Sunday, December 26, 2010

Married to Lazarus

I've known my husband for eight years. For seven of those eight years, he has managed - with a spectacular sense of bad timing - to contract an illness by Christmas Eve. He's had a head cold, the 'flu and a lung embolism. He's spent Christmases in bed at my mother's house, his mother's house, our house and in hospital. This year, I was woken on Christmas morning by the sound of my husband worshipping the porcelain goddess - somewhere on our Odyssey to and from Frankfurt airport, he picked up a technicolour dose of stomach flu and spent the day running back and forth to the bathroom. I spent the day running after him with a bucket of disinfectant.

The thing about my husband is that he doesn't simply become ill - he collapses. He collapses into a sleeping coma and is useless for days. Nothing - no amount of conscientious nursing or annoyed poking - will remove him from his stinky bed. And it's impossible to discern the degree of seriousness of his illness: he deploys the same level of drama (whimpering, tossing, moaning, heavy breathing) for everything from the common sniffle to pneumonia. I simply can't tell how ill he is until he keels over - then I know that he's actually sick, as opposed to just looking for a bit of sympathy.

After two or three days of uninterrupted sleeping - in this case, this morning - I'll hear a stirring from the bedroom and the creaking of the floorboards. The bedroom door opens and my woolly-headed husband appears on the threshold, his jammies wrinkly and his hair standing on end. There's a triumphant grin about his chops, a kind of "Haha! I beat the plague!" He then plonks himself in front of his computer and checks that cyberspace has survived without him. In the meantime, I put on the Christmas dinner - the one that we should've had yesterday, instead of my plate of spaghetti.


Dawn S. said...

LOL All men are alike with the drama they produce when ill, even with the slightest sniffle. "I can't breathe!!" is my hubby's cry - with which I (lovingly?) reply, "so open your mouth! Duh?!"

Glad he is feeling better. Merry Christmas!!

Clara said...

Sounds very familiar and I'm sure we've all seen it! Ha! Ha!