of dry air he’ll have something like strep, which he’ll give back to our children who probably gave it to him in the first place. He will have kept me awake for at least a week with his moaning, night sweats and pitchy phlegm symphonies that can be heard for miles and miles. And then he will finally go to the doctor who will tell him what I told him three weeks before, “You’re sick.”

He’ll then start popping whatever antibiotics he’s been prescribed, sweat out a few fevers and then wake up as though nothing’s happened. “Boy do I feel better,” he’ll say giddy to the point of skipping. “I’m sure you do,” I’ll think but won’t say. I’ll just slither upstairs, pop a few Advil and try to get some rest.

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12 thoughts on “How To Survive Your Husband’s Cold

  1. Oh my god I SO get this!! My husband wakes up every morning horking up all sorts crap from his throat. I tell him it’s not normal and he says “It’s MY normal”, which infuriates me because he really needs to see an ENT but he won’t!! Recently, after rubbing his eye raw and insisting it was allergies/dry air (see the similarities?), he finally went to the eye doctor and lo and behold he had an infection!! One round of antibiotics later he still has the infection and now they don’t know what to do but would he have ever thought it was infected? Nope. ARGH!!!

  2. My husband is the same way. He pretty much refuses to be sick but when he is oh my gosh, he’s dying and he must have a sinus infection. I don’t know why he always goes to that thought, but he does. Our whole family just got over the flu and he was really achy and felt like it was the worst pain ever! I asked what he was taking and he was like the acetaminophen with cold medicine. I was like sweety take some Ibuprofen and you’ll feel better. Two hours later, I feel so much better! Men are such wussy’s when it comes to sickness. 🙂

  3. A pillow held in just the right angle over his head cures the snoring…I’m kidding! I’m kidding! 🙂
    Great writing, excellent!
    My husband could holding his spleen in his hand and he’d tell me there was nothing wrong with him, but he’d be walking hunched over like a little old man so everyone in a twelve mile radius could ask him, “What’s wrong?”…see why the pillow is an easy thought?

  4. Does anyone else want to hunt down the creators of the “Dad’s don’t get sick days” commercial??? I snort out loud and occasionally make awful comments when that one comes on. My DH doesn’t often get sick, but when he does the world comes to a screeching HALT. Dad doesn’t just take a sick day…he checks out completely… meanwhile MOM who has the exact same thing (thanks for that) is chugging airborne, and cleaning until her hands are raw so the rest of the family doesn’t get sick… all while getting lunches made, getting everyone to school and practices on time and insuring that their homework done. OH and still feeding everyone 3 x a day.

  5. My husband has a black belt in hypochondria. Seriously, every sniffle, ache or pain…he must go to the doctor or sleep 15 hours straight. I, however, have to continue to get up and go into work even though I feel like death on a cracker because we are a one income household. I will admit it makes me furious and I kinda want to throat punch him when he starts whining.

  6. Calling men babies when they are sick is GROSSLY unfair….to babies. Babies are much easier to deal with. My husband could be carrying his pancreas around in a basket and still wouldn’t see the doctor. Sounds like a lonely moose when he clears his sinuses. Stomach sounds like an erupting volcano…but no doctors, thank you very much. I have just learned to call it a “guy thing” and ignore it. (Either that or that pillow thing that Sandra suggested…..)

    1. “Calling men babies when they are sick is GROSSLY unfair….to babies”–almost made me spit out my cocktail. Now that is funny!

      Thanks for the note.
      xo

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