Like many of you, Dear Reader, my family was recently hit with the flu. “Hit” is a specific word choice, believe me.
My friend told me the CDC said for the week of January 1-6, Eastern Illinois (particularly Chicago) had the biggest flu outbreak in the U.S. The Jaggers rolled into Chicago on January 1 for my daughter’s paraplegia therapy and rolled out on Friday, January 5. That’s us. Always being at just the wrong spot at just the right time.
My son woke up that Friday morning and didn’t feel well. The entire drive home from Chicago, he sat in the backseat holding his plastic bag resembling Kermit the Frog more than a teenage boy. Kudos to that kid because he made it home, but literally once he walked through the door, the flu just flew. Cam was down.
Ever since the wreck we wondered what simultaneous paralysis and intestinal flu would be like for our daughter. The following Sunday morning we found out. It went just about like I thought it might. Alissa was down.
I am a cleaner, Dear Reader. I drive others (and sometimes myself) crazy with the expectations I have to keep my home clean. (It’s a control thing. I learned long, long ago I can’t control people, so instead, I control the counters, floors, and closets. At least they listen to me!)
With both children sick, I was in full Clorox cleaning/laundry mode. The washer ran non-stop. Everything that could be Clorox wiped was Clorox wiped multiple times. (I would have Clorox wiped my children if Clorox wipes were safe for humans.)
Sunday night I just didn’t feel right. I told my husband, “Either I’m pregnant or I’m getting sick, and I think we both know which of those options is realistic.” He laughed. Then he responded, “That’s because you don’t have a superior immune system like me!” (He always knows just what to say to make a girl feel treasured, special, and encouraged.)
I grabbed a bucket and went to bed. At 12:20 a.m. I shot out of bed on the run, grabbing the bucket on the way. There on the toilet with my bucket, I was an oddly fascinating science experiment. How much bodily fluid can one person lose simultaneously? (It ended up being four pounds in just a little over twelve hours.)
I was incredibly weak and wanted to lie down, but leaving the bathroom was not wise. One time I stood up to leave and only made it to the sink. I called out to my husband to please come help.
And oh, did he help. As I finally stumbled back to the bed he called out, “What IS this? Did you have chicken? WHAT ARE THESE LARGE WHITE CHUNKS?”
Dear Reader, this is just a small public service announcement for husbands everywhere.
Don’t! Please, please, please DON’T . . . try to analyze your wife’s vomit out loud when just the mere mention of the word “chunks” could send her into another puking tangent!
The flu knocked me flat on my back. I can’t remember ever being sicker with the flu. So now, “Mr. Superior Immune System” had three of us to nurse. He is not nearly as into Clorox wipes as I am, and the guy with the “superior immune system” is not real good at laundry, so the vital jobs in our house all but shut down for a twenty-four hour period.
My husband wasn’t phased in the least. He also knew I was too weak to push back against his bragging, so he and his “superior immune system” were touted and praised about often — by him!
As time marched on and he literally was the last man standing, I began to think maybe he was right. Maybe he did have a stronger immune system than the forty-seven year old gal lying flat on her back. I attributed it to a lifetime of my husband picking his nose and me not picking my nose. I shared my theory with him, and he just smiled and nodded.
He never went down. It took all of us about a week to fully recover.
And all these weeks later, my husband still can’t let it go. He smiles slyly. He gloats. He sometimes hits his head on the door frames as he passes through. He doesn’t let me forget it for one moment. HE, yes, HE is “Mr. Superior Immune System!”
Until next Wednesday, Lord willing . . . when I share with you my son’s plans for when his sister moves to college.