Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The inequity and inequality of illness

I, as many of you know, and those who don't know, look at the freakin' title of the blog!, and a stay at home mom, a housewife, an....whatever else you want to call it.
I am, right this very moment, sick. Sinus infection, mostly, a little upper respiratory infection thrown in for pizazz, and some late season allergies, just in case the rest of it wasn't enough.
This all means that since Thursday, I have felt like shit, utter and total shit, and with a few moments where I start to think I might be starting to get better, I am actually getting worse.
I am getting worse because things keep piling up.
When it was just the sinus infection, I felt like crap, but I could deal. When the URI krept in, started sleeping for shit, but I could still function. Throwing the allergies into the mix was the last straw, though. After cooking dinner last night, I was near the point of collapse, and filled with rage, all at the same time!
This came about for a few reasons- I can take cold and sinus meds, or allergy meds- but not both, as they interact to make me an emotional time bomb...it's true. Maybe making a dinner that required me to brown hamburger and boil water at the same time while sick was a bad idea. Especially sine I cannot friggen breathe. Oh, technically I can breathe, as I am not dead yet, but if the sinusses let up enought to start to clear, the allergies back them up, if they both let off, the coughing fits the URI bring is enough to stop the sinusses again.
Last night, I was cooking, with a fever.
By the time dinner was done, I was shaking, couching, having a running nose, and nausea was hitting me like...well...I don't know what.

With all that lovely backstory, I am not going to explain why illness is chock full of inequity and inequality.
I stay at home.
I do not get a day off.
If I am sick, I cannot lay in bed all day, having people ring me soup, and expecting the workd to carry on without me.
Most stay at home parents are familier with this-most parents in general.
If Hubby gets sick, it is in our best financial interest to get him healthy again ASAP- which means I watch the kids, I make him soup, I make sure he gets rest.
If any of the Pantheon are sick, they always want their momma before their poppa, I am the one staying home with them, nursing them back to health, and being exposed to all their germs- I am the one changing sick toddler pants, cleaning upafter up to three kids worht of vomit, wiping noses, getting beverages, etc- as Hubby is at work. By the time he is home, they are going to eat dinner, and go to bed.

When I, the primary caregiver, is sick, I still have to take care of everyone, make dinner so it is served at a reasonable hour, take care of the kids, all the while snaitizing the hell out of myself and them, so they don't get sick, and carryong on like there is nothing wrong, other than my every particle hurting, caughing constantly, carrying around kleenex like it is my lifesavor, etc.
I do not get to rest. This means I am sick for longer, this means the illnesses strike me worse, and so on.
Yes, there are people I could ask to come over and help, but I need my house to be clean to be comfy having these people over, and I risk exposing people to shit I would not wish on my ex-husband, let alone someon I care about. My kids would be upset when the people had to leave, thus making my life harder, and so on.
I could ask Hubby to stay home- but wait- primary bread winner, cannot do that.
I could ask the MIL to come over after work....wait- let me finish laughing at how much of a bad idea that is, as she isn't calming.
I could ask my mom- see aforementioned house needing to be cleaned, and not wanting to get sick, add in a little bit of her having classes three days a wekk, and me not wanting to get all of them sick in for flair.

Yes, I am being whily, but if Hubby were sick, I would be busting my ass to take care ofhim, if any of the pantheon were sick, I would be busting my ass to take care of them- instead, I am cleaning, as it needs to be done, I am working, as we can always use a little extra money, I am organizing a list of everything I have to do this week, as mym ind is shot, and I am trying to figure out what the hell I am going to do with the boys all weekend long.
See, the other thing about being a homemaker- we do not get a day off, no sick days, no weekends, no paid holidays, we are always on the clock 24\7. Now add in the joy of overtimne. Hubby needs to overtime, as A) we can always use the money, and B) he and I really want him to get this job permanently, and not just long term temp. The more work that he does as a temp, the better the chance of them offerring him the possition, and what they are doing this week is necessarry, even thoug he was told he didn't have to be there, it was said in such a way as to make it clear he has to be there.

All I want to do right now is get better so that I can go to the knit out with my mom on sunday, the only day I will have for me this week. Also, conveniently enough, the only day I have to clean at her place this week, since Hubby works on saturday.,
Shit, even i I am feeling better, I probably won't get to go.

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