Being sick is one of the most awful things in the world. I have just started to recover from two weeks of coughing up green slime, a snot marathon and feeling like I bungee jumped off a bridge without a bungee cord. When sick I am also one of the worst patients you will ever come across even when heavily medicated. You see when I am ill and on a myriad of drugs I tend to become emotional. My emotional range varying from self pity and believing that I am really dying and that nobody cares resulting in me having episodes of crying like an emotionally disturbed child who just broke his favorite toy, to being an angry and highly agitated bitch on steroids (with the steroids actually being 2000mg of penicillin per day). They say when men are sick they tend to behave like babies and looking back at my 14 day antibiotic haze I could not help but wonder – is this actually true?
In January hubby and I returned from our holiday on Paradise Island. Unbeknown to me I returned from our holiday with a little gift; the gift being double pneumonia. Long story short, when we landed back home I was directly taken to hospital with my pretty ocean view of 24 hour earlier replaced with a view of an old dying queen in front of me, my drip and an oxygen tank.
My stay in hospital was abruptly ended when I had a complete emotional melt down after one particular evil nurse popped one of my veins for the 3rd time when she tried to fix my drip. I did the ugly cry and my pulmonologist discharged me from hospital but not before giving me a very serious and stern warning: “Many people die of pneumonia every year, even young healthy men like you. This is to be taken seriously. Your lungs are damaged and for the next 12 months you will be vulnerable to respiratory ailments that could again result in pneumonia. Take special care this winter, OK?”
This doctor died of a heart attack a couple of weeks ago and his heart attack is in no way related to me (just saying). I heeded his warning and have been taking Vitamin C supplements ever since and everything was going well until after my birthday party. You see we sat outside under a gas heater for most of the evening. Drank way to many tequila and caramel vodka shooters and the next day I felt like Jose Cuervo and a Russian tried to kill me. I was hung over and felt sick. Monday morning I went to work feeling like death warmed up and believed it must be the aftermath of my hang over and me moving on in years, but it wasn’t.
You see I caught a bug the night of my party and the son of a bitch was inside my lungs making babies. By Tuesday I could no longer ignore my symptoms (i.e. the pain when I was breathing) and consulted with my personal physician. He did his normal examination and we ended up arguing; he said I had a fever and said I didn’t. Eventually I went for X-rays and the final diagnosis was that I was developing pneumonia in my left lung. I cursed, he scribbled a prescription and a sick note for work and I left coughing and wheezing all the way home.
The next couple of days I spent in the horizontal position with my earthly existence being restricted to antibiotics, cough syrup, anti-inflammatory medication, chicken soup and reruns of MacGyver and CSI New York. By the following Monday I was convinced that I was fine to go back to work and that if I was ever in a pickle that I would be able to get myself out of it with a paperclip, tinfoil and a piece of string. I was also confident that if I had to work a murder case that I would be able to solve the shit out of it in under 52 minutes. I was wrong.
I arrived at work as high as a kite on antibiotics. I floated through the day not being able to concentrate or focus. The next day I realized I was still not fine and went back to my doctor only to learn that the pneumonia was cleared up but that I now had bronchitis. “Mother. Fucking. Hell.” was my reaction and the doctor’s considered professional medical opinion of the cause was, and I quote “It is winter.”
By this time my tolerance level for being sick had reached critical mass and I found myself regressing back to being an emotionally needy and rather pissed off toddler. With a second round of antibiotics, coughing up and secreting rather unearthly looking fluids from my nose and lungs I was not sure who were more irritated with me being sick – my cats watching me clearly wondering what their plan B was if I died or me wondering when I was going to die.
Poor hubby barely survived the 14 days having to deal with a sick, cranky and super emotional bitch. But being the gentle soul that he is, he managed to control the situation and defuse the supernova that almost occurred roughly 30 times. One evening I even ended up yelling “I AM DYING! i am dying, don’t you love me? Nobody loves me…” while wiping drool and snot from my fever flushed cheek.
Yes, in my personal experience, I can emphatically state that men when sick do not behave like babies. Men behave like emotionally needy toddlers and it’s best to keep them heavily medicated and in an emotionally tranquil state for the duration of their recovery. My main problem when I am starting to get sick is my categorical denial that I am sick and when I eventually accept that I am, is my firm suspicion that I am dying. All the emotionally charged nuclear fallout after that I blame on the medication. I am still not completely well yet but at least I am no longer lying in bed stewing in my own snot and self-pity. I will survive *cough* I really will *sneeze*…
Till next time.