I had successfully created man heaven. Extra cushions and blankets were strategically placed on the couch. Pre-made snacks and beverages were arranged on the coffee table within reach. Films with gratuitous violence and chaotic action sequences were rented. A child containment action plan was put in place. The universal remote was in position. All that was left was the man with the repaired meniscus
He arrived home decorated with an impressive knee brace and oddly shaped crutches better suited for a polio patient. He looked just pitiful enough to lavish sympathy upon with sincerity. He felt loved, at peace, grateful for modern medicine and a loving bride. He was enjoying himself. And who wouldn’t? Everyone likes a little non-life threatening illness or injury now and again, particularly when one is provided with around-the-clock-in-home-care and heaps of codeine.
The next morning Mike was served a two egg omelet breakfast with toast and tea as he lounged on the couch. Other than performing intermittent leg exercises, he was required to do nothing but heal. He was living the dream. Now all I had to do was get the kids out of the house and I would be inducted into the Spousal Hall of Fame.
But the dream would soon be compromised and my induction ceremony cancelled.
“MIKE! MIKE! MIKE! MIKE! I NEED YOU! (Expletive)…MIKE!”
He hobbled to the front door to see what had gone wrong only to find our toddler, Chaylee in hysterics and me crumpled on the rain soaked ground holding my right foot with tears in my eyes. My notoriously sturdy ankle had failed me…had failed him.
“Are you okay?” He said, clearly hoping that my hollering was a gross overreaction to a minor incident.
“No.” I replied trembling, still clutching my throbbing limb.
“But there can be only one…” He said, as the magnitude of the situation begin to hit.
“There can be only one!”
It was pitiful. I could not rise unaided and he could not bend. He staggered over to his crutches and handed them to me. I began to cry, which sent the already fragile Chaylee into a tearful frenzy.
“It always has to be about you, doesn’t it.” He jested, but I was in no mood for dark humor.
It was becoming clear that the ER was in my future. Fortunately, Patrick the Irishman and Isabella, would be by later in the afternoon to pick up the kids for a play date at Wizzy World, but in the meantime, I needed a ride. I needed a friend, but no one was home. In Roseville, when school holidays commence, the entire neighborhood evacuates, except for a few despondent cab drivers. One of them would have to do.
Mike escorted me through the rain to the cab and handed me his crutches. My heart sunk into my belly as I watched him lug his impaired appendage back into the house unaided, where he would be faced with two confused and hungry children. In a matter of moments, man heaven had become man hell.
My visit to Northshore Hospital was uneventful. I was x-rayed and diagnosed with a “bad sprain” The 12 year old doctor provided me with a brace, some panadein forte, and more suitable crutches. I was relieved but still in pain.
My homebound cabbie was even less sympathetic than the gentleman who picked me up. He sat comfortably perched in his warm vehicle while I waddled unsteadily toward him on crutches, negotiating my purse, a bulky sweater, a shoe, paperwork, and of course, Mike’s loaner crutches. The indifferent chauffeur did not even pretend that he wanted to assist me. Instead, he sat muttering to himself about the “idiot” in front of us who was blocking the roundabout. “Yeah,” I agreed sardonically. “What a jerk…”.
The fun-loving chauffeur spent the rest of the ride home explaining why he hated Australia and was desperate to get back home to his home country. I thanked him warmly for the ride and encouraged him to go ahead and make that dream come true.
The days that followed were not easy but there were some flowers that emerged among the thistles.
For example: my left ankle happens to look incredibly dainty next to my grotesquely swollen right one. This has always been a dream of mine.
Communal ice packs and his and her crutches can really bring a couple together…(or tear them apart…we experienced a little bit of both).
Times such as these make you appreciate your friends, family and all the comforts of home.
Codeine is awesome.
Have you and your spouse ever been ill or injured at the same time? Did you continue to like one another?
Words of the Day
- Cook: Ones Wife
- Built Like a Brick Sh#@ House: Big strong bloke.
- Dag: Nerd or goof
- A over T: to fall over, from “arse over t*#s”.
This cook felt like a dag when I fell A over T. Good thing my man is built like a brick sh#@ house.
Random Aussie Trivia
Australians make up nicknames for everyone. Even the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, is known as Ruddy. His Treasurer Wayne Swan is referred to as Swanny. So to pay homage to my countrymen here in Australia I will now affectionately refer to the President and Vice President of the United States as Bamo and Biddie!