The flu has become an annual tradition in our house. As a result of allergies, my wife is unable to get the flu vaccine and, between that and what my oldest daughter brings home from school, it’s only a matter of time before she comes down sick each winter.
In the past, this caused some tension in our marriage. I’m a person who prefers to be left alone when he’s sick. My wife, however, likes having someone take care of her and, while I did my best to perform my husbandly duty, I did have some difficulty with this at first and we both had to suffer through some growing pains as I worked to discover my nurturing side.
Fortunately, after some work and experience, I found taking care of my wife when she has the flu is actually pretty easy. In fact, caring for her comes down to some simple steps any husband could follow.
First, her comfort is very important. My wife usually gets very cold when she’s sick (even when she isn’t running a fever) so I make sure she has plenty of blankets, a heating pad and even a cup of hot tea or cocoa.
Another thing I’ll try to do is reduce her need to move around by making sure she has everything she needs (juice, tissues, trash can, phone, TV remote, etc.) within reach. If I have to work, I’ll pre-make her lunch so all she has to do is get up long enough to warm it in the microwave.
Second, you need to make sure she gets rest. This part is somewhat difficult in our house because we have kids and, more often than not, one of them is sick at the same time. Fortunately, I work at a place that gives me the flexibility to take an afternoon off so she can go to bed. If I can’t, I work to find someone who can take the kids for a few hours.
As part of this, I make sure the housework is done. I usually share the workload with that anyway. But, if my wife sees dirty dishes or a mess on the kitchen table, I know there’s a good chance she’ll try to clean rather than rest.
The last step is good hygiene. As I mentioned before, I want to be left alone when I’m sick. So, catching the flu from my wife while she is still sick just won’t work. This is why I scrub my hands constantly and have plenty of Lysol wipes ready for anything she touches. I usually will double up on my vitamins too, just to be safe.
As I said before, I had to go through some growing pains when it came to caring for my flu-stricken wife. But, by following these steps, I’m able to take care of her and help her get over being sick much faster as a result.