(Insert hysterical laughter here.)
OK. End of fairy tale and on to real life. Here is the true story. Once upon a time there was a mother who took care of everyone else when they were sick but when she was down for the count she became invisible. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.
I strapped my nurse’s hat on last week to take care of my sick family while pumping out stories for The Big Paper, a magazine, and taking care of a rather large house. My daughter was trying to take final exams with a fever and head cold; my husband was coming down with a cold and cough; my son ended up with a stomach bug; and even the dog was looking a little green around the gills.
I figured out the assembly line to get everyone what they needed. I ran upstairs with cough syrup. Downstairs with dirty dishes. Upstairs with Tylenol. Downstairs with requests for soup and ice cream. Upstairs. Downstairs. Upstairs. Downstairs. Until I finally collapsed.
On Sunday I could hardly move and I waited gratefully for someone to come up and help me. When the tables are turned I’m right there with the empathy patrol. Oh, you poor thing! I say as I fuss around. You look terrible! Here’s some tea. You just rest. How about toast?
Needless to say, even as I sneezed 20 times in a row at some points, I got squat. In fact, I could have gotten more response from the dust bunnies under the bed then I did from my nearest and dearest. I’m so thirsty! I croaked. Silence. Anyone there? Nothing. Finally, at 2 p.m. after being ignored all morning I dragged myself downstairs to get myself something to eat.
Did anyone even NOTICE that I’m sick, I asked to a sea of blank faces. Oh, said one family member who will remain nameless. Really? I don’t feel good, either. What do you think it is?
The truth is, a person could die before they get any attention around here. At least if it’s me. But there’d be hell to pay if I didn’t offer the medical services that everyone has come to expect. That’s a bum deal.
Earlier, I was really feeling sorry for myself after having to get up and get back to work. Then the dog wandered over and dropped a half-eaten, slobbery milk bone at my feet. I guess that’s something.