The husband is a hypochondriac.
Even worse, the husband is a hypochondriac who actually does have a lot of strange and serious medical conditions. Even though humans are the one species that I’m not legally allowed to treat, I spend a lot of time on his health care.
Neither of us are feeling great. I have a headache that won’t go away and it feels like a good idea to just lay in bed for the day. Around lunch time he comes into the bedroom, wakes me up, and asks if I want something from Subway. I say that that seems like a good idea. He says, “Good. Can you go get it?”
I roll over and look at him. “You have clothes on. I’m not dressed. You want me to get up, get dressed, and go get Subway?” Anyone who has been married as long as he has should know the danger sign of a woman repeating your request like that. You, sir, are being given a chance to repent. He did not.
“Yes. I’m so weak. I would get in an accident.”
I ignored him and went back to sleep. A little while later he was back waking me up again. “I’m hungry…..” like we don’t have a house full of food.
I obviously wasn’t going to get any peace. I got up, slowly got dressed, and asked what he wanted. He objected when I wanted him to write it down. He said it was simple enough to remember. I did not start yelling. I am proud.
I came back with his sandwich. He asked me why I didn’t get one for myself. I told him that I was fueled solely by rage. I don’t think he understood me. I went back to bed.
He takes the day off work. I have to go in at 11 AM. He asks if before I go I can go get him Gatorade and ginger ale. Let’s discuss ginger ale. Ginger is wonderful for nausea. Ginger ale would be a great drink for the flu if, you know, it contained any ginger. Ginger ale is mostly carbonated water, hi fructose corn syrup, and flavoring. I’ve pointed this out repeatedly to him. He doesn’t care. Because I actually am a big believer in the power of ginger, we have ginger tea bags which would give you a big dose of good-for-you stuff. He doesn’t want that. I go try to find ginger ale. Of course it isn’t at the first store I go to so I’m driving all around creation looking for the useless stuff.
(During this I am remembering about the time I broke my pelvis when home alone. Then I hopped on one leg for an hour to reach my car. I drove to the hospital. Was released without crutches and told to go buy some the next day. My now ex-husband was on a business trip and had his phone turned off. When I reached him 18 hours later and told him what had happened and that I needed him to go get me crutches so could he please drive straight home that day instead of going to his office as planned, he got mad. Several years later he was still mad about it and kept bringing it up during our separation as proof that I WAS TOO NEEDY! Please, that fool had obviously never met Too Needy.)
Anyway, I got all the stuff and brought it home and then went to work. I get a text later that he thinks he needs to go to Urgent Care. I have feelings about this. Mostly I feel – “You have the flu. Sleep it off.” I am completely unable to say this because of what happened last year. Same situation. He goes to the ER for the flu that I just slept off. He gets a Cat Scan. I rail about the wastefulness of human medicine. He gets diagnosed with the flu and by the way, you have a tumor. Cue every time I say that he is absolutely fine in the past year, he counters with, “That’s what you said before and it turned out I had cancer.” He goes to Urgent Care and gets diagnosed with the flu and told to go home and sleep it off. I point out that he doesn’t have any new cancer so that’s an improvement. He says sadly, “They didn’t give me any scans.”
I decide to sleep in the guest room away from his germs.
He wakes me up with his shivering. How can a person’s shivering wake you up if you are two rooms away? He has never applied the phrase Suffering in Silence to himself. He sounded like a cold person who was also having an attack of the vapors.
I take his temperature. It is 100.5. I don’t tell him this because despite all evidence to the contrary he believes that his normal body temperature is 95 degrees. I just say he has a fever. I give him some meds to bring the fever down. I tell him to take a shower. I go to get him something to drink and notice that he has not opened any of the gatorade that was so important that morning. I tuck him back in. In an inspired piece of theater I move the infrared space heater into the room and turn it on. As soon as he isn’t looking, I turn it off.
He starts yelling that the room is so hot. I get up and go back to him. I explain that he has a fever. The room isn’t hot. He springs up from laying down and says to me,
“Heather, look! I literally can’t even move!”
That’s when I broke. I started yelling. “Now you are just telling outright lies! Lay down.” Add in some swearing to get exactly what I said. He spent many years in the Army. Yelling and swearing are sometimes the key to him.
The fever was up a bit. I figured that he didn’t remember already taking a shower a few minutes ago so I asked if he would like to take a cool bath. He thought that was a fine idea. As I was running the water, I actually had the thought that I should text my mother and see if she would start putting together some bail money in case I drowned that man.
He got in the tub. He started complaining about medical professionals who obviously sent him home to die. I went full on drill sergeant. “You are fine! Stop it. I will tell you when you are not fine. Until then, I don’t want to hear it.” Add in expletives. He calmed down. Then he hopped out of the tub in a more sprightly manner than he would normally ever be able to do while telling me, “I am SO weak!”
He went back to sleep.
Fever is down. He’s sleeping. I go to bed.
He’s freaking fine just like I said. While writing this though he’s made me take his temperature and is trying to justify his actions last night. Now he’s on the phone with his insurance agent (for a totally unrelated reason) and is reliving his life or death struggle and talking about how wonderfully I cared for him.
Oh, that fool just said, “She works at 11. I’m going to miss her even though she’s been slightly ornery. Only someone who loves you gets that ornery.” I’m going to work before I need bail money again.