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Help Me Help You

December 15, 2010
by

When I get sick, one of the first things I do is this:

a big pot of get-well-soon

I make soup.  And if I’m not well enough to make soup, then I ask my husband to pick up some matzo ball soup from Jerry’s deli across the street.  If my husband isn’t around, *and* I’m not well enough to make soup, then I order takeout.   And I beg my husband to pick up some medicine on his way home.  The point is, I know what I need to do to get on the road to getting better.

Husbands do not seem to have this gene.  Is it just mine?  I know the answer to that is no.  My dad is the same way.   It makes me wonder about all those years that our husbands were on their own, before we came along.  I’m sure they didn’t just wallow in self-pity when they were sick, did they?  Hmm.  Maybe they did.

I’m not going to be overly sexist and say that men are fundamentally flawed when it comes to taking care of themselves.  I’m sure they got along just fine before they got married.  But perhaps when they get married, they suddenly lose that ability.  Or even the desire to try.  My husband has a nasty cold right now that came on rather suddenly, and he was prepared to go to work this morning without eating breakfast first.  When I reminded him that he needs to eat he said he’d just grab something at work.  Luckily, I was working from home today so I had time to make him some oatmeal and a cup of tea and practically force it down his gullet before he left.

I love to feel like I’m doing some good and taking care of him, but I can’t help but wonder about his lack of self-concern.  Simply waking up and saying you feel like crap is not enough, my friend.  You actually have to rest, eat, drink, and do all the things that everyone knows you’re supposed to do to get well.  This is a running theme in our marriage, not just when he is sick.  My husband does not have the best self-preservation habits.

Trouble is, I am bound to catch this cold from him and then I’ll have to count on him to take care of me.   Luckily he seems to be better at that than he is at taking care of himself.  I just hope that when we have kids, be they male or female or both, that they take after me when it comes to the whole “heal thyself” thing.

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