I was forcing one foot in front of the other as I made a late-night run to our local Wal-Mart to get more ibuprofen. I had used a whole bottle on my older son just three days before. My husband was home with our younger son, who was shrieking with a raging fever and hallucinations.
My eyes couldn’t focus; I just concentrated on getting back to the checkout as soon as possible. As I entered my PIN for the debit card reader, I was sweating and shaking with cold at the same time. In case you haven’t guessed it, we all had the flu.
In fact, we still have it. As I sit here typing this piece, I am in bed, wrapped in ice packs, and breathing diffused “plague defense” essential oils. It sure feels like we all got the plague. But, fortunately, all the fevers are over—hopefully. Cold sweats and hallucinations ended two days ago. Bad coughs, headaches, and weak bodies are now ready to begin mending.
During this round of sickness, I was counting my blessings for one very important person—my husband, Victor. I have been so thankful for his help and support. It’s a part of every string of marriage vows—in sickness and in health—but my Victor has really held up that end of the bargain.
The first time I remember being sick in our marriage was when I was pregnant with our first baby. I had morning sickness every morning like clockwork. I remember one particular morning, Victor was getting ready to head to work. He didn’t get to wear the shoes he was planning to because I threw up in one of them. He was too mortified to let me try and clean them, so he just threw them away altogether.
We laughed about it for a year, and then baby number two came along. Same deal—morning sickness was a frequent visitor. Once again, Victor was headed to work, and I felt sick. But this time, I headed for the door. The bathroom was too far, but I figured I could probably make it to the door and do my thing over the back porch. Wouldn’t you know it—Victor had left his shoes outside, and I projectile vomited on them like a bull’s-eye.
All of this is to say, Victor has been with me in sickness and in health. It’s one thing to say it. But who really wants to do it when there are unpleasant sights, smells, and even sounds involved in the sickness part? He would get up with me in the middle of the night to rub my cramping prego legs. He would sit with me in the bathroom as I crouched on the floor waiting for the next bout of nausea to take its revenge.
His compassion and presence in our sicknesses has been constant even after my pregnancies. I never knew I was a panicker until I had a sick baby who couldn’t tell me what was wrong. My husband has been my rock through all the ER visits with the children, all the endless nights of fever, all the trash cans of vomit.
This past week, I was about to fall to pieces as my weak and burning hot little boy laid in my arms as he tried to pick up the cell phones that he saw floating in the air. I was scared stiff, but Victor calmed our poor little hallucinating child as well as his frantic mother until the medicine did its thing and finally gave us some relief.
I’m glad to say that this time around, all the shoes have stayed nice and clean. And we are all so glad to be feeling better. We all helped each other through it. Victor is a good example for our children to see how real love plays itself out in real life. Love doesn’t head for the hills when the going gets tough or when the germs start invading the household.
I know there are plenty of people who do sickness alone. I don’t know how they do it. I hope I never have to. I know I am blessed to have my soulmate beside me to walk through life with me. But I feel blessed beyond all measure that he is here to go with me through the physically hardest times too.