Mr. Deathbed

Recently a stomach virus swept through our household with a ferocity I've rarely seen. I mean, we all fell prey, swiftly and severely, to its vomitorious grossness. All except for my husband, of course, who is rarely ill. Probably because he works six days a week and is never home to immerse himself elbow-deep in germ-infested toilets and pukey clothing like I am.

But then ... days after the rest of us, when the toilets had long been sanitized and life had resumed without a single case of diarrhea in the house ... he got it.

Now, for purposes of comparison, let me outline my own experience with the stomach bug. I had been tirelessly taking care of the three children that got it before me, as moms do, so it was only a matter of time. It hit me about 10 pm, and I spent the hours between then and dawn alternately retching and pooping (sometimes both simultaneously ... you're welcome), laying in a disgusting heap on the bathroom floor in cold, lonely, quiet angst while Curtis slept, snoring and blissfully unaware of the miserable spew-fest going on a few feet away. And as the sun rose, as soon as I stopped spouting bodily fluids? I peeled myself out of the bed, where I had managed to slump slowly toward like the walking dead, and resumed working. My Zumba class was the only thing I cancelled (because, ick) but otherwise I continued on with my professional and domestic duties. I wrote articles. I did laundry and dishes. I tended to the fourth and last child to get sick. I may have been a little slower than usual because I still felt like shit, but I was out there doing the damn thang. And the morning after that, starting at 6 am, I went on an eight-solid-hour scouring and disinfecting spree.

Curtis, however, was a different story. He thought he had escaped it, but almost a week later, he started to feel like something was amiss (conveniently, at the exact time we started cleaning up from a particularly messy neighborhood barbecue that HE had suggested we host). First he surmised with a few well-placed whimpers that he might be having a heart attack.

And then, when the virus fully hit him, the sound effects started in earnest. And y'all? Unless you watch an excessive amount of porn (hey, no judgment here), you have never heard this many moans and groans and heavy sighs and huffing and puffing in such a short timespan. If you think a man cold is bad, it's got nothing on a man-stomach-virus. Another sleepless night for me - not due to my own illness, or my kids', but to a guy who can't hurl without vocals.

I made you guys a graphic to demonstrate.

In fairness, it was a horrible virus, as stomach viruses always are. I'm sure he felt awful, just like the rest of us had. But though he may have gotten the bug from me, there's one thing he didn't get much of: sympathy.

I'm just glad he's feeling better ... for everyone's sake.


  1. Ha! It's call man-flu (it's a real thing!) Hope you don't mind me sharing this, I can't help but laugh every time. Glad you all survived! :p

  2. Oh, this made me laugh! I'm sorry, I know that's not nice; trust me, I am no fan of the stomach viruses. Yuck. My boys are long grown (I'm a grandma now, to an adorable little girl (which is a whole new experience) but your writing brings back a lot of memories of cleaning up puke in the middle of the night and listening to my husband snore, blissfully unaware of the chaos. Looking back, I wonder why I kept on keeping on to the extent I did, but that's what we do, isn't it? Feeling like death warmed over and still washing dishes, because, well, someone has to adult. I secretly envied my husband, for when he would finally catch it, he'd simply go to bed and stay there. (Well, except for dashing to and fro, hither and yon, as the urge to hurl or otherwise required.) But he had no guilt about chores not being done, something I still struggle with. I'm so glad everyone is feeling better now. Thank you for the smiles. :-)


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