When I was a busy mother, I had no time to be sick. I even made fun of my husband’s dramatic entrance when he was sick. He would put on his green velvety man robe, house slippers, and would quit shaving. He would announce to us all, “I’m sick,” as he would slink into his wing back recliner. I would just roll my eyes, especially when he would take his temperature every thirty minutes.
“It’s 99.2. That’s really high for me.” Magoo told me that his normal temperature normally ran a degree lower, so Dear God, 99.2 was deadly. But, I pampered him, just like I pampered my other two children.
When I was sick with a high fever, Magoo would take care of me, too. He made me homemade chicken noodle soup, which was to die for, until mine started tasting better. He would ask me countless times if there was anything he could get me. But, and there is always a but with me, I could never be sick for more than 24 hours. No, that was the ultimate time limit for sick pampering. After that, I was on my own. I mean, on my own. It was like I wasn’t even there. After that imaginary buzzer went off at the top of the hour, I had to fend for myself. So, if I had a high temperature, it better be gone within the day or I had better hoard stuff on my nightstand. Which I did.
Well, Magoo and I divorced three years ago and I live by myself now, and I find that I am perhaps a little bit of a whiner when it comes to having a fever. I really haven’t had a high fever for a few years. When it gets higher than 101.0, I call it the “Shuffle Flu” because my head pounds as I walk. And I am sure that I am the only one in the whole world who gets a hight fever from the flu.
When you live alone, there is noone around who will be audience to your dramatics. I am lucky in the fact that I have my cat, Whiskers. Whiskers is seventeen years old and sleeps right by my head most nights. She was probably wondering why the hell I was getting under the covers so early last night. One time, several hours later, feeling like crap, I took my temperature, noting it was 101.0. I thought I should mention something to the cat.
“I’m sick, Whiskers…..I have a fever.”
She understood, I am sure. She gave me a couple head nudges and then curled up at the foot of the bed. She knew that I was contagious. Smart cat.
At 1:30am. “Kitty, I can’t sleep.”
At 2:30am, tossing and turning- “Oh, Whiskers, this is not good.”
And so it continued. I apologized at 5:30.
“Aww, sweetheart, I am so sorry I am keeping you up.”
I got up for the morning, in a sweat. I was soaked. My temperature broke like that twice in the night. My temp at 7:00am was 99.0. Yay. Maybe this was just a 24 hour bug. I really don’t like missing school.
But, as a teacher, I realize that temperatures are at their lowest in the morning. I had places to go this morning. Mainly because I had no food in the house. Well, I did, but I had no Coke. I will truly die if I don’t have a Coke at least once a day. Truly.
So, I had to go to Walmart. with a fever. I rushed and came back. My fever of 101.3 was greeting me when I came back.
I’m mad because just the other day I knocked on wood. Knocking on wood is supposed to keep you from getting sick. Well, whoever made that up is a liar. Liar. I still got sick.
One great thing about going to Walmart when you are sick is that you can even go in your jammies if you wanted to. I don’t, because I’m high class. I did take a shower, which is good for Walmart shoppers. I’m sorry to report that I used a copious amount of water in my shower. I did not want to get out. I am so not good to the Earth. It is awful getting out of the shower when you have a fever. You know you have to slide that shower curtain to the side, and that Arctic blastic hits you. My cat was sitting by the shower curtain.
“Oh, Kitty, it is so freaking cold.” Well, it was.
In the end, I realize that I like to whine when I have a fever. I posted that I was sick on Facebook.
“Blah. Had a 101.3 fever last night and was up all flippin night. I need a cup of “Oh, you poor baby” and a Coke. “
Well, I did. And my friends and family gave me a bunch of “Oh, you poor baby.” And that sufficed. Well, except for one, who said he could only offer a Diet Pepsi and a “Buck up,” which is my most hated phrase in the world. And he knows that. What he didn’t know is that, along with a fever, I also have a low tolerance for half-friends, so I pushed the delete button on him. I will no long have to read his whining posts either. Works both ways, Bud.
I like to think of myself as being pretty independent since my divorce. But, when it comes to having a fever, it’s nice to be pampered.
Even if you have to depend on your cat.
“Thanks Kitty….I hope you don’t get this.”
I wrote this because I know that many people live by themselves. I just want to let you know that it is ok to talk to yourself when you are sick. I mean, Tom Hanks got through rough patches on “Castaway” when he made friends with a soccer ball, “Wilson.”
And the animal shelter is always full of good listeners.