lunch with lee(YOU GIVE ME FEVER)

Today’s Menu: chicken broth…soup…whatever…I don’t want it.

You know the signs. That feeling that you simply can’t explain. “I don’t feel bad but I don’t feel quite right, either.” You don’t have a cough. You aren’t sneezing. You don’t have a runny nose, fever or chills. You’re just feeling a little…off. But you aren’t sick. Yeah, right. You just keep on telling yourself that, you poor, unsuspecting fool.

Then, it hits you. At first, just a tickle in the throat. Here it comes; the domino effect: Itchy, scratchy throat…The pounding headache that just won’t quit…nausea…diarrhea. The world that you knew is over. And your bathroom is your new sanctuary; the toilet your throne. Bow to the porcelain goddess…

Of course, not every illness-or sick person-is created equal. Takes all sorts:

  1. The pampered prince and princesses: I’m not just talking children here. These are fully grown adults. They’re the ones that want…make that NEED and crave the constant attention. It’s almost a sickness in itself. They can have a fever, the chills, be delusional, even. BUT they still need people to text, to call, check in on them every 15 minutes. They need the homemade chicken soup, someone to stroke their hair, rub their foreheads, sit by their bedside, singing “Kumbaya” and keeping them company while they lie there in their misery. For the love of God, don’t give them one of those tiny silver bells and the instructions, “just ring if you need me”. Unless, of course, you are a masochist.
  2. Then there are the ugly ones: The ones whose motto is ‘leave me the fuck alone.’ “I don’t want the tv or the lights on. No, I don’t want the curtains open. Sunlight is not my friend. Don’t even think about stepping foot into the room. Just leave me alone.” Ugly sick doesn’t want to see you, talk to you, or text, or even Snapchat your ass. And the sure ass hell don’t want your damn homemade chicken soup. Leave them alone in their own sweat and other bodily fluids. Check on them in about three days. By then, they should be either on the road to recovery or dead. Either will be an improvement.
  3. The passive aggressive patient: “You don’t have to do that. I’m fine.” All the while visibly shaking from dehydration. “Don’t mean to be a bother…I *cough..cough* can take care of myself.” They quietly lie there, suffering like a martyr in their own snot, bile, and phlegm rather than inconvenience anyone. All the while, sighing and moaning and groaning beneath their breath to get your attention.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the “care-givers”.

Some of them are very good at what they do. They are kind and considerate and doting; regular Florence Nightingales.

Then, there are the short-tempered, no patience, “if you aren’t dying, get your lazy ass up and go to work” Nurse Ratcheds.

Lastly, there are the ‘professional victims’. You know the type. There you are, lying there with a hundred plus degree temp. With the chills, wishing for either a miracle or Death…at this point, you don’t care which…

And they somehow manage to make it all about them.

You just want to be taken care of- or left alone. God knows you are not at your best. And they’re standing there, bottom lip quivering and watery eyes because you’ve hurt their feelings. You already feel like shit; must you feel guilty, also?

Patient…care-giver…hard to tell which is which, sometimes.

Let’s face it: it’s a sick sick world and sometimes you’re a used Kleenex.