I was sick last week, and I missed a day of blogging because of it. For that, I sincerely apologize with the same level of sincerity as pro athletes who get caught cheating on their wives or accidentally shooting themselves in a New York nightclub.
But seriously, the truth is that when I’m sick I’m a baby. I lay around and moan, or sleep, all day. As I was laying around last week not blogging or working, I started thinking about how different people handle being sick. So today, here’s the Five People You Meet – Sick People Edition.
This is me, all the way. Like I said, when I’m sick I’m a huge baby. I’m worthless. I lay around and watch tv all day. Last week I watched about half of season 5 of 24 between Wednesday and Thursday. I don’t consciously or intentionally use being sick to get out of chores around the house, but I definitely don’t argue with my wife when she says, “Oh, don’t worry about that. You’re sick…” Normal people can cope with a low-grade fever. Not me. If my fever hits 99.5, it’s over. Last week it was 100.5. I made sure I had a last will and testament in order… I’m sure there must be some people out there who are bigger babies than I am when I’m sick, but I have yet to meet one.
The Tough Guy/Girl
This is my wife. All women, I think, can handle much more pain than the average man. My wife is exceptional, even among women. In November of 2008, her appendix ruptured a few days after Thanksgiving. God was watching out for us, because the infection didn’t spill out into her abdomen, but rather encapsulated itself in some scar tissue. My wife walked around, went to work, came to a church Christmas dinner, etc., for nine days with a ruptured appendix and a grapefruit-sized pocket of infection in her belly before she felt bad enough to get me to take her to the emergency room. You’d think that someone as tough as she is would be harder on me when I’m sick, but she’s very gentle and understanding of my weakness.
This is the person who sneezes twice, checks WebMD for three hours, and then tells everyone that based on what they found online, they only have 2 days to live. That itchy spot on their arm is a prime indicator of pancreatic cancer. That freckle is definitely larger than it was when they were 7, and is clearly melanoma. They feel weak, which must mean that they have a debilitating bone density disease. You get the idea. And you definitely know somebody who is like this.
Also known as the “Student on Test Day,” this sick person is not really sick at all. They are only faking. And they might be very, very good at it. Some well-known tricks include holding the thermometer near a light bulb when no one is looking (which is becoming harder as CFLs gain popularity), rubbing cheeks and forehead vigorously to give the appearance and feel of a fever, and the classic “fake clammy hands” bit from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In fact, just watch this clip from the opening of that movie. Ferris licks his hands to make them feel cold and clammy. If you come across a faker, casually remark that you and some friends are heading out for ice cream and it’s such a shame they can’t come with you because they’re sick, or something like that. Unless they’re also a street-wise genius like Ferris, you can usually get them to break.
When this person is sick, they literally cease to function. And not in the way that the Baby ceases to function. No, the Zombie literally sits around in a near catatonic state and drools a little bit. When you encounter the Zombie, you can know for sure that they’re really sick. Or they could actually be a zombie… In either case, don’t let them bite you.
What about you? How do you handle being sick? Did I miss any ways that people handle being sick?