I haven't cried in the last 24 hours, I don't think.
And that feels great.
Because there has been a lot of crying around here for the last week.
I feel obligated to open up and share about what's going on with us, because I'm starting to get messages on Facebook from concerned friends.
First, know this: We are fine. We will get through this. Things like this happen. They will happen again, I will cry again, we will get through them again.
Michael has been in bed for three weeks with a pressure sore. If you don't know what that is, just Google it, and I advise you to do so while not clicking on 'images.'
He's had them before, smaller, not as deep, not as angry. And he's laid over on his side for a couple of nights, and they've gone away.
This one was not so easy to deal with.
I blame myself, first because that's what I enjoy doing apparently, and second, because the reason he got this sore is because he lost too much weight and he has no butt to begin with. (I love you, honey.)
I could sit on my big butt in the same position for years, and I would never run out of skin.
We've been eating a Paleo diet and it's been great for me. I've lost almost 40 pounds, and I feel great. But Michael lost weight, too, and clearly not in the right places.
So - yeah.
It's been three weeks. And it looks like it will be another week before this thing is gone.
I did break him out of jail for the couples' retreat, and to celebrate his birthday last weekend.
He has only complained a little about being stuck in bed. He figured out a way to rig up his shower chair cushion under him so that he could sit up and get work done on the computer.
That's my guy.
He just figures a way around a challenge, and works around it.
Then, there's me.
I have to kick and scream and complain and gnash teeth about everything.
I hate this.
This does not come naturally to me.
I like for things to go my way.
I like to be in charge.
I work very hard.
I work very long, odd hours.
During our 'normal' (a.k.a. when Michael is up, and not in bed nursing a pressure sore) we get little time together.
It's usually the last few minutes before we fall asleep in the morning - when I lay my head on his chest and we talk until I fall asleep. And when we eat dinner (or whatever meal you call it at about 11pm when it's your first meal of the day) for about 20 minutes before I go to work.
The pressure sore stole all of that.
So, I was left feeling like I don't belong here.
I was PMSing last week, so I knew some of it was drama. I'm not stupid.
But this past week, I wasn't. Yet, I still cried my eyes out every night on my way to work while our home health aide served him dinner in bed, and I snuck out the door to the garage, with my dinner packed in a plastic container to eat at work.
I ate every meal at work.
Because that's where I felt like I belonged.
That's where I can do a good job, and I fit in, and my efforts seem to make a difference.
At home, I just felt in the way. I was standing in front of the trash can when the aide needed to throw something away. I was standing in front of the drawer where she needed to get the ice cream scooper.
I spent as much time as I could upstairs. But I could still hear them talking and laughing downstairs.
And my heart just hurt. I'm not jealous of her in the sense that I think the two of them have something going on. Not at all. I trust Michael 100%, and she is a doll. But I WAS jealous that she was taking care of him. I wanted to take care of him. But I couldn't, because I have to work every day.
Sleep was non-existent. It's harder to fall asleep knowing he may need to be turned or need something at any moment. It's also harder to fall asleep when I can't lay my head on his chest and have that normal cuddle time I'm used to, because he has to lay on his side.
I felt so lonely.
I knew I wasn't alone.
Thanks to the online community of SCI sisters I have, I didn't feel alone.
But I did feel so lonely.
Things are better now. Michael is healing, and we were able to reconnect as just us - like the married couple that we are, in a way that makes him feel like a husband and not a patient, and me feel like a wife and not a slave. And we moved out of the way and put God back where He belongs - in the middle.
Yesterday, I got Michael up in sweats and we took it easy around the house. And I went and picked up take out from the Cheesecake Factory, thanks to a birthday gift card from my mom, and birthday money from his parents that we used for a tip.
And a light bulb went off.
This made it easier.
This made it feel like we are an us.
Not like I'm a cook and a maid and he is a patient, and we can have a second where we eat together, then it's back into work mode.
So, that's why I made the post on Facebook:
To all of my friends who always ask if there is anything you can do to help, besides prayer and I always say no. I have decided, you can give us restaurant gift cards. Oh, and send wine.
Not because it's the end of the world or because someone is dying or something.
Because people do ask me if there is anything they can do. Honestly. I get asked this a lot. And I always think 'no, there's really not.' And I realized last night, that there is!
And picking up dinner from a restaurant and throwing a bunch of plastic in the trash can feels pretty stinking normal, and that feels pretty stinking good.