Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why I Hate When My Husband Gets Sick

My husband has strep throat paired with an upper respiratory infection. He's not doing so hot. The man never misses work and he did not go in at all yesterday and came home early today. Like I said, he's in rough shape.

I hate when my husband is sick. Hate it.

I tell my kids not to say that word, except about sin, but let's not go down that rabbit trail right now.

I hate when he's sick. Before you envision a halo floating above my head, I'll tell you the reasons I hate it are mostly selfish. Clearly, I don't like to see him feeling so badly. Obviously, I don't want him to be hacking and feverish and exhausted. So, my reasons are not all selfish. But as he was coming down with the first symptoms on Friday, I found myself getting revved up for his sickness. I'm not sure how else to describe it, but it was as if I needed to get into a certain mode or gear in order to be ready for him to be sick. I was unkind to him on Saturday morning when he was trying to be thoughtful and I was struck by my selfishness. It led me to some introspection. I hate when he's sick. Why?

He's the steady around here. The rock that leads the rest of us to our Rock and Creator. He works hard all day and then comes home just in time to eat something real quick and throw on his Super Daddy cape until bedtime. He meets the question of "what should we do tonight, Daddy?" with something fun and creative or competitive or crazy, all the while giving me a chance to clean up the kitchen and take a breath after a day of homeschooling and taking care of littles. He thanks me for the food I've prepared, even if it wasn't all that spectacular, and gives me hugs and kisses and helps me feel appreciated and loved. When he's sick, I lose my helpmate, my relief-pitcher, my encourager and my best friend.

Okay, so here comes the uglier truth. The other part that is really hard for me is that unlike the other members of this household, when he gets sick, he doesn't do what I tell him to do. He's here and he's miserable, but he wants to do what he thinks is best. The nerve, right? This is the part that struck me yesterday. When the kids are sick, they take the medicine that I think will help them the most when I think it most appropriate. When they aren't well, I tell them when they seem like they need to nap or if they should wait a bit. I am even able to make sure they're keeping hydrated. When Pete's sick, I have throw out some suggestions, but he ultimately does what he thinks is best. Leading to naps on the couch, when I know that the kids favorite show will be on shortly. Or him taking a dose of dayquil at 7pm, and then not getting a good night's rest. Clearly, this isn't the end of the world, but it's really hard to not be in control in the environment that is typically under my control--to a point. In the end, I have to humbly recognize that I don't know everything. I am not a nurse, nor am I a doctor. I need to step back, gently offer my opinion and let Pete do with it what he wants. Then I need to pray. Pray that he feels better soon. Pray that I honor God in how I respond to him during this time. Pray that I honor Pete. Ask for grace and mercy and extra love to pour out. This might not be earth shaking news to anyone but it struck me this week. And having thought all of this through has already helped me to have a better attitude and be a more helpful wife. I'd love to hear any of your thoughts on this.

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