Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sickness and Health

My dad busted me so bad. He's been out of town all week and he read my last post. I get a C+ in School of Rock, because I got the name of the song wrong.

"It's not called Teenaged Wasteland!!" he said from LA.

"I know, I know. I realized that afterwards. But whatever. I don't like The Who. In fact, I can't stand The Who."

"What????" my dad cried, "How can a daughter of mine not like The Who??"

My father was completely flabbergasted. I confess, I don't like The Who. So shoot me. I can't like everything and with all the other great bands and artists he's introduced me to over the years, I was bound to not like something.

Our current disagreement is over Amy Winehouse. This woman's voice makes me want to go into a seizure. My dad thinks she's a genius and is going to be a huge star. When he played her for me the first time we were in the car and I wanted to open the passenger side door and throw myself out into 70 mph traffic on the highway.

I have a few updates for you. Husband is doing better. He's still on pain medication, but now he's eating. Apparently something about his condition, maybe it was the anesthesia, maybe the brush with death, unlocked some latent passion within him for Dairy Queen. It's all he wants to eat. I've never had Dairy Queen so many times in one week in my entire life, because if HE eats it, I can't just sit by and watch. I have to have some too, right? Luckily I just get plain vanilla. I love plain vanilla soft serve and guess what I learned. A small cup of DQ vanilla only has about a hundred calories.

I think there's something magical in Dairy Queen ice cream that is healing Husband and making me lose weight. Logic tells you that eating ice cream every single night would have the opposite effect, but every morning the scale sings that I am lighter and lighter. It must the be stress.

I always hated those anorexic bitches that claimed they were skinny because they were just so stressed out that they couldn't eat. When I got stressed out I always ate more. I used anxiety as a justification to eat crap. Whenever a guy dumped me, I made chocolate chip cookies. I always thought that I was a stress eater, but I'm not. I just hadn't had that much stress.

The past week has shown me that this is not true. I finally know what it feels like to be so burdened with anxiety that I can't eat. I guess what was happening before was that I wasn't nearly as stressed as I thought I was, which was why I still had an appetite. This speaks well for me because it shows that I had enough sense to realize that the apocalypse was not forthcoming just because some guy wasn't attracted to me. A few hot chocolate chips later and I was fine.

This week, I was not fine. Now, I'm doing better. I swear, it's something in that vanilla soft serve.

I've never cared for a sick person before. It was strange for me to see my husband hooked up to tubes and needles and machines that beeped and printed out long trails of paper. It was weird that he needed help to the bathroom and that he couldn't eat. I was used to him doing everything. He always filled out paperwork, organized our lives and took out the trash. He was always there to open bottles and move heavy things. It was wonderful. If anything broke, he knew how to fix it. But this time, HE was broke and I couldn't fix him.

I'm not good in emergencies. I'm an idiot. I just panic and cry whenever something goes wrong. I get all fried out over stupid things and am a neurotic head case more often than I'm not. This time though, I miraculously wasn't an idiot. I took control of the situation. I got Husband to the hospital. I packed everything he needed, I took care of all the paying, the paperwork and I kept everything organized. I didn't panic and everything ended up being ok, which made me realize that perhaps I am not nearly the idiot I imagine myself to be.

I called Mommom, my grandmother up in Millpond, and the one who is married to Pop, who has lung cancer. She knows all about taking care of sick people. It's been her whole life. She took care of me when I was little. She cared for her mother who lived with her until she died at 100 and now that Pop hasn't been himself for the past couple years, she's devoted to making him as comfortable and well as can be expected.

"Now you're really married." Mommom told me.

It's the whole sickness and health thing. Husband and I learned early on in our relationship about sticking together in sickness and in health, but it was me who ended up sick.

We got engaged in Sedona, Arizona two years ago. Husband lived in California and I lived here. We had a long distance relationship for three years, flying all over the country to see each other as often as we could. He had a work conference in Phoenix the week of my Spring Break so I decided to take some vacation time and go meet him in the desert. I always wanted to see the South West.

The conference didn't start until Wednesday so we met in Phoenix the weekend before and took a couple days to drive up to Sedona. Husband surprised me with a hotel room that had a real fireplace in our room and a magnificent view of the red rocks.

At sunrise Monday morning he woke me up and slid a ring on my finger. He never asked me if I would marry him, I guess because he knew I would. Instead he said he wanted me to spend the rest of my life with him. It was beautiful. The fireplace crackled and the sun came up from behind the rocks. Everything was perfect. Until I threw up.

