I previously wrote about the 10 different categories of “sickies” and how they handle illness. Well, anytime you are sick, you need a caregiver to help you get better. Just as there are different ways of being ill, there are multiple ways of taking care of your sick loved ones. See if you fit any of these classifications.
1. The ENFORCER: “You cut your hand? HMMM. I didn’t feel it. HAHA. Put some dirt on it. You’re fine.”
Next morning he’s acting sick but you aren’t really that worried about it. He wasn’t sick last night after all, and if he was really sick, he’d have thrown up already, right?
“Come on, it’s not that bad. You don’t even LOOK sick. You need to get up because you can’t miss another day till after Christmas break. “
He pulls the covers over his head and mumbles “I don’t wanna go. Don’t make me go. PLEASE?”
You look at your watch and tap your foot while “Mr. Sickie” is groaning and rolling around in bed like a herd of aliens is gonna poke through his belly any minute and devour the planet.
“You know I can’t be late. Let’s go!” You sigh deeply, pick him up and hug him, kiss his head and instantly determine he has no fever. Then you quickly slide his clothes on him, shove some toast and a Fred Flintstone vitamin in his mouth and hustle him out the door. “Now don’t be late to work dear, and please bring home some bread and milk, ok?”
2. The HOVERCRAFT: The sickie stayed home today and is stuck in bed. You are there for whatever is needed. Your mantra is “Can I get you anything? Sure. Be right back. Anything else? You sure? Ok, but let me know”. The carpet is smoking from the path you are beating to and from his room. The doorknob has been turned so often it is glowing like an ember and the hinges have melted off, so now you just lean the door against the frame. This really is a better idea, isn’t it? Now you can just stand in the opening and listen for shallow breathing and burst through the next time his nose runs. There is a slight degree of frustration building, though. Try as he might, he can’t make any baskets shooting the dirty Kleenex into the trash can because you are a better shot blocker than any NBA center. “Oh Honey that s so gross. Give them to me” sticking out your bare hand. “Here, let me wipe your nose. Now, isn’t that better? Need anything? Sure. I’ll be right back.” Flames following each footstep.
3. The FEEDER: “Oh I heard you were sick so I made you something to eat.” Starve a cold and feed a fever, you know.”
“Thanks, Grandma but I don’t really feel like eating. My stomach feel s gross”.
“But I made your favorites. Look”( waving the platter of egg salad, cabbage rolls, turnips, and squid balls under his nose).
(Eyes widen, holding back a gag) “Wow… (swallowing hard)…look at all that (gag) food. Can you move that away from me please? (sweating) It (gag) looks great but I think I’ll pass right now.”
“You need to eat, honey. Why are you so pale all the sudden? Oh come now, try the egg salad (holding it to his lips, which are now welded shut ).
And surprise! I brought you some buttermilk.”
“MMMMMoooooove!!! (BLECCCCHHHHH!!!), Oh I (BLECCCHHHH!) Oh gee wiz, Grandma, I am so sorry. All that food is ruined, and your pretty sweater”
“Oh that’s ok, sweetie. (gag, gag). I’ll be right back. (stripping as she walks out the door). “I’ll bring you some nice chicken soup. You need to eat“.
“How about some Marshmellows?”
4. The GHOST: He loves you and means well, but the ghost doesn’t DO sick very well. He’ll bring you what you ask for…..IF you ask for it. Otherwise, he has retreated to some previously unknown secret room in the house where he can avoid the sickie at all costs. You can leave a message on his cell and he’ll come and stand outside the door to see what you need. “What? Speak up. You know I can’t hear through this door. Sure. Anything else? Ok. “ In a flash, he is right back with the tissues made from recycled tires and the generic cough syrup he bought last year at the estate sale. He also fixed you a giant thermos of coffee that will last the weekend, because “You remember I am playing golf today, right?”. Crackers are taped to the side of the thermos so you won’t starve. The door cracks open and a pale hand appears. “Here you go……. Catch”. He’s gone before the door closes.
5. The EXTERMINATOR: She yells from the laundry room as she dons the rubber HAZMAT suit, face shield, and massive rubber gloves that could hold molten lava. “Have you washed your hands yet? How many times do I have to tell you? That’s how germs are spread” as Darth Vader appears, ready to exterminate your measly world. A spray bottle of Palmolive’s new cleaning product, “NAPALM-olive, the gentle cleanser”, is in one hand and a flamethrower is in the other. She proceeds to sterilize your room, which USED to
contain your childhood treasures until they melted during the last cleaning. You are scrubbed head to toe and then boiled in alcohol and flea dip just be certain you are germ free. Never mind that you are 46. Your skin does have a fresh new glow, though. Afterwards, the fresh summer breeze blows gently through the new holes in the walls, smoke wafting. A job well done.