Some people are good at being sick. They can suffer in silence and carry on, even when they feel like crap on a cracker. I am definitely not one of these people. When I’m sick and suffering, you better believe I want everyone else suffering too. There will be no suffering in silence for me. (I know that’s a complete shocker for everyone reading.)
We were home this past week due to the truck having to go back in the shop. We did a lot of Christmas shopping and spent some time with the kids. While we were packing and getting ready to leave Sunday night, I was struck with a horrible case of what I’m pretty sure was the African flesh-eating flu. One minute I was doing laundry and eating dinner with the family, the next I was hugging porcelain and urping up everything I’ve eaten for the last three years. (On a bright note here, I’ll never have to worry about having my gall bladder removed, because I’m fairly sure I threw it up.)
Everyone is alarmed when I get sick, and I’d like to believe it’s because I’m not sick often. The truth is, they’re alarmed because they know they have to take care of me, and I’m possibly the worst patient in the history of patients.
I had taken a break from releasing my innards and struck the “I’m sick leave me alone” pose in our bed. The cats (who are remarkably sweet when someone is sick) had curled up around me and I was trying very hard not to die.
“Babe, are you going to be alright?”
“Oh yeah. I’m perfectly fine for someone who’s vomited up their ovaries. I’m great.”
“Do you need anything?”
“Um, no. Well, I probably need a new spleen, but since I’m dying it doesn’t really matter.”
“You’re not dying. I think you have the flu.”
“Don’t let the kids fight over my rock collection when I’m gone.”
“You don’t have a rock collection.”
“Oh my Lord. Just one more thing in life I’ll miss out on. No rock collection, no spleen. I’m dying and I NEVER EVEN HAD A ROCK COLLECTION.”
“I’m going to get you some medicine. Is there anything else you need?”
“You’re leaving me on my death bed? Of course you are. You need to go ahead and start looking for a new wife. I understand.”
“You’re not going to die. And I don’t want a new wife.”
“Really? Because the one you have is broken and void of internal organs.”
“You still have internal organs, and we’ll get you fixed up. Just rest and let me go get you some medicine.”
“I’d like to have the song ‘Blackbird’ by the Beatles played at my funeral. And my favorite flowers are peonies. Don’t forget to donate my body to science. Especially my brain, since I don’t think I’ve puked it up yet.”
“Please just try to rest. I’ll be back soon with medicine and ginger ale.”
“It’s okay babe. This life be over soon. Heaven lasts forever. Is that hammering I hear outside our son building my coffin? He’s such a good boy.”
“It’s dark outside.”
“He’s out there building my coffin in the dark? He’s such a good boy. We did a good job. I’ll bet his sister is helping him. They’re good kids. I can die happy.”
“I’m going to get Theraflu. And ear plugs.”
Needless to say, I survived the African flesh-eating flu. I lost eight pounds, and most of the respect of my family, but I’m better now. And if you happen to have an extra spleen laying around, hang on to it, because if you get the flu this year, you’re going to need it.
Trucker James Peterson of Wisconsin was on a run from New Jersey bound for La ...