6 Things Everyone Does When Their Significant Other Gets Sick

You'll worry yourself sick.

Regardless of how long you've been with someone, there are certain behaviors we tend to exhibit the moment our significant other gets sick. 

While illnesses can range from the minor to the serious, the basic things we do for our sick SOs stem from the same place — A concern for their well-being and a protective, care-taking instinct we feel for the ones we love.

How many of these things do you do when your SO gets sick?


1. We suddenly become Internet doctors.

When a loved one is doesn't feel well, suddenly each symptom can take on grave new significance. Colds become pneumonia. A low-grade temperature is a raging fever. And if they've been on a plane recently? Some new strain of indestructible super-flu or worse, Ebola. 

2. We hold vigils and watch over them as they sleep.

Ever check your girlfriend's pulse when she's got a cold? Or watch your boyfriend, wondering why it's taking so long for his chest to rise and fall, holding your wrist under his nose to see if he's still breathing? 

It's human instinct: An atavistic impulse to ensure the well-being of those closest to us. Parents do the same thing. 

3. We become insistent nags even as they become increasingly resistant.

Are you okay?

Are you feeling any better?

Can I get you anything?

You need to go to a doctor.

Why aren't you sleeping? drinking water? Being beaten with birch rods in a sauna?

In short, we parent our significant others when they're sick. Not always in a good way.

4. We recreate questionable home remedies.

In a well-intentioned effort to cure the ones we love, we dig deep into the recesses of folk and family medicine and offer up restoratives like: 


Are they sick or are they having a visit with the Queen?


There is evidence that chicken soup isn't just a tasty placebo, so do what you do.

And whiskey.

Hot Toddy Recipe:

2 oz (or more) whiskey

Tablespoon honey

4 oz hot water

Tablespoon lemon juice or juice of half a lemon

Slice of lemon

Pour whiskey into a microwavable mug. Add honey, water and lemon juice. Stir. Microwave on high for one minute. Garnish with lemon slice. Serve with look of extreme concern and convince yourselves that the alcohol will "kill the germs."

If nothing else, it might take their minds off their sniffling and your overbearing lunacy for an hour or two.

5. We buy absurd amounts of medicine in order to relieve their misery.

Some basic things people don't understand about cold and allergy medicines:

Antihistamines include Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and will dry up a runny nose. They will also make you sleepy.

Nasal decongestants include Phenylephrine and Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). These relieve stuffy noses and many headaches that are located above the nose, in the forehead.

Cough suppressants include Codeine (by prescription in the U.S.) and Dextromethorphan. They stop coughing. They may also make you sleepy.

Chest decongestants include Ephedrine (Bronk-Aid). They open up bronchial passages.

Expectorants include Guaifenesin, found in most cough medicines. They loosen phlegm in the chest. It's important to drink a lot of water with an expectorant.

If someone's sick, it's probably best to only get the kind of medicine they need, and to avoid overlapping medicines that contain the same ingredients.

6. We worry. Excessively.

Relax. It's probably just a cold. And in any case, no one ever lived a day longer because they worried. 

Buy more tissues and stay up all night if you must. 

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