In fact, he then decided to stay with me another four days, twitching the 'Vomit NOW' nerve endings, punching the 'Diarrhoea A-Go-Go' dials and stamping on the 'Crushing Pain Behind Left Eye Ball' buttons like a river-dancing epileptic on espresso.
Love Chunks was supposed to leave for his much-anticipated skiing trip the day after we landed, but the dear bloke stayed with me for those four dreadful days until he was sure that I could keep food down and have the energy to take Milly downstairs for a whizzer before he drove off towards the alps.
A week later, he walked through the door, red-faced and sweaty but with chattering teeth. "I think I've caught the flu," he said, dropping his bags and falling into my hug. "I caught it from Robyn who said she'd got it from Dave who blamed Kirsty, the new girl at work, who said that a fat guy had coughed all over her on the tram...."
Never mind, it was MY time to shine; to fufill the long-held potential of being a work-from-home Trailing Spouse who would not only expertly tend to the sick but also keep the home fires burning, nourishing hot soup on simmer, the infirm entertained, bills paid online and .... the dog from eating the used tissues.
As Sapphire succumbed, my mothering skills intensified. Vitamin C, sugar-free Strepsils and a blankie on the couch with her favourite movie on standby. A hand wiping her sweaty brow and a comforting arm around her shoulders. "Let me slice some apple for you."
Flu, for me? Nah, mine was merely a scratchy throat and a few sniffles. I was made of stronger stuff. My role was to soldier on, be vigilant and protect my dear, sweet family.
In fact, it was time to test out the 'ol Achilles; see if my careful ministrations and months of rest had paid off.
It had. Six kilometres with no twinge at all! I was so proud, my phone took a photo to commemorate the achievement. LC and Sapphire weakly congratulated me as I skipped back into the living room, droplets of sweat pooling on the floor whilst blocking their view of the telly. "I feel GREAT," I said, somewhat insensitively as my favourite boy and favourite girl trumpeted into their tissues and curled up into even tighter balls of misery. "I'm so lucky that all I've got is a COLD!"
Until last Friday. "Who allowed an elephant to sit on me in the middle of last night and why does it feel like a camel has taken up residence inside my chest?"
Since then, it's been a full-on flu infestation. Unpredictable sneezes, phlegm-laden coughing, aching joints, toilet sweats, the occasional chuck up and a listlessness so pervading I need a lie down after getting dressed.
There was a bonus, however. My voice keeps disappearing, so LC and Sapphire enjoy a relatively peaceful home life, albeit with increasingly dusty floors and a Trailing Spouse likely to erupt with a moan that is impossible to stop if accidentally disturbed.
Milly was puzzled. Sure, it was nice to have everyone home, but instead of activity, socialising and walks it was a closed house, stillness and silence. Boooorrrrring! Now with just the two of us, having a low-based IKEA bed means that she can leap up next to me and place herself just so along my side so that if my hand flops, it will kinda sorta be in the right position to give her a tummy rub.
After Sapphire returned to school and LC to work, I made sure that Milly's long morning walk still occurred. Even if it killed me. My voice always escapes in the -6C temperatures, so furry face makes a split second decision. With those triangle ears, it's obvious that she can hear my attempts to call her, but she's decided to pretend that it's not the right voice I'm using and she can therefore enjoy some extra time making yellow snow and sniffing for squirrels. It is only when the frozen ground starts to hurt her feet that she decides that yes, she can hear me calling. It's impossible not to smile at her reasoning.
Just as the indefatigable Flu kept on keeping on, Mr Migraine looked away from his other clients and back towards me with interest. Why the hell not, he giggled. When she coughs up snot, why not make sure that Gina Rinehardt's drilling inside her head for minerals? Have a chuckle by flinging in a sly chunder and blurred vision just when she has a writing assignment due and solder the muscles at the base of her skull so that they fuse every time she stands? Stomach pains and teeth that feel as though they're being boiled in water? Matching the pain in her bones with ones in her jaw and forehead! Yeah, go for it!
And thus, I find myself still feebly fighting the two foes of flu and migraine, unable to give my attention to the TV, computer or book for longer than fifteen minutes at a time but thoroughly sick of lying in bed and feeling just how badly my toenails need cutting. In my mostly-horizontal state I've mentally finished the novel; planned a second, placed unbeatable bids for three separate editing jobs, figured out how to make lamingtons for Saturday and researched three separate trips to Spain, Ireland and New York. It's amazing what you can do with your nostrils plugged.