I’m going to go ahead and lay it all out on the table right now.
I am the worst caregiver, ever, in the history of caregivers.
I have a sympathy cap, and it maxes out at 48 hours. If you’re still sick after two whole days, I just can’t handle you anymore. Heartless, right? Be glad you’re not married to me.
Once upon a time, Brett was sick for eight days. ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE SIX SEVEN EIGHT DAAAAAAYS.
I almost lost my mind. We went to urgent care twice, the ER once, and the local CVS basically once a day for eight days. All doctors told him the same thing: let it run its course. I was basically single parenting for eight days in an extremely dirty house. Cue: panic attack. Don’t get me wrong, I felt bad for Brett (of course), but I felt bad for me too.
Over the weekend I was chatting with some girlfriends about my lack of caregiving skills and we all got to talking about how our husbands act when they’re sick, how we act when we are sick, how our kids act when they’re sick, etc. I started thinking about how we all like to be taken care of differently when we don’t feel well. Regardless of what type of sick patient you are, I think we all can agree: being sick is the WORST.
And with that, I give you:
– Seven Types of Sick Patients –
1. The Isolationist. You like to be sick alone. You don’t want anyone to see you, touch you, talk to you, or bother you. Being sick means lying in bed binge watching TV shows on Netflix while you nap on and off all day. You are low maintenance, and only require jello and working internet to feel better.
How to care for them: Leave them alone. Make sure they have their laptop charger nearby. Keep the jello cups comin’.
2. The Self Diagnoser. You like to diagnose yourself with rare diseases from WebMD. You can spend hours researching medical websites and various forums before confidently diagnosing yourself with a condition you can barely pronounce. You look to the internet for advice on how to get better, and follow everyone else’s success stories to a T.
How to care for them: Nod along. Tell them how unfortunate it is that they have that weird condition that you cannot pronounce either. Say things like, “Gosh, what did we even do before the internet?!”
3. The Wallower. You believe misery loves company. When you are miserable, you want your whole house to be miserable too. You forego the bed in lieu of the couch because you want people to witness your illness. The sound of children’s laughter burns your ears. You refuse to believe that life can go on around you when you feel so terrible.
How to care for them: You can’t. Just do your best. Leave the house as much as possible.
4. The Complainer. If you’re not verbalizing your pain, it’s not actually happening. You average 12 complaints per hour, and that’s on a good day. You describe, in detail, everything that hurts you, over and over and over again. You update your Facebook status on the hour to keep everyone in the know. You take multiple instagrams of chicken noodle soup and tissues.
How to care for them: Say things like, “I’m sorry.” and “I believe you.” Repeat. Leave comments on their chicken noodle instagrams.
5. The Overachiever. Sickness is for the weak. You’d never let a cold or stomach bug keep you down—you have too much to do! You go to work anyways, fold your laundry anyways, exercise anyways. You push through your misery until you’ve showed it who’s boss.
How to care for them: Stay out of their way. Sneak vitamins into their breakfast smoothie when they’re not looking.
6. The Natural Healer. You don’t believe in medicine. You believe in essential oils, homeopathic remedies, and hot showers. You turn your nose up at drugs and would rather visit an acupuncturist for your illness than see an actual doctor.
How to care for them: Support their choices. Load up their Netflix queue with health documentaries to validate their decisions.
7. The Baby. You need everyone to do everything for you when you’re sick. You need help eating, drinking, getting dressed, turning off the light, finding a book, replacing the fallen blanket. You are incapable of taking care of yourself, and morph into a toddler when ill.
How to care for them: Check on them once every 60 minutes and refill snacks, water, books, blankets, and anything else they might need. Shut the door and pretend not to hear them for another 60 minutes. This is the only way to retain sanity.
What type of sick patient are you?