While I’ve not given birth, I often laugh at a meme that floats around social media.
“During labor, the pain is so great that a woman can almost imagine what a man feels like when he has a fever.”
It hit closer to home in September, when my husband came down with a pretty sudden onset of fever, aches, and feeling completely exhausted. He had sinus congestion and lost his appetite. He had no loss of smell or taste, but decided to get tested just in case it was COVID-19.
The rapid test came back negative, and then the three-day test came back negative. We both figured it must be something else, like the flu. Regardless, he felt so miserable that he called in sick for the week. Plus, his coworkers wanted him to keep it to himself. In this case, caring was not sharing.
That week, I heard every day how terrible he felt. He was sleeping for about 15 hours a day, but still found time to complain. He usually slept on the brown recliner facing away from me, behind where I sit at my white work desk. This sleeping arrangement was to make it easier for him to sleep, so he didn’t feel like he was drowning in snot. But let me tell you, he snores a lot.
After driving me crazy all that week, he started to feel better and went back to work. It was a relief to have him out of the house and not snoring behind me all day. He was still sleeping a bunch when he got home, but he made it through each workday.
At his place of employment, all employees get tested each week to try to prevent COVID from spreading too much. When his workweek was over, he got the call that his three-day test had come back positive. Had he known, he wouldn’t have gone to work so soon. They told him to quarantine for another three workdays after his weekend.
That meant more snoring behind me while I was trying to work.
Nearly a month after contracting COVID, he began to feel more human. Now, in early November, he’s beginning to get his energy back and can manage tasks around the house. I’m glad he’s doing much better—not only because I don’t have to listen to him complain, but I don’t want him to be miserable.
I feel bad that I thought he was being overly dramatic about it. We’ve both had the flu, so I thought he should be able to make it through just like previous times. Come to find out it was COVID all along, well, no wonder he was miserable.
I can only imagine how bad it might have been had he not been vaccinated. The vaccine is supposed to lessen the symptoms if someone gets COVID. We discussed it the other night, and we both think that he could have ended up in hospital.
I’m grateful that he got vaccinated.
Additionally, either my vaccine helped protect me, or we were careful enough that I didn’t catch it from him. That’s the other reason he slept in the recliner, so I wouldn’t be exposed to it while I slept. We also kept our distance—no kissing, barely any touching. This is a general practice we maintain when one of us is sick.
After this experience, I would recommend everyone get the COVID vaccine if they can. Even if they “never get sick.” You just never know—COVID could hit them a lot harder than anything else ever has.