There are those special moments in every relationship — the first glance, the first shared laugh, the first kiss.
The sweetie, who is normally very healthy, has been passing the broken-up bits of a kidney stone, which, sadly, involved a day and night of intense and frequent vomiting. (He’s back to work today, finally, and seems fine.)
In all our years together, I’d never seen him clutching the toilet bowl and weeping in pain and exhaustion, and it was a hell of a shock. (He saw me on my knees, in of all places, a small hotel room in Bayeux, the victim of food poisoning from a chicken lunch.)
There I was, standing in the hallway with the doctor on the phone, waiting for him to stop vomiting long enough to come and describe his symptoms.
It’s awful when your sweetie is sick and you can’t do much of anything to help them beyond running to the pharmacy, driving them to and from doctors’ appointments and, worst case, the hospital. (I know we are very lucky this is nothing more serious.)
And when someone I love is ill or in pain, confused or worried, I’m a total mama grizzly, snarling at everyone (so attractive) in my worry and concern. I want action, stat! The pharmacist took too long to reach the doctor and Jose was home writing in pain. Not an option! (I later apologized and she was understanding.)
I’ve had too many years, starting when I was 12, worrying about someone ill who relied on me to advocate for them; my mother has been in and out of hospitals for decades for a variety of issues. I’m her only child and she’s never taken great care of herself, nor has she ever fought for the best care possible. And, sometimes, you do have to fight!
A former medical reporter with an MD ex-husband, I never mistake doctors for Gods. I know they can be brusque, rude and condescending — and warm, wise and compassionate.
God help anyone near me who is the former, and I’ve seen plenty of it. It hasn’t left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling for anyone in a white coat with a clipboard.
How do you handle yourself, or medical staff, when your loved ones are ill?