Almost eleven years ago, Eric and I stood face-to-face and promised to be there for each other in sickness and in health. It seemed so romantic at the time.
It also seemed distant. “Someday… far in the future… when one of us gets sick.”
Though I cannot know what Eric was thinking upon hearing those words, I am pretty sure I was picturing a hospital bed fifty years down the road. Sickness comes in many forms and when we marry, we are vowing to be faithful to our chosen one in times of health and vibrancy and times of sickness when we cannot give as much as we would like. Eric was reminded of this recently.
Denver or Bust!
When I learned Eric had a business conference in Denver, I thought it would be a great opportunity for us to visit some family and friends! However, as the trip approached, I found myself getting anxious. Why? In large part, due to my tremendous motion sickness issues. I cannot remember all the times I pushed my limits only to become a nauseated mess, ruining my good time and grossing out those around me.
There was the time I could not bring myself to tell my best friend, “No, really, I CANNOT get on the tire swing with you!” And, the time I thought, “I took Dramamine. Why would I not try this ‘fun’ ride that spins you round and round and then drops the floor out from under you?”
Yes, backseat car rides, rollercoasters, and swings have not been good to me over the years. And as of April 15th, we can add tiny, rickety airplanes to the list.
In preparing for the trip, I left no stone unturned: I bought Bonine; I bought a new pair of Sea Bands just in case my old pair was too stretched; I bought a nifty essential oil concoction called Motion Ease; I bought peppermints – both the starlight and the puffy kind; I bought ginger pills; I bought ginger gum; I bought ginger candy; and, I bought ginger snaps.
If there was anything available to promise to keep me from getting sick, I found it, bought it, and packed it!
The day I had been dreading indeed arrived. We got up around 4am, finished packing, and headed to the airport. Eric discovered the merits of flying out of our local airport last year instead of driving two and a half hours to a major airport. Having heard horror stories about small planes, I was completely uncomfortable – hence my anti-nausea shopping spree. I gave myself a pep talk. I took all the precautions I could think of taking. I planned to sleep as soon as I got on the plane.
It is going to be okay. It is going to be okay. It is going to be okay.
It was not okay.
We boarded the plane. It was basically an uncomfortable bus, but smaller. We sat, we buckled, we waited. I started fiddling with the overhead AC vent and felt warm air leak out. (This cannot be right! When the plane gets going, it will get cooler. It is going to be okay. It is going to be okay.) I looked ahead and saw several other people checking their vents. Heat was coming out and it was stifling! Finally, the flight attendant announced that she was going to alert the pilot to our plight. In a few minutes, it got a little cooler… very little (read: still heat).
The plane began to shake and move. Away we went into the wild blue yonder. (Now, I will try to sleep. … Nope, can’t do it! The pillow is sticking to my hot, sweaty neck. It is going to be okay. It is going to be okay. It is going to be okay.)
It was not okay.
Leaning back in the seat made me feel worse as the rattling of the plane jostled my head around exacerbating my discomfort. When the flight attendant walked by, I requested water. Later, I requested ice chips. To her credit, she was a sweetheart. Perhaps she felt sorry for me as I held my ice chips in one hand and the air sickness bag in the other, clearly practicing deep breathing exercises.
We began the descent. Maybe I am going to make it. … Yes, I think I will make it. … Uh-oh, am I going to make it? … I am not so sure I am going to make it. … Nope, not going to make it.
Eric woke abruptly to the sound of me orally hurling my breakfast into a small paper receptacle. He threw his arm around me and put one hand under the bag to hold it steady. In that moment, I felt both disgusting and blessed. This was indeed sickness – the kind that passes, but sickness nonetheless. As we sat there (in my less-than dignified moment), I listened in horror to my surroundings, hoping I was not setting off a chain reaction. Thankfully, I was the only sickie on the plane that day. (How gross. Oh, how seriously gross.)
After we departed the plane, we had to walk forever to our next gate. The thought of getting on another aircraft was highly depressing. Eric bought me a four-dollar, 20-ounce Gatorade… and we walked. I wanted to pile onto the floor and cry, but adults do not do that (so I am told). I had to keep moving.
We finally made it to our gate. As I sat there wanting to pass out, Eric leaned over in his special Eric way… as tactful as he could… and said, “Can I make an observation? The next time you get sick on a plane, can you put your mouth all the way into the bag? Because, some of it got on the seat in front of you.”
Thanks, Honey. Thanks. I will keep that in mind.
My tummy settled just as we were about to board the next plane. As we walked down the long hallway, I felt the gloriousness of high quantities of air conditioning. Now this is how we were meant to travel. Eric loves the window seat; but, in his compassion, gave me the window seat and I was knocked out asleep in no time. Before I could count ten sheep, we were descending into our Denver airport final destination.
We made it! Our travel companion lost his luggage (which was found about 30 minutes later, thankfully), and we had to wait in the lobby two hours before our hotel rooms were ready. But, the sickness had passed (at least until the rickety plane ride back to the Lynchburg airport?).
(Note: The flights back were great! I traded my Bonine in for Dramamine, remembered to use the Motion Ease, and dined on ginger snaps and Gatorade before each flight. ~smile~ And Eric, again, gave up the window seat both times so I could sleep. He is a keeper!)
Thankful He is Faithful
Whether it is bringing home dinner when I have a cold, rubbing my lower back when I am sore, or holding my vomit bag on an airplane ride, I am thankful to have a man who loves me in sickness and in health.
Knowing that helps in those moments when I am not so happy with him. ~wink~
Have you ever been sick in front of your special someone? Are you confident he or she will be patient and compassionate with you when you are under the weather? Are you kind and considerate when your sweetheart is feeling icky?
Lord willing, the majority of your marriage will be spent in good health, but we all get sick occasionally. If your significant other does not treat you with care when you are sick, he or she will not treat you well when you are feeling fine. If your boyfriend or girlfriend gets annoyed with you when you are ill, or refuses to give a little extra during those times, consider that a red flag waving. It may be as small as a sniffle now, but someday it could be something worse and you need to have faith that your life partner is going to be there through the most difficult of times.
Would your sweetie hold your air sickness bag for you? Venture out at night to buy you cold medicine? Do extra chores while you sleep?
Be confident in your answer before vowing, “In sickness and in health.”
How does your boyfriend or girlfriend treat you when you are sick? How do you treat him or her?