Today’s Day 8. A sinus infection has really put the brakes on Kate’s high speed mom train. Both of us have been popping raw garlic cloves. Draining mug after mug of steaming apple cider vinegar, cayenne, black pepper, cinnamon, and ginger.
Despite our best efforts at hand washing, the baby’s started sniffling. Voice dropped an octave. Last night I woke up unable to swallow.
We know it’s a sinus infection because Kate has health insurance and that’s what the doctor said. No antibiotics, because she’s breastfeeding, just nasal spray.
I get up two hours earlier than Kate to write. Today, when shuffles into the kitchen, I tell her about my throat. I’d already gargled salt water, sipped chicken noodle soup for breakfast, skipped coffee and instead downed two cups of Throat Coat tea. Google says to boil fenugreek seeds in water. Water’s rolling.
When I say I can barely swallow, she says oh boy tomorrow’s going to be the worst, full on bed-ridden. I cringe: No, I’ll be fine. I’m going to beat it today. Shrugging, she says, that’s how it started with me. Throat first, KO’ed my whole immune system. I shake my head. Not me, I’ll be fine.
Kate’s smiling, devilishly eyeing me with a shaking head. I see two Halloween horns pushing up from her bedhead. (Post-fight break-down reveals the horns and sneer were products of my imagination; predilection that the world is out to get me.) Just say I’m going to get better, I say, lock-jawed. You’re crazy, she says, don’t tell me what to do. Seriously, just say I’m going to get better today.
Are you out of your mind? she answers. I’m just being logical, she explains. I’m just telling you how it was for me. She continues: you’re the one always telling me to be logical.
My wife wants me to be sick, I tell myself.
I stomp out of the house, close the front door, curse, turn around, stomp back into the kitchen, put my hand on my hip, quack quack quack, and she quacks quacks quacks, I say fuck, she says fuck, I laugh, she laughs, I kiss her on the cheek, she rolls her eyes, and then I walk happily out of the house, buttoning up my denim shirt around my throat.