(My husband, Kevin Bunnell, has requested his name be changed to protect his privacy and innocence.)
Finally, there is a light at the end of the COVID tunnel. My husband and I were fortunate to receive our second vaccine dose last week. Mine was scheduled for Monday. Kelvin’s would be the next day.
I prepared myself for the probable side effects; fever and body aches, nothing a seasoned professional like myself couldn’t handle. The way I see it, a slight fever and chills were seen as an excuse to stay in bed with the dogs while binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy. (12 seasons down, five to go. Nobody calls me a quitter!) And certainly my dear husband would also enjoy a day spent in bed with a slight fever and some minor body aches? Why wouldn’t he?
Oh wait; did I mention my husband is a man? Women experience sickness or pain differently than their better halves. (And by better halves, I mean their whinier halves.)
Day 1: After Wife’s Shot
I don’t consider myself a superhero, but the side effects were no big deal for me. I had a sleepless night, sweating and shaking and worrying about the $20 chuck roast whose expiration date was quickly approaching. I wasn’t about to let a fever stop me from making sure my man was well fed.
At the crack of dawn I dragged myself out of bed, determined not to let that meat go to waste. Like a doomsday prepper, I went and lovingly prepared my man a steaming pot of beef burgundy! And only after all the meat was cubed and the carrots and potatoes sliced did I crawl back into bed, with the dogs and Netflix, content knowing that everyone would be fed and happy (and ignored).
Later that day, Kelvin went for his vaccination. He must have been a very good boy. I know this because he came home with not one, but two red lollipops! “I feel great! No side effects at all,” exclaimed Kelvin.
Give it time, my dear.
Day 1: After Husband’s Shot
The next morning, Kelvin wasn’t such a good boy. At 10 a.m. I felt it was my duty to check up on my little soldier to make sure he survived the night. When the mirror I placed under his nose fogged up, I was very relieved. When he started to stir and moan I started to feel irritated.
And, when he asked me, “Why am I cold and then hot?” I fought back the urge to let out my inner Nurse Ratched. Instead, I put on my best Florence Nightingale face and told him, “It’s called a fever, sweetheart. Does baby want an aspirin?”
“Yeeeeessss… if you think it will help,” was his feeble reply. I deserve a medal for restraint in the face of unbelievable irritation.
If there were a medal for bravery in the face of body aches, nobody would be pinning a medal on my husband’s chest. In the event of an accidental pinprick, his high-pitched squeals would be unbearable.
At 6 that evening, like slow-rising yeast, Kelvin slowly rose off the couch to announce he would resume his healing in the bedroom. I would usually be concerned, but this was only 30 minutes earlier than he usually left the couch. Later in the evening, I made a wellness check on my geriatric baby patient.
He looked like an angel, a grey-haired, well-worn angel. I leaned over to whisper into his ear, “You’d better feel better tomorrow. That driveway isn’t going to shovel itself.”