Today I woke up to every woman's worst, most horrifying, and dreaded nightmare -- a sick man.
I knew trouble was brewing this morning when in response to my daily "Did you sleep OK honey?" question, my husband clawed at his neck and rasped out a barely audible "I have a sore throat (pregnant pause) a bad one!" I resisted my first instinct to blurt out "Oh Jesus, here we go..." and instead offered a cheery (but fake) "Can I get you anything love? Tylenol?"
Instead of the succinct "yes" answer I would have delivered, he began to enrage me by hoarsely questioning me: "Will that work for sore throats?" In case you're not sure why that is such an annoying question, let me translate what he really meant. What he REALLY meant was: "Will a medicine meant for the common man, the man with nothing as painful as I am experiencing right now, work for me? A man in more agony than any man has faced before???" What I wanted to say was "Are you f***ing kidding me?" But instead I managed a slightly hostile (but well deserved, I think) "I have no idea," and then I left the room.
About five minutes later my beloved husband staggered into the kitchen (how a man on his death bed can be so brave, I don't know) and started hacking (read: fake coughing) up a lung. He then proudly pounded on his chest with a closed fist and declared, practically with delight "Gosh, that went to my chest quickly."
I tried to ignore his plight, mostly because I love my husband very much and didn't really want to have to say to him "Get a grip on yourself man, you'll survive" and cause a big fight.
The final straw came when I asked my husband if he wanted oatmeal for breakfast. Instead of a direct "yes" or "no" answer, I got what I call the "I want to remind you that I might be dead soon because of my illness" answer. He actually said "I don't know. Can I have oatmeal? Will it hurt my throat?" Let me remind you that oatmeal is soft, so soft that they give it to old people who have NO teeth -- but apparently it might not be not soft enough for my husband, an able-bodied man with a full set of chompers. I couldn't even respond to him. I mean -- come ON -- are you kidding me with this??
At that point I knew I'd lost him, he was slowly descending into what I can only describe Manochondria -- the MOST annoying syndrome known to man, or should I say WO-man. From what I understand, my husband is not the only man who suffers from this often life-threatening (in their minds) disease, but I don't want to break the news to him that he's suffering from something that millions of men across the world suffer from. Why? Because I'm sure he would have THE worst case in the world -- at least according to him.