After (only just) surviving a week of intense illness, in which I had to be the nurse whilst every possible type and colour of bodily fluid has been forcefully ejected from the bodies of my child and husband, it got me thinking – who really is the worse patient?
Child – manages illness by crying, clinging on to mama, snuffling and whining day and night. Coping strategies under-developed due to lack of life experience.
Husband – manages illness by moaning, slumping around the house, snoozing at every opportunity (particularly when in charge of the baby) and obsessively Googling symptoms until convinced he has only hours left to live (this time he convinced himself he had Ebola).
Best at comping with illness: Husband, although I’m sure he will be surpassed by child within the next year.
Child – cries for attention, cries when hungry or thirsty, cries when too full and feeling sick, cries before and after being sick, before and after pooing, before going to sleep and after waking up. Crying intense at times but short in duration due to weakness.
Husband – tears were shed between periods of sickness, when I tried to talk to husband about him being sick, when he called his own mum to tell her he’d been sick, when he realised he only had days to live due to ‘Ebola’.
Least annoying crying: Child, as husbands continued weeping is inexcusable for a 30 year old man.
Reaction to vomit:
Child – did a couple of huge vomits, a couple of smaller ones, but mostly all vomit emerged whilst in his cot. On one occasion (following a quite frankly enormous vomit) baby simply rolled over and went back to sleep! On the positive he is clearly not stressed about sicking up, however the negative was that after sleeping and fidgeting around in a pool of sick, there was quite a pronounced smell in the house and literally the entire surface area of himself and the cot had become coated in his stomach contents.
Husband – had one night of vomiting, around two proper vomits and a few dry heaves. Lots of lip wobbling and tears followed each, as well as cries of ‘I’m never going to eat again’ and ‘I wish I was dead’ but he was at least able to tell me when he was about to be sick. Mostly by shouting ‘help me I’m going to be sick!’
Best at reacting to vomit: Husband – he cleaned up his own sick plus as the baby chundered in my hair he was never really going to win this round.
Child – managed to play and explore between periods of exhaustion, even when the act of turning a page in a book took almost all his effort and required a little lie-down afterwards.
Husband – flumped around like an adult baby for 3 days, sighing melodramatically as if auditioning for the role of a super sad and sorry-for-himself Eeyore in a live-action production of Winnie the Pooh.
Least pathetic: Child. It was so hard to feel anything but love for the sniffley little babe in his slightly too big PJ’s watching Big Barn Farm and whispering ‘woof’ at every animal, regardless of species *too cute!*
Child – soldiered on day after day, roughly respecting the normal rhythm and routine of life, giving Mummy occasional breaks during naps and only waking up at night when covered in sick or poo.
Husband – refused solid food for 3 days due to fear of vomiting, then broke his fast by eating 4 Chicago Town microwaveable pizzas (no, we don’t normally have these in the house, he sent me out specifically to buy them because otherwise he thought he might die). He then moaned that he might die from eating too much microwaveable pizza. No sympathy.
Best recovery: Child. Obviously born to be the next Bear Grylls, made of strong stuff and with an unshakable determination to play with MegaBloks even when on his sickbed.
My findings lead me to conclude that my husband is the worse patient, and should be protected from germs by keeping him in a sterile environment for the rest of his life just so I never have to nurse him through a gastric illness ever again!