Anxious for a celebratory breakfast we took a drive. We planned to eat, go see the energy vortexes or vortices or whatever you call them, and then make our way up to the Grand Canyon. We stopped at this place that boasted ten million, seven hundred twenty eight thousand four hundred and eighty six different permutations of omelette. They even had a peanutbutter and jelly omelette, as if someone would actually order that.

Husband didn't have eggs but I was all about a ham, cheddar and green chili omelette. It tasted kind of funny, but I ate most of it anyway. I figured I was just excited. Maybe I wasn't used to green chilis.

On the way to see the energy vortex I thought I was car sick from the winding, desert roads. I felt hot, then cold and then I realized that I had no interest in a damn energy vortex with a bunch of patchouli reeking hippies standing around talking about their past lives as dolphins. I needed a bathroom. NOW.

We had to go back to the hotel. Almost immediately I had my head buried in the toilet. This is coming from a person who will do anything to avoid throwing up. I've spent many a night shivering on the cold bathroom tile praying to God that I wouldn't puke, but not this time. Puking was non-negotiable. Then it was coming out of both ends because that always happens. So I was throwing up in a trash can while on the toilet, which is just not what I had imagined for my engagment day at all.

I was supposed to be glowing with the anticipation of my nuptuals, overjoyed with bliss that I had found my soul mate and ready to share our love with the world. Not me. I had food poisoning. Instead of giggling, kissing and choosing our wedding colors, I was moaning in agony while Husband cleaned my green chili omelette barf out of the garbage can so I could fill it up again. He even put my hair in a pony tail for me so it wouldn't get throw up in it.

Outwardly this was far from romantic. I had blood coming out of my ass afterall. Brides don't shit blood or erupt in chunks of scrambled egg. And by the way, if you ever poo blood, get to the doctor. It means you probably have E Coli or Shigella, which I did. Unfortunately I was in the middle of the desert and the nearest doctor was 20 miles away. At the rate that my liquefied insides were flying out of my mouth and butt, there was no way I could handle a car ride that long. I had to stick it out.

Husband never left my side, except to go get me Pedialyte and Gatorade. He promised me that I was going to be ok. He took a picture of me throwing up, which ended up later being really funny and he rubbed my back which ached from the strain of retching. Later when the vomiting subsided, he gave me a bath and put me to bed. We watched Man on Fire because it was on TV, while he gave me little sips of the Pedialyte. By the next night I was much better and we could go back to Phoenix for his conference, although I was very wary about eating anything for a long time afterward.

A lot of people would get superstitious about this. I mean, what are the odds of someone getting E Coli a few hours after becoming engaged? Some would think it a bad omen, the Universe's way of warning me that maybe he wasn't The One and that I was making a terrible mistake. I saw it as the opposite.

I had a man who could love me with diareeah. He knew me as a human being, a person with flaws, a person who pukes and craps and makes mistakes like ordering green chili omelettes. He didn't want some fake, dolled up princess in a white dress and a tiara. Husband proved to me on the day that we got engaged, that he really meant it, that he was in this for real and that he would always, always take care of me and that my comfort and well-being would always be his priority, no matter how disgusting and human I could be. We understood the meaning of "in sickness and in health" before we were officially married.

I hope that I was able to take care of him as well as he has cared for me. I think it's almost time for more Dairy Queen.


Green said...

That was a little bit beautiful and a little bit gross. I have tears in my eyes, and throw up in my mouth. I hope Husband steadily continues on the road to recovery. Please have some Carvel for me if you have a chance.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, beautiful post--

and, p.s. I never liked The Who either--


tazzie said...

Isn't amazing what people we love will do for us??

I personally, while not enjoying the puke thing, don't mind it so much either, because you always feel so much better after puking. What I reallly hate is the feeling the need to puke and not being able to do so. That sucks big time.

Husband and you are in our thoughts. Take Care!!

Anonymous said...

You're right, he really does love you. As a guy, I know. When your beloved needs help, nothing's too much trouble.

And you really love him. Same reason. Isn't it amazing the things you can do, that you never thought you could, when something like this happens?

As for not eating and stress: yes, when it gets bad enough. It happened to me during my baptism of fire as a substitute teacher!

Anonymous said...

lol Yesterday my husband and I were smirking over a scene in spiderman 3. Spiderman decides to propose to MJ over champagne with the ring in her glass. We were smirking because if he had proposed to me that way I prob would have maybe swallowed it along with my champagne or "we would have spent the night going thru my stool." Some people you know are keepers right from the start.
I'm glad your husband is getting better. My husband would send me out for Coldstone Creamery ice cream when he felt under the weather. DQ cones are awesome though. Take care. :)

Suebe said...


