It is a Wednesday, I have just returned home from town after my daily business errands. I wash up, eat, and retire to bed for some well deserved rest. Suddenly, I feel my left ear itching. I scratch it but there is a second itch and a third. Eventually, it stops and I fall asleep. The next morning while taking my bath, I noticed a small lump on my inner thigh. I take look at it and decide it’s nothing serious completely oblivious of the ticking time bomb.
The next few days nothing much happens, in fact I am feeling as healthy as a fiddle. Come Saturday my sister calls citing she wants me to drive her and her kids home. My whole family hops in, and we all depart for hers. All this time, nobody is aware they are sitting with a highly contagious human being not even myself. We all arrive to her place safely and sleep.
Come next morning I am feeling sickly. My head is slightly aching, I am weak, my body is generally in pain. After eliminating all possible options of what could be wrong, we decide it is malaria. A quick test confirms otherwise, I do not have malaria but I am given malarial drugs anyway and some painkillers. I only take the drugs that night for the following morning, I notice that my inner thighs have more blisters. It gets me worried. I call my sister for a second opinion. She takes a look at them and decides to call my wife.
Rachel takes a look at the blisters and immediately says they are chicken pox. I can not believe it. Me? Chicken pox? At 32! She takes out her phone and a quick google photo search confirmed it. At 32 years I have just contracted chicken pox. A disease so rare in adults that only 2 percent get it.
In the next few hours that follows after the discovery, things go from zero to a hundred. I have the worst fever, a bad headache, loss of appetite, blisters everywhere, I am hadly recognizable. Itchiness, body weakness, which makes even taking a bath by myself an uphill task. I am in excruciating pain.
Sex is one of the major glues that binds a marriage, but here I am unable to move even a limb. Blisters are everywhere, including my privates. I am in so much pain I can not even think about sex. My wife on the other hand is in shock. Just two or so weeks ago, she had said the words ‘in sickness and in health’ but she had no idea it would come so soon. To say the least, our marriage has felt the weight of the sexless season.
With virtually no one to run our businesses, family finances have been affected big time. The sales have gone down. My wife is already overwhelmed with taking care of the kids, nursing me, and running the house, leaving very little of her time to our businesses. (kweli coffee & murugi hot and sweet sauce)
Sickness is the one time you get to see your spouse in their most vulnerable state. That is exactly where this disease put me. Moreover, it is also the time that you get to experience the love and care from your partner. Rachel has showed me so much love, taking care and nursing me. She cleaned me when I could not do it myself, ensured that I had eaten and so much more. Those acts of kindness have improved our intimacy. My love for her has just overpoured. Nursing me has just taken our love and relationship to a whole new level. I can only hope that when the time comes I can also have the grace to do the same and more for her.
Chicken pox as I mentioned earlier is not a common illness in adults. As so, we have had people who have sympathized and empathized with us while there is another group who have felt that we must have been really dirty to have contracted the disease. To them, the disease is for the poor and as such they felt even embarrassed to be associated with us.
Chicken pox is a highly contagious disease. I had to therefore be quarantined from the rest, especially my kids because they have not contracted it yet. As a family we could not visit or be visited by anyone. It has been a tough two weeks but we are glad is is finally slowly coming to an end.
This period has definitely left me with some permanent marks as a reminder of the road that our marriage has had to go through. After this season, we can only hope that it has prepared us for the next phase of life.