I was feeling pretty smug this school year. People around me were dropping like flies with the flu and I kept patting myself on the back and bragging about how I hadn't been sick in three years. HAH! If I met that person today, I would punch her in the eye balls.
So...over two weeks ago I flew out of town for a really brief work trip to defend a deposition. I enjoyed a night without kids and after the deposition I killed a couple extra hours shopping and wandering around a new city. I arrived at the airport a little bit early, eager to head home, only to discover that the flight was delayed. And delayed. And delayed. I wandered the airport for hours, sneaking in some exercise and trying to stay entertained and fed. Unbeknownst to me, sometime during this journey around the airport I got within coughing or sneezing distance of a very inconsiderate soul who ended up giving me the flu-plague.
The day after I arrived home was Saturday and we had big plans (ok, dinner without kids is big to US) to celebrate my husband's birthday. I woke up with a killer sore throat but thought it was a passing bug and ventured out at 7am for a seven mile run. No biggie, right? The run was gorgeous. But my throat was Death.
I refused to cancel dinner and toughed it out for a night on the town (still certain I just had a weird cold), downing hot tea after hot tea throughout the meal and trying not to hack my lungs out. The next day a fever set in and ended up staying with me for SEVEN DAYS. Unfortunately, I had another deposition to defend bright and early Monday morning. I survived the deposition (barely) as well as half of a trial strategy meeting that was scheduled the next day.
I hated showing up at work sick but this was a full-day TRIAL STRATEGY meeting that had been planned out a month for our litigation team handling a very big case. I was walking around with fever, chills, sweats, muscle aches, fatigue and a throat that felt like it was full of knife blades. Unfortunately, trial strategy meetings wait for no one. So I chain drank tea and popped advil, Mucinex D and cough drops like a maniac. Despite all this, I only made it half way through the meeting at which time I looked pathetically at my boss and told her that I had to leave. I went promptly to urgent care where they gave me the horrid flu test (giant q-tips stabbing your brain through your nostrils) and I tested positive for the flu. Thanks for nothing flu shot!
I went to the store and stocked up on a month's work of medicine and sickness remedies and went home to resume all my normal mommy activities while possibly dying of the flu-plague. Because: mommies don't get sick days!
The next day all three of my kids woke up with the same symptoms. They also tested positive for the flu. The horrid flu test was so horrid and traumatic that, after their doctor visit, I took the kids to pick out a little toy at the toy store (yes, I'm the hugest softie on the planet, but I also just had that flu test administered the day prior and knew what they had to go through and YES it is THAT HORRID). We all stayed home from work/school for the rest of that week.
My husband also started feeling sick too. Unfortunately, he had the Man Flu. It's the version of the flu (usually contracted by a dad) where you are fine enough to go to work and take care of yourself and do all your normal activities, but as soon as you get home you are too sick to help take care of your feverish wife and sick children and lay in bed pathetically while your plague-suffering wife does all the parenting and household duties. I think our marriage will survive but let's just say there was a good solid week where I would have gladly banished him to live in a pineapple under the sea with my son's favorite cartoon character.
To sum of this wretchedly boring post, I felt like death for seven days- intermittent chills and sweating and waking up multiple times a night drenched in sweat yet being freezing cold, not able to breath through my nose, with a throat that felt like it was lit on fire every single time it was touched by the slightest amount of air. Every ounces of my will and my being longed to lay on my bed curled up under my electric blanket and yet I forged onward, through chores, and meals, and requests for soda and crackers (poor Ryan couldn't understand why he couldn't eat while he was vomiting violently), and vomit cleaning, and diaper changing, and sick baby holding.
To top all this off, it was Ryan's week to bring snacks to preschool. I had to leave the house every morning (despite the fact my child was not going to school) to bring in homemade, healthy snacks for the class (admittedly, none of my snacks were actually homemade and the last day I gave up trying to be healthy and brought in fruit snacks and cheese puffs).
I cannot tell you how marvelous and amazing it was that first day I woke up without night sweats or a perpetual cough. I don't recall what the weather was, but in my memory, it was bright and sunny and the entire world was fresh and new and mine for the taking! I can't begin to describe how much I delighted in the simple pleasure of being able to breath through my nostrils! The plus side, I probably ate four meals that entire week and came out the other side of the flu looking insanely thin, which promptly motivated me to eat a Dairy Queen Blizzard and two Taco Bell burritos that same day. :)
Lesson of the day: don't be smug when you haven't had the flu in three years. Apparently smugness in punishable by flu-plague.
Some troll had the audacity to comment on this post and call me an asshole. That person completely missed the point and reveals exactly what people don't understand about moms never getting sick days. The commenter called me an asshole for going to the store. EXCUSE ME? How do you suggest the medicine and prescriptions get from the pharmacy to my house?!?! (husband at work and then sick too). Oh, next time I'll send my seven year old to the store. Oh wait, he was sick too. I'll send my CAT! Let me guess, you have a robot who can run these errands for you when everyone in your house is sick? Feel free to share your robot with me, jerk!
The commenter also called me an asshole for defending a deposition. Ok, sorry. Next time I'll let the client be deposed without counsel, great idea!! There was no way to reschedule this due to court deadlines and attorney/client schedules. I told everyone I was sick, that's all I could do. Same with my TRIAL STRATEGY meeting. Seriously?! You think when I have the fever and feel like death that I WANT to go out and about? Hell no! If it was up to me, it would be rescheduled. Lucky you must love the pampered life of having the world revolve around you! If it was MY perfect world, I'd have a personal assistant to run my errands and my personal nurse living with me to take care of me and give me meds AND a nanny (who is willing to risk her own health to take care of my children for me. So, troll commenter, you highlighted the very point of my post.... moms are the stop gap. The last resort. Everything falls on us and when we get sick, there is (frequently) no one to pick up and take over. NO SICK DAYS FOR MOMS. So who's the asshole now?