I've been in internet hell (very limited access due to trojan horse virusesy stuff) for the past 2 weeks. Just read your May posts. I'm glad that you have come to an epiphany and sorted out some priorities. I hope your hubby feels good real soon. I know how hard it is to be a caregiver (from personal experience) and it can be very trying.

It's stressful when the sh*t all hits the fan at the same time. Your grandfather's illness, your anxiety, hubby's illness, stress over can be so overwhelming.

Your hubby sounds like a very special person (and a special person like you SNW deserves that). Thank you for sharing and I hope you get a book deal real soon. I wish I knew a publisher/agent.

Hang tough. Oh, I do like The Who, but don't feel bad about not liking them. I like Jane's Addiction too.

JDogg said...

Glad to hear that things are better, and great to hear that you have had a chance to repay your husband.

Anonymous said...

SNM - So glad you're back! And so relieved that Husband is feeling better. I loved your unromantic yet romantic engagement story. You guys really seem to love each other very deeply.

Looking forward to your next post - but take your time. I don't want you stressing out again!

Leonesse said...

I am soooo glad to see this post. Soooo glad.

Glad to see you.

And Sedona... Beautiful.

Puking...not so much.

saintseester said...

Wow! I can really identify with this story. I came down with a horrific case of strep throat the day my husband gave me my engagement ring. We were in a strange town looking for apartments for grad school. I couldn't move, I had to have IV fluids I was so sick.

Sorry your husband has been so sick now. Hopefully he'll be up and at 'em soon.

Anonymous said...

Husband sounds like he's too good to be true. Any bros? He must be a very unique person. This was a truly enlightening post about real men. I know they're out there...I have a great dad, but most of the men suck.

Silliyak said...

I think you missed the point that hubby loves you despite your not loving The Who.

nandy said...

My mother always said you could tell a good man by how they treated you when you were sick.

Some friends have dumped their SO's when they weren't treated well when under the weather. One friend broke her engagement when her fiancé was down right MEAN to her when she had a tumor in her jaw. He wouldn't take her to the hospital even when she was in such pain that she begged him.

Glad to hear you got a good guy...and that you are able to reciprocate in kind when needed.

Zu said...

Now that's what I'm talking about. That was a great story. Romantic isn't really hearts and flowers, it is loving someone when they are at their worst. I will send good thoughts and prayers your way for hubby's continued recovery.

Sally T said...

If illness doesn't drive you apart it ties you closer together. I think the latter is true for you guys. Good luck and a speedy recovery for your husband.
PS. Real stress can cause weight loss even if you eat more than normal.

The Dippy Chick Company Blog said...

Aren't we lucky to have such great guys? My husband would do the same thing. We've been married for almost 12 years now. We have a really open relationship. So much so, that we don't even usually bother to close the bathroom door unless there's company over or the kids are around. I'll be brushing my teeth... he'll be pooping. He'll be in the shower... I'll walk in a pee. Some people are appalled at that. To us, it's weird when spouses have to hide the fact that they poop from each other. I bet those Wide Lawns people are like that. They're too good to poop. That's why they're all full of it.

Sooz said...

So this story literally just changed my life. I mean flat out changed the course of my life. I'm on a break with my boyfriend of 4 years after a big fight and we are in that funny stage where I'm trying to figure out if I want to continue to fight it out or not. I love him dearly, but I just didn't feel like he loved me back like that. Then I read your story. Suddenly I remembered the time I caught the flu from him when I stayed over and rubbed his back, brought him food, cleaned up his puke, drove him to the doctor, bought his medicine, and did everything else possible to make him feel better. I remember waking up with a fever of 102 and calling him to say I was sick now too and him responding, "Sorry, I don't want to catch that again...I've got too much to do. Call me when you are better."
Your story made me see that I don't want a fairweather boyfriend, I want someone to love me like husband loves you. I want the guy that will be with me in sickness and in health. I know it seems like it should've been an obvious answer to break it off, but until your story it just didn't seem so clear. Thank you for your work, it really is incredible. Tell husband I hope he feels better and I'm so glad you are back.

Lulu said...

I hate the Who, too. Peter twnsend gives me an acute rectal pain.

And I've had e.coli, too, so I know of what I speak.

Lisa said...

Sounds like you found your knight in shining armor. Glad to hear he's doing better.

eva said...

