I haven’t been around much for various reasons. One, I was horribly ill for six weeks and it has taken a good month for me to get to the point where I had enough strength to do simple things like stand at the sink and wash dishes or open a TV dinner and throw it in the microwave. I have never, ever been that sick in my entire life, period.
However, there’s more to this story. The last seven months have been hell. I’ve been dealing with changes in my husband that both frightened and baffled me. He swore it was just him being tired and needing a vacation and that he just couldn’t seem to get enough rest. I won’t get into the details, but things ranged from him being unusually argumentative and beyond grouchy to problems such as falling off the kitchen chair or not remembering important discussions. By January, he became ill around the same time I did.
He swore he had the flu or some sort of virus, but he kept working. Then Wee Man came down with Type A flu and gave it to me. I crashed like a ton of bricks and suffered through ten days of the stuff. Once I started recovering, I had about six days of feeling better, went out with my oldest dau one afternoon to have my hair cut, and the next day was struck down by a 104 temperature and the glands in my head and neck swelling up so badly I couldn’t function.
The hubby hovered over me while I had the flu. Again, he took care of me during the second round of sickness. He worried and fretted. He’d place cold cloths on my head as I burned with fever. I teased him he was going to wear a groove in the floor from his favorite kitchen chair to our bed.
Finally, after a week of major antibiotics (2,000 mil of Amoxicillin a day!), I started recovering, but after four days of meds, I woke up with an ear ache and a fever again and went back to the doctor. This time he gave me super antibiotics, and now I’m getting back to normal (whatever that is, lol).
While I was ill, the house turned into a demilitarized zone. It irked me that no one would do laundry, run the vacuum, or clean up the kitchen. Why couldn’t someone step up? Why did I have to look at that mess and be the one who inevitably cleaned it up once I got back on my feet?
Whenever I managed to get up and go get something to drink, I would stare at the kitchen counter covered in food and grease splatters, empty food boxes no one would throw away, empty bags, containers, cans, and dirty forks, spoons, knives, and other utensils…
The hubby had done the dishes while I was so sick, which is shocking because he hates dishes and will do them only when it’s a dire necessity.
“Babe, why is it you can wash the dishes but won’t clean up the counter and stove top?”
“Hey, I managed to wash the dishes. I’ll get to the other stuff eventually.”
He never did. One entire morning I wiped, scrubbed, chiseled, and cleaned the counters and stove.
But as I started feeling better, I noticed he was feeling—and looking—worse. His slurred speech late in the day grew worse, an eyelid drooped, and I noticed him stumbling around and dropping things. Worried silly, I finally convinced him to go to the doctor.
The next day he called me from the doctor’s office and said he was on his way to the hospital. I got to the ER to find out he’d had a minor stroke about six months ago and that it was so deep in the core of his brain it had taken that long for the effects of the stroke to surface i.e. the exhaustion, flu-like symptoms, stumbling, slurred speech, loss of dexterity in one hand, etc.
But my husband is a stubborn cuss, and I call him that on a regular basis. As a result of his pigheadedness, we argue a lot, but I’m stubborn too and will stand toe-to-toe with him when we do argue. In turn, he calls me Iron Ass because I won’t back down and make him walk the straight and narrow, LOL.
But a thought occurred to me…he was suffering through the effects of a stroke and took care of me. Me! How many men would do that? How many men, so sick they could barely stand let alone keep working every day, would tend to their spouse like that?
Now that’s love! That’s the type of man I want in the romance novels we write and read! He’s not a big, muscled Viking. He’s not the rich prince who falls for the peasant woman or the sheikh who rides across the dunes to sweep the maiden up onto his horse.
No, my husband is my hero. My soul mate. My friend. My companion. And he’s my entire world. I thank God for him every day, sometimes several times a day.
Then I felt bad for grouching at him about the counters and stove top, the house and its mess. He was lucky just to do what he was able, and I had snarled about the housework. I told him how I felt, and he just smiled and said, “You would’ve done the same for me, honey. We love each other.”
|Hubby, Matthew, with our daughter Ivory.|
But now as I write this, I’m happy to report that he went to his first physical therapy session yesterday and after evaluating him, he was told to go home and not come back. The Stubborn Cuss (☺) has been so determined not to let what he was suffering get the best of him that he’s recovered the effects quicker than the therapy personnel had ever seen. By the end of this summer, if not sooner (said his therapist, laughing once she found out what I call my husband) he should be totally recovered and his brain will have re-routed various functions so he will be completely normal again.
It was a wake-up call for my husband. It was also a blessing in disguise because it has given him a new perspective on life and family.
As for blessings, I am very blessed to have this man in my life as my mate. Love you, baby…always.