broadsideblog

A new definition of love

In aging, behavior, domestic life, family, Health, men, women on February 17, 2012 at 1:08 am
Love heart uidaodjsdsew

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What’s romantic?

What’s loving?

What makes you feel cherished?

The past two weeks have revealed new sides of my husband, even after 12 years together. I knew he was fun, funny, kind, affectionate.

But since coming home from major surgery, the replacement of my left hip, I’ve seen, (as has he), wholly new sides to his character.

Our days right now are so overwhelmingly focused on my health and healing, (including avoiding infection and complication), that I’ve gotten the whole bed to myself while he sleeps on the (too soft) sofa. I bought a bottle of chlorhexidine, (what surgeons use to scrub their hands with), and latex gloves and, once a day, he uses both to clean and dress my incision.

He’s been making meals, buying groceries, doing laundry, (which he normally does), helping me in and out of bed, putting on my shoes, socks and sweatpants. Helping with sponge baths, since no showers are allowed for two weeks.

The hardest part? Wrestling me in and out of my (so sexy!) surgical stockings, thick, tight white hose that go up to my thigh and which I wear 23 hours a day to help prevent clots.

He hands me the 10 pills I need every day, at the time I need them, after drawing up and taping to the wall our daily schedule that starts at 7:30 a.m. and stops at 6:00 p.m. He cranks up raucous rock and roll to boost my energy for physical therapy which I have to do two to three times a day. He brings me me a well-hammered ice pack (four times a day.)

He walks slowly and patiently with me as I do my crutch-aided circuit a few times around the garage.

As someone who prides herself on being feisty, strong, quick-moving, independent and modest, you can imagine how this has felt for me. Weird!

It’s one thing to be seen naked when you feel sexy, quite another when you’re bruised, sore, covered with surgical magic marker notations.

Instructive, to say the least.

He apologized this week for not getting me a Valentine’s Day present; I brought him shoes, socks and a sweater from one of his favorite shops, Rubenstein’s in New Orleans.

I can’t imagine a greater gift than a man willing to give up three weeks’ vacation to nurse me back to strength.

  1. A wonderful husband. Tender writing. Worth a billion roses.

  2. Oh, such memories… I am terribly claustrophobic and those surgical stockings put me over the edge. My sister came from Louisville to be my nurse and saw a side of me that was totally irrational when it came to those horrible stockings and a rogue mosquito that managed to bite the ankle of my gimpy leg. How she stood me I will never know but will be forever grateful for all her loving care.

    • Oh, poor you! They don’t bother me a bit…just look funny.

      It’s so true that anyone who has nursed you has really seen you at your worst (and maybe best in some ways, too.) I feel very fortunate to have Jose to help…I met him barely three months after my first knee surgery (minor) and was even then walking funny as I recovered. I have often felt sorry he met me with so many visits to the hospital in our shared life! Generally, I am healthy as a horse, though.

  3. When they see you on such occasions and are still loving, attentive and supportive, you know you have a good one. I am lucky that way too, and very thankful.

  4. True love indeed. Sending healing thoughts.

  5. In sickness and in health, he is a husband true to his word. That kind of deep love truly is the best Valentine’s Day gift. Continued good wishes for a healthy recovery.

  6. There are few times that I remember feeling more intensely in love with my hubby than the incredibly difficult and vulnerable days that followed my first C-Section. It was the unbelievable level of gentleness and care and even admiration that accompanied his every move. I will always cherish those memories despite the difficulty that surrounded them.

    • Exactly! For every man who is too squeamish to handle this stuff, or outsources it to other people, it is those who stand literally beside us who mean the most.

      In my case, Jose being a photographer, I also now have a visual record of it all..today he showed me a photo that I will also cherish…me, in the hospital bed, with the NYT spread across my lap….on a cellphone. Busted!!!

  7. Love is a can of WD40. Love is putting air in my tires, ordering new castors and walking beside me on the stairs when the lift breaks down. He’s never bought me flowers, because he ‘doesn’t understand’ them. But I don’t need them.

    He also knows which books and cider to surprise me with!

    I hope you continue to recover, and that you and Jose enjoy this time together.

  8. What a great phrase! I think there might be a T-shirt in that one…:-)

    Love is a verb, in the active tense. As a writer, words impress me little, while actions impress me a lot.

    Thanks for the good wishes….we have one more week at home together before he returns to work.

  9. Just catching up on all of your posts this month, thrilled to hear that you’ve got new hips (in a manner of speaking), and cheering you on all the way from over here as you recover.

    I read this and thought: Respect! (a la Ali G)

    Jose is a gift. And so are you :)

    Speedy recovery!

  10. That is love. How beautiful, thank you for sharing about your experience.

  11. What a keeper! This is such a great story that gave me a big smile and moist eyes. Thanks!

  12. Golly, that’s lovely and I hope you recover at top speed.

    I’m writing to thank you so much for telling me about the film The Last Station. I’ve just watched it and my goodness that’s a story about long lasting love. Really beautifully filmed in stunning countryside (idyllic silver birch forests) and wonderful interior shots – the deep inky blue walls in the dining room are superb. Thank you again for telling me about it.

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