The Boring Word About In Sickness and In Health

February 5, 1986

We are now entering our third week of the flu in our household. Although the sharing of material things has not always been our children’s strong suite they are quick to spread their flu germs to all the members of the family. Our latest siege began with the youngest. When it come to illness David and his sister Beth are very much alike. They monitor every ache and pain and sit with a stop watch waiting for the moment to take their next pill. I get hourly reports of temperature, stomach conditions and various aches and pains.

On the other hand Chip, who came down with it next, has not managed to get a pill down his throat in his entire 16 years. He, like his father, suffers in silence except for an occasional groan, moan or muffled cry (usually uttered when I am within earshot.)

In our house it is a tradition that the ill move to the living room couch as soon as possible. This is so they are closer to the bathroom, my loving care and to save me from climbing steps. In my opinion it is because the color TV and the telephone are located there, and it is easier to spread their germs to the rest of us.

Like all good mothers I waited until the younger members of the family were on their way to recovery and then I took to my bed. Or at least I tried to. I soon discovered that I could starve that way. Occasional cups of tea and plates of toast had a habit of not showing up together and rarely at more than room temperature.

Finally I ventured out to the kitchen to find a crust of bread, etc. I still say the sight of the kitchen sink is what caused my relapse. Once I learned to fit my needs into the commercial breaks on the TV and between the phone calls, and not to ask how they fixed any of the food that came my way my strength began to return.

It has been over a week now and there seems to be a remote chance that I will survive. However, I’m sure that it’s going to take much longer to put my house back together, find all the dishes, and clean the kitchen sink!