When Mom And Dad Are Both Sick

Happy toddler, sick parents.
Happy toddler, sick parents.

In the past seventeen months, we’ve somehow lucked out that I have never gotten sick. I’ve had sniffles and headaches here and there, but nothing like a flu or a stomach bug that has left me burrowed under blankets in bed all day. My husband, on the other hand, has had his fair share of illness. Between spending two hours a day on the bus and working in a busy office building, he seems to come down with one thing or another every couple of months.

When he does, I usually quarantine him in the bedroom, and fetch him all his favorite sick foods – Gatorade, granola, coconut milk ice cream, and hot tea. I always joke that while I certainly don’t envy his sickness, some day he’s going to have to pay me back by doting on me and watching Cullen while I lay in bed all day.

As it turns out, my time came last week. I felt a little off on Monday, but nothing too serious. Tuesday morning I woke up with a raging headache, anĀ unbelievableĀ sore throat, body aches, and a neck so sore it hurt to touch. The kicker? My husband was in bed with a 103 degree fever. We both had it. Crap.

Since he was worse off than me, I had to push forward and try to take care of Cullen, despite feeling like I was going to die at any minute. I was able to leave him with my husband long enough to get myself to the doctor, where I found out I tested positive for strep throat. I hadn’t had strep since I was a kid, and man does it SUCK as an adult! I don’t remember it being quite that bad when I was little, but I probably spent those days laid up on the couch drinking Coke and chewing on gummy worms too.

And so for two days, my husband and I traded off duties like zombies. We’d list our ailments and symptoms, always trying to one-up the other for who was sicker. He had the higher fever, but I was also 13 weeks pregnant. Somehow, Cullen avoided getting it and was his usual energetic self. And while obviously our biggest worry was him getting sick, it was also really difficult dealing with a full-throttle toddler when we were both running on fumes.

It was the type of week where I missed my mom desperately, and longed to have someone to call for help. We have great friends here in Seattle, but almost all of them have young kids themselves, and I would never want to risk passing germs along to one of their families. Within a few days, the antibiotics kicked in, and we were back in business as usual.

I’m still waiting for my time to come where I lay in bed all day while my husband brings me ice cream, but in the meantime, I’m happy to stay healthy for a good long while.

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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