It all started the Sunday before last, when Jeff wanted to grab some Subway on our way home from some errands (getting our holiday pictures taken and taking Simon to his first movie, if you’re curious). Jeff ordered his favorite sandwich made of extruded pink slime:
Unsurprisingly, an hour and a half later he started feeling unwell. Not too long after that, he started feeling particularly unwell. And moments later, Jeff’s body began expressing just how unwell he really felt, through a form of interpretive dance called “projectile vomiting”.
(The location, extent and manner of this vomiting is irrelevant to this story, but let me assure you that he can no longer possibly harbor any doubts about how much I love him.)
Later that night I ran to Target to fetch the standard “sick stuff”: some Diet 7-up and ibuprofen, as well as a pack ‘n play for Simon to sleep in next to me on the couch, so we could leave Jeff in
quarantine peace in the bedroom. As luck would have it, while we were turning out of the Target parking lot to go home some jackhole decided that turn signals are highly overrated. Said jackhole also decided it would be fun to turn abruptly in front of my car, thus causing his car’s front bumper to sweetly kiss mine in a sloppy smack of metal and plastic.
Because everybody wants to stand around making police reports and exchanging insurance information at 9:00 on a Sunday evening when one’s husband is at home puking up everything he ever ate.
The next day I occupied myself with composing numerous angry letters inside my head to the villainous Subway franchise-owner who had cursed us so and idiotic drivers of crappy Nissan Altimas, all the while keeping Jeff’s soda full and stuffing bits of white bread down his throat as he recovered.
Jeff, meanwhile, held that this sudden illness, which had struck just after eating a sandwich of dubious origin, could have been caused by an unrelated virus. Surely his beloved Subway would not betray him so! Never in a million years.
It all played out pretty much like this:
See Marge’s look? That’s me. Only less yellow and even more dubious.
With Jeff on the mend by Tuesday, our week resumed its normal activities. I made us an abridged version of Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday,we Skyped with my parents and Simon played with the mirror baby to their delight, and all was well. A continued bastion of health, I felt thoroughly vindicated in my indictment of that damned sandwich as the cause of Jeff’s misery.
(Y’all know where this is going…)
On Friday I took the car to a Geico-approved repair shop, then stopped by the post office on my way home. While in line, I started to feel just a bit…icky. Since denial is a large and ugly beast, I pressed onward through my morning’s chores, but at noon I finally succumbed to the siren song of bed and heavy-lidded misery. I snuggled the baby in next to me, crammed a boob in his mouth, and fervently hoped that I was just imagining the rising tide of sickness.
No such luck, of course. Soon I had to call Jeff home from work; I knew I was surviving on borrowed time. He walked in the door just in time to see me launch myself, bare tits a’flyin’, toward the toilet to begin the retching, gagging song of defeat. He grabbed Simon and retreated to the living room for an afternoon of a horrible game called “entertain the baby without using boobs”.
Friday night was mostly a blur. I knew I had to keep drinking so that 1)my body would have something to puke up and 2)what little it might be able to retain could turn into milk for the LIVING BEING I HAD TO SUSTAIN. So I mostly remember it as a grotesque torture theatre: Jeff looming over me with our household’s sick cup of Diet 7 up, forcing sips down my throat. Simon fussing for attention and food, and Jeff situating him on my breast then snatching him out of the way every time I had to lunge yet again for the toilet.
It was super fun, let me tell you.
The good news with this particular strain of the plague, though, is that it departed nearly as quickly as it arrived. I spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday on the couch, watching Doctor Who, rehydrating, and nursing. Simon seems no worse for the wear and Jeff gets to enjoy that wonderful smugness that comes with a total reversal my former, insufferable vindication. I’m pretty sure he plans to celebrate with another extruded chicken sandwich at lunch today.
Now we’re all chipper, bright eyed and rosy cheeked and ready to start the week. Simon decided it would be superfun! to wake up at 7:00 this morning (after only 9 1/2 hours of sleep), so he’s now conked out on my lap while I write this. Which is why this post-about-nothing is so goddamn long – I can’t reach my phone, the TV remote, or even a fresh Diet Coke (somebody pass me a Diet Coke?). Like hell I’m going to disturb a sleeping baby.
So fine, Jeff. It wasn’t the damn sandwich. Happy now?