YOu may find this hard to believe but my engagement day was eerily similar to yours, except it was my husband who woke up with food poisoning, from some bad Taco Bell the night before. He started the day of our trip by actually being sick on me in the bed as he was waking up, but was determined to still go on our trip, and I didn't understand why we didn't just postpone it. Late that night, as he proposed to me from the fetal position in our luxury hotel room, it was so out of the blue that I thought he was joking. Tunred out he had been planning the weekend for awhile, and wasn't going to let his agony stop him from getting engaged. Looking back, it actually was the perfect moment to do so, because, as my dad said when we told him the story, "he puked in your bed, shit on your feet, and you still said yes? That's love."

Charlotte said...

Your husband is amazing...seriously. If he can take care of you like that before the Where do you find men like that nowadays?

Anonymous said...

Lulu, being as Pete Townsend is Bi sexual, it's easy to see how he could give you acute rectal pain, although, at a distance?

Gwen said...

That is what love is, and from that story I know you both deserve it. I'm so glad you and Husband have each other.

Dyanne said...

That made me cry--I love that post! I'm so glad you decided not to throw in the blog towel!

bssc23public said...

Welcome back. I hope DH continues to recover. Thanks again for everything.

Sparkling Cipher said...

My brother and I have the same argument over Pink Floyd and Metallica.

"Eh, I just really don't like their music."

"What? WHAT?! How can that be?!"

A few years ago I had a bad flu bug and my sweetie took care of me similarly, not complaining one peep even when I too weak to manage to get in position to catch the exiting fluids. He just mopped the floor and cleaned my knees. I can forgive a lot after that.

Really, it's sweeter than anything a guy can do. Anybody can buy flowers or dinner at a nice restaurant, but it takes love to care for a girl with raging diarrhea and vomiting.

Mrs. Sara said...

I knew my husband really loved me when, after about two months of dating, I had to have a colonoscopy and he stood with me in my kitchen and cheered me on while I drank a gallon of the most foul tasting liquid I have ever had in my life. He even offered to sit with me in the bathroom while I... uh... evacuated... but I refused. ;)

I know he would have, though.

booda baby said...

1. Tooooo bad about The Who. I'd say maybe an acquired taste, but I loved caviar and foi gras the moment we met and to this day, can't comprehend those little mews of disgust people get. Same with The Who.

2. We toyed with this VERY idea yesterday! Dairy Queen, inexplicably, being elixir-like. (That's probably spelled wrong. Maybe it's e-licks-er. That'd be better.)

3. Love-through-sickness is THE single best way to measure a relationship. I've tried plenty of other ones, but nothing at all compares to the LTS. When one or the other falters/fails, - there's no arguing it.

Tere said...

Glad to know he's doing better.

Like you, I don't at all care for Amy Winehouse, PR-fabricated hype be damned.

roundabout said...

Gorgeous. I feel the exact same way about my husband. The turning point in our relationship, when he knew for certain that he wanted to be married to me, was in the midst of a terrible loss in my life (my mother dying very unexpectedly). I was in terrible grief, and he said that going through that with me made him certain that he wanted to go through all of life's tough times together as a team. That's not much of a Hollywood moment either, but that's the kind of partner I wanted. We have so much fun together during the good times, but you have to know you can count on them in bad times too.

Morrigoon said...

I knew my guy was a keeper when I threw up in his bathtub on our first date... and we actually had a second date (threw up then too... turns out I have IBS)

Says something about a guy who'll stick with you even when you aren't a powdered princess!

Kore said...

I don't like The Who, either.

amy said...

I'm so sorry Husband is sick. :( You will definitely be in my thoughts. Please keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

I love the Who.

BOSSY said...

Maybe you are his Dairy Queen. The ice cream is just the middleman.

Dayngr said...

That was awesome and amazing and so real. That is a story for the grandkids for sure.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic story. Thank you so much for all that you give to us, your grateful readers.

I know what you mean about mothers who feel vibes from their babies and use those vibes to decide on an appropriate name. When I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband and I agreed on a certain name. But later, in a quiet moment of "listening" to the child inside of me, I knew that she wanted a different name. So I informed my husband and he was cool with the change.

That is only one of the reasons that I love him. He has been with me through thick and thin, for the past 27 years, and I appreciate him more and more as time goes by.

misha said...

so sweet. my um, ex-hub, proposed the day after my first dog got hit my a car and died. I was in no frame of mind to say no, though i had huge doubts b/c he was a verbal abuser like his dad. For the wedding I wanted to rent out a campground in the keys, but ended up in a nice restaurant in a big white dress and tiara - my mother. But she wasnt there to prevent me from going barefoot down the isle on the beach. great wedding! shitty marriage - bah.

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