I WOULD like to find the man who built my house and shake him firmly by the hand.
Thank you, I’d say. Thank you kindly for ensuring that my house has not one, not two, but THREE bathrooms.
Reader, there is a sickness o’er our house. A sickness of epic proportions and both myself and himself have been struck down. Our three bathrooms have come in very handy. Very handy indeed.
I had to attend one of Dublin’s fine hospitals earlier this week for an outpatient appointment and after waiting for nigh on four hours, I left with a repeat prescription and a fine dose of the Winter Vomiting Bug.
I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, with an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach, frowning, wondering what had woken me up.
“That’s odd,” I thought, turning over to try to get back to sleep before sitting bolt upright in the bed and stumbling to the loo just in time.
I won’t go into the details, suffice to say, it wasn’t pretty.
“Are ya awright?” Yer Man mumbled when I got, shivering, back into the bed 20 minutes later.
“No.” I said briefly, rolling over and falling into a semiconscious coma.
The next morning I felt marginally better – well, the hourly vomiting had stopped – and decided just to take it easy for the day.
Yer Man skipped off to work, delighted to escape my “very graphic” descriptions of what went on in the loo in the early hours, not a bother on him.
Until that afternoon when he stumbled in the door, clutching his stomach and eyeing me balefully. Evidently, he had caught my bug.
He collapsed on the bed, getting all tangled in the sweaty sheets, groaning in agony – really over egging the pudding it has to be said – and trying desperately not to throw up.
“I think I’m dying,” sez he, in a weak ‘pity me’ voice, adding a cough in for good measure.
“Ah you’ll be grand,” I said very unsympathetically “sure it’s only throwing up and a dose of the scutters, could happen to a Bishop.”
“No, seriously,” he managed, panting now “I really think I’m dying.”
I had the Winter Vomiting Bug but Yer Man? Yer Man had the Blackest of Black Plagues.
Of course he had, he’s a man. Sure what else would the poor cratur have?
When a woman (me) is sick, she feels unwell, runs to the loo every five minutes but manages to keep it together. She sips flat 7-up, takes it easy and manages a slice of dry toast for dinner. A decent night’s sleep and a few Motilium later, she’s on the road to recovery.
When a man (Yer Man) is sick, he shrieks ‘I’m not well’ from the depths of the loo, demanding sympathy for every tummy rumble and cramp.
He takes to the bed immediately, roaring for a basin, and takes a day off work.
He calls for drinks – with straws ‘because I can’t manage to sit up properly’ – and almost starts crying when you forget to stir it well enough to get rid of the bubbles.
He wants the TV in the bedroom on. Then off. Then on again. The off again. He plaintively holds out a trembling hand when you firmly introduce him to the remote mumbling ‘sorry, I’m very very sick’.
He staggers on spindly Bambi legs to the loo, throwing you ‘pity me’ looks as he slowly makes his way past you on the landing.
He says things like ‘Jesus, I feel terrible, my head. My stomach. I just feel like a kitten, a weak, tiny kitten’ all the while begging you with his eyes to understand.
I’m a MAN. You’re a WOMAN. You can handle this stuff, his eyes say. His treacherous, treacherous eyes.
It’s Day Two now and both of us are feeling marginally better, though naturally Yer Man is still milking it and taking three-quarters of an hour to drink a mug of soup.
It’s going to be a long weekend.