I have two friends with husbands who are ill. Both have been in the hospital recently and I have been following progress and sending notes via Twitter, Facebook and blogs. I remarked to Rob that I hoped this sick husband thing was not contagious which, of course, just invited the jinx right through our front door. There is feng shui in our thoughts and words and I should have taken more care.
The original issue was a sore lower back. Rob’s back is his Achilles’ and he has been seeing the chiropractor and our massage therapist for all summer only to quickly undo any good they were doing with his insistence on death march renovation practices. While I understand the time pressures that the nano-bit of warm weather places on many of the things that need to be done, I still think he pushes himself too far too often. And he knows this.
Issues came to a literal head after the camping trip he and the older girls took over the weekend after Canada Day. He had a sore tailbone that went from red looking to inflamed and bulging. When gutting it out – Rob’s preferred method of dealing with illness – didn’t work, he went to see our elderly Chinese doctor who was horrified enough by what he saw to make Rob sit up and take notice (though not literally, sitting was decidedly difficult by that point).
“It’s a pilondial cyst,” he told me. “And please don’t blog about this.”
And I didn’t. I caught many a Facebook friend unaware when I announced that Rob needed to go into the hospital for what turned out to be minor surgery in the ER (though we had no idea how slight or extensive a procedure he was in for until we got there and the DR on call took a look). I was sorely tempted to blog. Unbelievably amusing moments arise when one is called upon to pack one’s husband’s bum crack on a daily basis. At one point I was peering to get a better look and he said,
“Could you stop with the inspection, please?”
“I’m just trying to get a good look, ” I said. “It’s not that big of a deal.”
“That’s because you are a woman. You’ve had a baby. You’ve no dignity left.”
Which is a good point, but I was howling with laughter. It’s not about dignity but that as a woman, I am oddly more comfortable unclothed and being examined than I am dressed up and wondering who thinks I look fat.
Dr. Foo wanted Rob to go to ER on Friday night. Just go straight there and I could bring him anything he might need if he ended up being admitted. Dr. Foo was pretty certain that a major carving and scooping out of sinus cavities at the base of the tailbone was called for and that Rob would be in the hospital for at least a week and be home another month after, dealing with wound care. They do open wound with packing for these types of things.
Rob was quite sober when he called to explain what he’d been told. I was too.
Fortunately, Dee’s sleepover was easily switched from our house to her friend’s, whose mom offered to take Dee for the day Saturday too if needs be – which was awesome considering I only just met her, but some people are wonderful like that.
Rob spent the evening informing his work, his daughters and mother, and schooling me in the basics: insurance and benefits contacts, passwords for important accounts and reminders about where the personal directives and the wills were.
“Do you want to know what my wishes are? Just in case?”
Yeah, that conversation. One that we’ve been having on and off all year because neither of us wants to end up in the basement storeroom with Shelley’s remains.
“I’m sure I will figure something out,” I said.
“As long as I don’t end up in the basement.”
“Oh, you won’t,” I assured him. “I have a thing about dead husband remains in my basement.”
“You do? I thought you buried Will’s because that’s what he wanted?”
“He did,” I said, “but I also couldn’t stand the idea of having him in the house with me.”
Later he remarked that he thought only two widowed people could have the kinds of conversations that we do sometimes. I am not so sure but maybe.
So now he is upstairs resting. I have some wound care on the agenda for later and I am tired. Worry is exhausting.