“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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