Tuesday, 10 June 2008


Unfortunately for Hubby, this week has demonstrated all too explicitly, that I am in no way cut out to be a nurse. I’m not so bad with young children when all they need is a few tablespoonfuls of Calpol, a cuddle, the telly and some jelly. My patience starts to wear thin as they get older, no doubt my teenagers will attest to this as their streaming noses get short thrift and I bark “Get a tissue” at them before they are packed off to school with a couple of sachets of contraband Lemsip smuggled into their backpacks. Sick adults on the other hand just irritate me. I’m not so callous as to extend my impatience to those with appalling and life threatening diseases, certainly not, in fact I’d be the first to make a casserole and weep and wail over the inflicted, but anything else that just requires serious antibiotics and I am downright cruel. My Poor Dad, who suffers from asthma, coughed his lungs up for two years until a new doctor prescribed the correct dose of Ventolin for him. In those proceeding years though that cough drove me to distraction and it was all I could do not to snap “For God’s sake Dad put a sock in it”.
Pity poor Hubby then. It all started on Friday when he picked me and our youngest up from the Aquarium in Plymouth. We’d had a wonderful time, the place was almost empty and so had the place and the experts to ourselves. The 4D cinema was thrilling. Perhaps on reflection a little too thrilling given that within seconds of donning our 3D glasses we were speared by a twenty foot stork’s beak. Even the dads screamed. My children were both on my lap in a heartbeat. After a talk on sharks and spending pocket money in the gift shop, we were ready to leave. Generally on a Friday afternoon, after a long week, Hubby is shattered but full of beans at the prospect of being able to stay under the duvet after 5am. Not so this day. He looked very gloomy as we dived from the pouring rain into his car.
“Why the face like a slapped arse?” I asked.
“I just don’t feel quite right Alice. Hot one minute shivery the next”.
“Never mind”, I said breezily, “A hot toddy and a night in front of the telly will put you right”. I had other plans, like a night out with Mags to see Sex and the City. She’d had a lousy couple of weeks and I was not prepared to curtail my plans to dole out tea, toast and ibuprofen to a dose of man-flu. By the time I returned however, buoyed by sex and fashion, Hubby was in an arm chair, sweat dripping down his forehead, his teeth chattering.
“Not feeling any better then?” I asked with gentle disdain. He shook his head.
“It’s my throat”, he indicated with a shaking hand, “It really hurts”.
“Shame. You probably need a good night’s sleep and a heavy dose of pain killers”. I went into the ‘drug drawer’ in the kitchen and raked through our packets of various strength analgesics and wondered how many I could give him without causing him long term liver damage.
I returned to the sitting room with a glass of water and three horse pills only to found that he had vacated the chair leaving a damp patch were his head had been. I pursed my lips grimly.
Walking into our bedroom I found him under the duvet, shaking like a shitting dog. This was going to be a long night.
“Here we are”, I said cheerfully, “Take these pills and try not to keep me awake”. Famous last words. What with his sweating which, quite literally, wet the bed, his rigor and his snoring due to his obstructed throat, by 3 am I quite honestly wanted to obstruct it further and have done with it. With incredible self restraint I instead took myself out of the marital bed and lay down next to the Red-Head who herself was having a restless sleep due in part no doubt to the jaws of a 3D, great white shark engulfing her.
The following morning all was not as it should be. We have a routine on a Saturday that Hubby gets the papers and pastries and then we all troop – I say all, I mean the four of us, the eldest we rarely see before 11am - into the dining room to feast on croissants, pain au chocolat, pain au raisin and warm baguettes. As Hubby was in no fit state to gather said breakfast and as the six year old had already helped herself to a bowl of chocolate Weetos, and as my diet prohibits anything nice to eat, the family made do with Weetabix and a cup of tea.
I looked in on Hubby who gasped something about, “Agony. Any chance of water and more paracetamol?” I sighed, evidently the weekend was going to be more of the same i.e childcare, laundry, cooking and cleaning, interspersed only with the diversion of running up and down the stairs to administer to the ailing.By Sunday evening I was climbing the walls. Having spent the best part of a day in Tesco’s, I was in a foul mood. The children bickered over their dinner and Hubby sat up in bed peering forlornly into a bowl of tomato soup. He remained there, apart from visiting a doctor for antibiotics and the verification of septic tonsillitis, for three days. It is the first time in 20 years that I have known him take any sick days at work. I knew he was on the mend however when, after bringing him yet another ice lolly, he slapped my bottom and said rather lasciviously, “No chance of you dressing up as a nurse then?”


Hen said...

As Clarkson once said, "men don't get flu, they get Ebola!"

Sally Lomax said...

Excellent post Alice. It made me laugh. I'm not good with sickies either....

Am catching up.... Have got three more to read now! x

Mr Cool's Dream said...

Glad to see Alice showing Hubby some sympathy!

Alice Band said...

Mr Cool - Are you kidding?

Eloise said...

Sorry to be laughing at your husband's expense, but that was quite a funny post! Hope he's feeling better and that no one else at your house catches what he had.

Sally Lomax said...

BTW... have written one.... Sally

Anonymous said...

Isn't that just the way of it?

And I'm glad I'm not the only one who sends contraband to school with mildly ill children. (Silly rules.)