One of the ways my obnoxious independence rears its head the most is when I'm sick. The average scenario runs something like this: I slip out of bed in the middle of the night, slowly shut the creaky bathroom doors and turn on the fan, then proceed to throw up as quietly as I can. When I'm 3/4 of the way through, there will be a calm knock on the door and a patient and sweet voice asking if I'm okay, to which I usually respond by shouting at him to go away and leave me alone to my own disgusting self.
Since these episodes of violent vomiting are the only times I've ever really yelled at the perfectly sweet and sincere man I married, this behavior is fairly out of character for me. And somewhat of a joke between the two of us at this point, which extends to my family, too. A couple of years ago, my siblings and their partners visited to celebrate my birthday, and late into a night of many, many shenanigans, Trevor found my sister in our downstairs bathroom with the door locked. He calmly talked her into opening the door and asked if she needed anything, to which she said no, then he made her promise him that if she shut the door again she wouldn't lock it. My sister looked up from the bathroom floor, flashed him a dazzling smile, and promptly locked the door again.
This is all backstory to provide context for last night, where I was capping off a full 24 hours of severe stomach pain that I'd assumed was a nasty hangover, until the slightest things like the turns in our parking garage started making me nauseous. I couldn't get comfortable in bed - ranging from chills to fever fairly regularly - and didn't want to keep Trevor awake, so I came out to the couch to suffer in solitude. This was all well and good until about five hours later, at which point I still hadn't slept a wink through the discomfort, when I ended up expelling every bit of food I'd ingested that day into a carefully placed pot on the floor. This wasn't a subtle kind of getting sick, either - we're talking body heaves and the loudest possible grossness.
Sure enough, my would-be caretaker comes trotting out from the bedroom to see me puking up mac n' cheese in all its yellow glory. No door to hide that sight away. And because I was in such bad shape, I could offer no protest when he took the pot away to get rid of the mess, cleaned it out, and brought me towels and water and back rubs.
Resigned to my surrendered independence, I crawled back into bed with the accoutrements of a sick person all around me, arranged for me by my trusty nurse. Had I had a bit more time to think about the crushing defeat that my years of covert sickness just endured, I might have cowered in shame for some time.
But then fever hit again and I promptly threw up all of the water I'd just slurped down. With Trevor watching, of course.