I’m not too proud to admit that when I’m sick I become unbearable. I’m demanding, needy, whiny, and uncooperative. I want all the medicine, but I’ll refuse to take it if it involves swallowing things that taste yucky, or eating/drinking when I don’t want to. I am probably the worst patient. Ever.
To compensate for this somewhat, I really do try to be more compassionate and understanding when other people are ill. I do!
It’s just… their illnesses are so dull, you know? Cold? Oh, you poor dear. Let me get you some big boy pants. Flu? Suck it up, buttercup; the sales are on.
Fortunately, Husband is my perfect opposite when it comes to illness: I need to be cuddled and coddled, he needs to be left the hell alone to die under the porch like a stray cat. I win major points just by wandering in twice a day to tut and offer him some Tylenol.
Unfortunately, due to some recent changes in his health status—which I’ll no doubt go into later, but for today they’re irrelevant—he’s gotten more attentive about little things than he used to be.
It doesn’t help that he caught cancer.
HIM: My arm is really sore.
ME: That’s because of the cancer, honey. Now are you driving him in this morning or do I have to?
HIM: No, I’m telling you that it’s really sore in my armpit, and tender… so I googled it—
ME: And found out about the cancer. (reaches for pants)
HIM: No. I’ve just got swollen lymph nodes, because my immune system is working hard.
ME: (pausing) No, sweetie. That’s other people. You have Hodgkin’s.
HIM: I don’t—
ME: Then are you driving him?
HIM: (sighs) My back really hurts.
ME: And your armpits. (heading out)
HIM: Well yeah, ever since you gave me cancer!
ME: Fine, blame me!
You can see what I was doing, can’t you?
Oh, that is so typical of you. Take the side of the “cancer” patient—HE DOESN’T HAVE FUCKING CANCER, OBVIOUSLY!
I mean, he doesn’t have any sort of cancer. I’m not even sure there is a fucking cancer… but if there is, he especially doesn’t have—you know what? I’ve had just about enough of your lip. I could have said he doesn’t have bloody cancer, but I’d still be having this same discussion only people would be wondering why I’d gone all britishy so let’s just keep moving, alright?
ME: (looks up from laptop)
HIM: (hovering in doorway, hand in armpit) It’s even more swollen and tender today.
ME: (back to work) Well, call your doctor tomorrow and tell him you need an oncologist.
HIM: No, I looked online—
ME: Oh, God.
HIM: … and it says I only need to bother him if it’s been more than two weeks.
ME: (says nothing)
SARCASTIC EYEBROW: (springs into action)
HIM: And that wasn’t WebMD, it was the Mayo Clinic!
ME: Uh-huh. And it didn’t mention your cancer?
HIM: (leaving) No, as a matter of fact, it didn’t mention the cancer that you gave me.