It’s that time of year. The flu and other bugs are running rampant and people all around are getting bit. It’s never fun when someone in your house comes down with something and let’s just say life wasn’t a barrel full of monkeys at our place the past few days.

In the middle of our “stay-cation” Jon’s body decided to go on strike. In some ways it was only fair. Jon had been doing a lot lately working hard at his job and at home. Getting extra rest at that point was too little too late and he got sick. So why am I telling you this? Well, as I was playing nursemaid for the next several days I learned a few things.

  1. Jon is a rock star husband (this wasn’t news to me but I believe it now more than ever)! He does so much for me and our growing family! As usual you often don’t realize what you have until it’s gone and while he was sick in bed I realized how much he normally does around here. He has always really pulled his weight with keeping house, but since we’ve moved to Italy he has taken an even more significant role. Even the most mundane things become so much more complicated and intimidating in a new country and culture and Jon took a lot of the pressure off by stepping up to learn where to get the groceries, experimenting with making meals with foreign ingredients (and turning out delicious food of course), navigating the roads here and other such things. Having a man who liked to cook etc wasn’t on my list of “must-haves” for a husband, but it was on the “that-would-be-a-really-nice-bonus, God” list and I was/still am thrilled He made it happen!
  2. I realized that I have indeed made progress in acclimating to life here in Italy. In months prior, having to go to the doctor, the pharmacy, grocery shopping, making decent meals, paying bills in town, and other seemingly easy things on my own would have been much more stressful if not overwhelming. But I did it all and had success. You see, while adjusting and battling culture shock you learn to savor the small triumphs. So when we went to the doctor without a translator and we left with the prescription we needed, we were champs. And while we didn’t enjoy when the doctor seemed to be scolding us and we didn’t understand why, we were able to give him the benefit of the doubt rather than reacting by judging all Italians as insensitive. I was just thankful that he understood when I used my newly acquired vocabulary to tell him about Jon’s fever and confirm my diagnosis that it was bronchitis. I rejoiced that I knew where to go, how to get there, what basic rules to follow and emerged from the office triumphant, prescription in hand (and even knew where to go with the prescription after)!
  3. I miss my dishwasher even more when I’m doing dishes for a contagious spouse! They also don’t have 24-hour pharmacies or Wal-Mart so running out for Lysol and Vicks Vapor Rub is just not an option. However, I did find disinfectant spray, Vicks Vapor Rub, bleach, and some other sick house essentials that I wasn’t sure they even had here!
  4. I have a new found appreciation for anyone who cares for an ill family member regularly. It is draining! I seriously respect and admire those like my mom who have provided (or do provide) daily and hourly care for someone. It’s not only physically taxing to accomplish all the practical tasks but it’s mentally and emotionally draining to be responsible (under God’s sovereignty) for the health of another individual!

So there you are..some of my musings over the last few days and with that a little more insight into our life here in Italy. It’s not fun having a “sickie” (as my mom called it) in the house, but I’m thankful I was at least able to learn something from it! I am also happy to report that Jon is on the mend. It will take some time before he is back to 100%, but that bug is slowly dying and I’m so relieved!

-Erika

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