It's not because I'm sick--everyone else is just being stupid

So a little-known fact about me (at least to the people who have never had to be a part of this) is that pain and illness cause me to become:

1. Grouchy
2. Stupid
3. Violent

The best example of this was July '97, The Wisdom Teeth Day, also known as The Day Nem Tried to Kick Through the Dashboard of the Suburban on the Way Home Because Her Ice Pack Melted. It felt totally justified at the time, as did stopping RIGHT THEN for pain medication (which my mother did with a terrified look in her eye) and then hurling said offending ice pack from the front seat into the back window.

Also there was this one time I was home sick in bed on a Sunday afternoon and a guy came over to see my roommates and started demonstrating his clogging moves on the kitchen floor, directly over my bed. I staggered upstairs, killed him, and tacked his body to our front door with a sign that read, "Seriously. I. AM. SLEEPING."

So I suppose it is fitting that the man I married should be my soulmate in this, the pain-induced insanity.

This week GH had a dental appointment to have a crown put in. I have never had this done, but to me it sounded like a significant procedure (or at least the $500 copay was significant). I asked if he was going to be okay or if he would need help.

"Nah, it shouldn't be too bad. I mean, it's not like I'm getting a cavity filled or something like that."

Which . . . should have been my tip-off that maybe the dentist had not adequately impressed upon dear GH what they were going to be doing. That morning at 8:00 I went off to work and he (just returning from his work) went to the dentist. I got a call at the reference desk at 11:00am.

Me: Blankety-blank library, this is Nemesis.

Strange disembodied groaning voice: Nemesiiiiiiiiis . . .

Me: [pause] Um . . .

(Wondering why the heck I always end up with the freaky perverts.)

SDGV: It's your husband.

Me: OH! Hey, are you okay?

GH: You need to give me your direct number because it took like 5 minutes to get through to you.

Me: Um, okay. Sorry about that. So . . .

GH: Where is the ibuprofin. I can't find the ibuprofin.

Me: Are you okay?

GH: NO. No I'm not okay. It's 11:00 o'clock, I'm in pain, I can't sleep, and I can't find the ibuprofin. It's not where it's supposed to be.

Me: It's just in that kitchen cupboard.

GH: It's not in the cupboard. I looked there.

Me: Could it be in the back, maybe?

GH: I pulled everything out, it's not THERE. Did you put it in your purse or something?

Me: Sweetie, it's a Costco-sized bottle of ibuprofin with a missing lid. I promise it's not in my bag. There's nowhere else it would be but in that cabinet.

GH: Wrassle wrassle fargarrreaarreellooooll

Me: I'm so sorry, I don't know what to tell you.



I couldn't of course say the words I wanted to, which were something like, "I'm sure the bottle is right there but you're not seeing it because your very real pain and tiredness has made you stupid and also blind." People don't like to hear this.

On my lunch break I went home to be sure he wasn't writhing on the floor in agony. First thing I saw on the kitchen counter was the bottle of ibuprofin (had been on the bottom right back shelf in the cupboard) and a pack of sleeping pills. I figured I'd better just leave him alone, because if I woke him up after all that he might try the front door move on me.

The point is, we'd better never be sick at the same time or we may not come out alive.


april said... [reply]

glad i'm not the only crabby sick person, but what's worse is that i also was raised with what i refer to as a "drill sergent" mentality when it comes to seeing others sick. i have to fight the urge to tell my husband to just suck it up. it's taken me years to fake empathy, and i still don't do it very well. even harder for me to cater on someone whose sick (unless it's really serious).

did i mention i've thought of becoming a nurse when my youngest is in school? but, of course, those will be only really serious cases, right?

Jenny said... [reply]

found you, read this and laughed. a lot. familiarity is good.

Chillygator said... [reply]

My sister and I like to tease each other about who's harder to live with when sick (she threw things at anyone who came near her when she had her wisdom teeth out, I cried when people talked to me and made unreasonable demands with "If you loved me, you'd [insert unreasonable demand]!"). Illness tends to numb important, rational parts of the brain (o:

I loved your post. It's so true and so funny!

chosha said... [reply]

I can be sick and be cheerful, until it stops me from sleeping. Then it's time to hide the knives.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

Look up "man cold" on Youtube. But only if you love snarky British humor.

"It's taken me years to fake empathy." Oh, yeah.

Christie said... [reply]

Oh those dear, sweet, sick and in pain husbands! Believe it or not, I can remember one flu my dad had during my childhood where he had my mom put a little bell by his bed. Ding. I need a tissue. Ding. I need a drink of water. But what I really related to from this post is GH not being able to find the ibuprofen. My own dear mate is known for not being able to find things. It started off as annoying but has become one of those endearing qualities I'm going to miss about him should he ever succumb to the next cold which he catches. Dear man.

coolmom said... [reply]

You inherited this from me. I asked Cooldad once why he wasn't more mindful of me when I was ill. His pathetic little response was.."Cause...when you're sick...(whimper)..you're mean."

Oh come on, how mean could I possibly be?

amyjane said... [reply]

I had a crown put in recently. It SUCKED. Actually, it's still causing me problems. My sympathies to GH.

Anonymous said... [reply]

exactly what do they do when you get a crown? and do you think you might have a mild mental illness? throwing tantrums has to fit the criteria for something. i just ask incase i bump into you and say or do the wrong thing. I'm to young to die.

Th. said... [reply]


We were nice to each other the first couple times, but we grew out of that real quick.

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