Last night, The Guy’s overall health took a nosedive rather quickly. One minute, he felt a little run-down; the next, it seemed, he was shaking violently with chills and fever. Averse though I am to other people’s illnesses, there was no way I was sending him home to ride this out alone.
I tucked him into my bed, fed him two Tylenol and a Tums QuikPak (he complained of general stomach pain that hadn’t yet manifested itself in definitive symptoms; I figure in most cases, Tums’ll cure what ails you, right?) and dug around for and finally found a thermometer.
I took his temperature and felt a cold streak of fear when I realized he had a fever. Intellectually, I knew he had one, of course; after all, he was laying in my bed wearing a sweatshirt with two blankets piled on top of him, yet he was still shivering so that his teeth rattled in his mouth. But seeing the numbers on the thermometer’s digital display suddenly made it crystal clear: The Guy was really, truly, maybe even seriously, sick. And I had to take care of him no matter what, er, happened.
And happen it did. OH, BOY, did it ever happen. You want definitive symptoms? I GOT YER DEFINITIVE SYMPTOMS RIGHT HERE. I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but we’ve all had enough stomach viruses in our lives to know what havoc they wreak.
I’ll just say this:
Thank you, sweet Jesus, for Clorox wipes. Amen.
And we’ll leave it at that.
On top of everything else, the cat decided to get sick again last night, too. So at one point, I had The Guy in the bathroom and Lola in the kitchen and I just stood there in the hallway with a fistful of paper towels, not sure who to go to first.
As you can imagine, The Guy made numerous trips to the bathroom last night, and I woke up every time he so much as flinched. About 4:00 a.m., his fever broke, and when I touched his skin and realized how much he was sweating, I got scared all over again.
My alarm rang at 7:00, and I slapped at the snooze button until 7:30, when I finally had to get up, get dressed, pack my lunch and make sure The Guy had everything he needed until I got home in the afternoon. By the time I got in the car to drive to work, I was ready for a nap.
At work, I tried, somewhat successfully, to concentrate on my editing and not fret about The Guy too much while I ate a cup of yogurt and an apple for breakfast.
That was pretty when it came back up two hours later. Oh, geez.
As you loyal readers well know, I’ve been a bachelor girl for a long time. I have PLENTY of experience taking care of myself, all by myself, when I’m sick. But this was the first time I was responsible for somebody else, too, and I have just one question:
WORKING MOMS, HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO THIS?!?!
Let’s face it: The Guy was terribly sick. But The Guy’s a grown man with an adult vocabulary and fully-functioning motor skills. I got scared a couple times, but in my rational mind, I knew that if he were critically ill, he could tell me so. Perhaps more importantly, his aim was, even in his feverish state, good enough that I wasn’t too worried he would barf on me.
If The Guy had been a baby instead of The Guy, I feel quite sure that I would have been a jangling pile of nerves in desperate need of tranquilizers this morning.
I think I passed a test last night.
The first of many.