Papa Speaks: On Being Sick

Note: “Papa Speaks” is the tentative title for what we hope will be a recurring feature on this blog: updates from David. Here, he’ll write about food, family, and whatever sparks his interest. 

No one ever likes being sick. It always throws you off whatever you were in the middle of–whether it’s a streak of days with exercise, a project at work, or well laid plans to surprise your partner with a special evening. I’ve just found out, however, that it’s the worst being sick while being a parent.

Lucky for us–I feel forced to say–is that we were both sick in the same week, but consecutively. Having us both sick at the same exact time would have really stunk. (I know it’ll happen, eventually) That said, I’m feeling like Kelly being sick was probably worse for Kelly right now than David being sick is for David. I don’t have to maintain waking up during the night to feed our baby. I even got a break from waking up to bring baby to mama for said feedings when I was really sick.

I really don’t like being sick. It brings out my inner hypochondriac. I’m always sure that I have the worst case scenario, suddenly escalating life-threatening thing. It makes the whole thing even more unbearable than it needs to be. I find myself dwelling on the what-ifs. What if I’m suddenly not here tomorrow? What would Kelly do? WHAT WOULD KELLY AND PENNY DO? See where this is headed…

Of course I usually refuse to go see a doctor. They can never tell you with accuracy what is going on or prescribe anything that helps much more than home remedies. Until it gets really bad. Then I usually suck it up and go in. And by that point…the health care provider just tells it looks like the worst of it’s past and I should be fine in a day or two. Inevitably I am.

On a positive note, the maniacal dwelling usually leads to self-oaths about being a better, healthier human being when I’m done with this cold. And that’s a good thing. At least now that I’m in my thirties. I feel like I’m an upward trajectory. While in my twenties I also swore up and down that I’d get back in shape, drink less, sleep more, smoke less, eat better. I had no reason to follow through. Now I do. While I still cycle through bouts of good habits, the stretches last longer and my general health improves. So, back to what I said at the top of this post, I think that solid streak of daily bike riding is about to start anew. Now that I’m feeling better, I can get back to designing that better, healthier me…to the benefit of the leading ladies in my life. A mentally and physically healthy David is a better husband and papa.


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