The Disadvantage of Your “Child” Bride

I know there’s lots of drama and plenty of outraged moral judgment when it comes to marrying a younger Filipina, but here’s a problem I never anticipated.

For the past week Janet has been complaining about her fingers. They swell and get itchy after she works. The first day I had to nearly force her to take an Advil (she hates medicines) which did the trick in relieving the swelling. I assumed she’d just been overdoing it at work.

Janet works hard and I am very proud of her. She recently was promoted to Asst. Manager in her department and I believe the recognition was directly correlated to her outworking most of her American counterparts, who are in the main, entitled and lazy. I won’t say they are also dumb, because that would be insulting ­čÖé

So it certainly occurred to me that she had overdone it at work and she never complains. She routinely cuts or burns herself at work. At night she shows me her wounds like a badge of honor. At first I was appalled, later I just assumed my young wife was a bit of a klutz, and finally I grew to accept the almost daily marks demonstrating her hard work and perseverance.

So, when she complained about swollen hands I didn’t much worry. Janet was mostly upset about the fact that the swollen fingers would not allow her to wear her wedding ring and joked that someone might assume she was “available.”

But on Friday she called me at work. The fingers were much worse. I decided to come home then and told her I would pick up some Benadryl on my way. The itchy finger symptom made me think of allergies.

Sure enough her fingers were more swollen, there were some lesions on them and they were itchy as hell. Topical Benadryl cream relieved some of the itch but by Saturday morning she asked to go to the doctor. We had tried to determine whether she was using latex gloves at work, since Dr. Dave was still diagnosing an allergic reaction, but were unable to get a confirmation one way or the other. So off to the clinic we went with me still thinking that some kind of allergy would be discovered.

No docs were working at the clinic on Saturday and we got a young, but competent┬ásounding Physician’s Assistant. “I don’t think it’s an allergy,” she said. “The blisters are a dead giveaway. It’s a virus.”

Janet got scared but the PA reassured her. “Every American child gets this virus and once you get it you are immune.”

I reminded the PA that Janet had never been an American child.

She continued, “Sometimes it’s on the hands, feet or inside the mouth. Since it’s a virus not bacteria┬áthere’s nothing to do but get through it.┬áIf the Benadryl or Advil help┬ágreat. Otherwise it should go away in a┬áfew days.”

We were relieved it wasn’t an allergy to latex and Janet was glad she could return to work but a bit embarrassed that she had a child’s disease. The literature the PA gave us about it constantly referred to what the parent could do to relieve the child’s symptoms. My child bride kept slathering on the Benadryl cream for a day or two before declaring success.

On Monday I returned to work. The friendly, young barista (maybe 21) at the cafe always asks me about how my weekend was while she makes my mocha. I told her the story about my wife with the childhood virus.

“How old’s your wife? ” she asked.

I didn’t hesitate, “Twenty six.”

We both showed remarkable control: she didn’t blink and I didn’t crack up.

BTW, other than this recent incident, I have yet to find any disadvantage to having a “child bride.” Hopefully Janet hasn’t found much of a disadvantage to having a childish husband.

11 thoughts on “The Disadvantage of Your “Child” Bride”

  1. Not your mothers fault dai. It is clearly Dave’s fault for not bringing you to the US when you were younger ­čÖé

  2. Thats funny, sounded as if you were telling the story of my wife. The exact thing happened to her on her job about 2 years ago. Never knew what it was, I put antifungal cream on it for a few days and she took some advil. It hasn’t returned.

  3. I believe the operative word here is in your last sentence. “…Janet hasn’t found MUCH of a disadvantage to having a childish husband.” May she always be so enamored! Nice post. Hope Janet heals quickly, another advantage of being young! If you had the same ailment you’d likely heal sometime in 2017.

    1. Hi Debby – nice to see you here. I agree about the healing as we age. I am an amateur guitar maker and if I cut myself, as I too am a bit of a klutz, it takes forever to heal.

  4. Dave, turn-about will be fair play as when you go on to live in the Philippines, you will get certain viruses and other ailments that most Filipinos are immune to since their childhood. Get well soon, Janet!

    1. Hi Steve. Just hope I can avoid dengue fever, although I know a number of tourists and expats who’ve gotten it.

      Janet’s fine now and on to bigger and better issues. More on that to come.

  5. GREAT STORY I too am married to a younger, and she has had this swollen fingers problem. We live in the Philippines and have a great life together.

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