Back to Normal

Christine here.  After surgery, there is something about the appearance of one’s husband’s skinny butt showing in the yap of his hospital gown while he walks with an IV pole to the bathroom… that speaks to the indignity and vulnerability of illness. Suddenly, the conversations turn to pain levels and incision sites, and turn away from the usual topics of chores, kids, money, and What I Should Be Cleaning Up Next to make him happy. It was uncomfortable, plunging us into different roles than our standard ones… he into the physically diminished patient, and me into the worried and hovering wife.

But, after two days in the hospital, three more days cautiously hanging out at home, and the amazing recovery that occurs quickly after the new endovascular surgical techniques… he is no longer limited except for some heavy lifting and vigorous exercise restrictions. Other than that, he is back to normal. As evidence, we are back to our usual squabbles.

In his defense, I am perhaps not the easiest person to live with if you have a slight obsessive compulsive disorder (which he does). I tend to unthinkingly leave things in unusual places all over the house. My work-around for this problem has not been to become more organized, which would be impossible; my strategy has been to saturate the house with the common items that I can never locate when I need them. As a result, we probably have 50 combs in the house, about 25 pairs of cheater reading glasses, about 25 pairs of scissors, and an abundance of tapestry needles, hemostats, and sewing needles. And spools of thread. That way, anywhere I look, I am bound to find what I need at that moment.

He, of course, has one personal comb, one pair of eyeglasses, and his tools are neatly filed away. He always returns all tools to their proper locations and knows exactly where they are at all times.

This morning, I went to the kitchen drawer where I throw everything one might ever use in the kitchen, and yet again I couldn’t find the screwdriver. (I use it to tighten the loose handle on my favorite frying pan). It also is convenient for all sorts of other unexpected things one has to tighten on the first floor. I finally realized that this was the 4th set of flat-head and Phillips screwdrivers that I had bought for the kitchen in the last few months. I went to my husband, suspicious.

Me, accusatory tone: “John, where are my kitchen screwdrivers going?”

John, righteous tone: “Screwdrivers belong in the toolbox.”

Me, sounding like a 10 year old: “No they don’t. They belong in my kitchen, where I need them.”

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Braided tote bag with 5-strand in center

John, sounding like an annoying boob: “So go down to the basement and get them. And then put them back in the toolbox.”

The upshot of all of this is that, despite the week starting up with me worried and a mess over his health, we are both now recovered and squabbling again to prove it. He has returned to his normal annoying self, and so have I.

In the meantime, I have been braiding like a fiend because, of course, that’s what I do to calm down. I made a new tote bag with a 5-strand in the center, which turned out pretty well although, as usual, I question my color choices. I was trying to make the 5-strand look sort of like leaves and berries.

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Flower cut with Sissix dies (safety-pinned on, not sewn yet)

I used my Sissix Big Shot machine (purchased several years ago when I had a brief but passionate interest in making penny rugs) to cut out the flower petals.

So, summary of my week: worrying & hanging out at the hospital braiding, worrying & braiding at home, and now ticked off and back to normal (and still braiding).

8 thoughts on “Back to Normal

  1. So happy to hear that things went well with John’s surgery and you are both back to your normal selves. I can definitely relate! See you Saturday.

  2. Sounds like this was an emergency event. Glad for the healthy outcome and give your husband “speedy recovery” wishes. It can be very touch and go and not to be taken lightly. Cute and attractive hand bag! Nice result on your part.

  3. Happy it is over. Surgery is scary and lots of anticipation. Best of health to your husband. Your bag is lovely.

  4. Hi Christine! I understand your frustration!! Being married to the same man, 44 years has left me with many thoughts, mostly ending with –I must have been crazy I was only 18! My husband had a stroke in 2015, he was not always easy to get along with and now is worse! He is a P.A., though his short term memory is gone his long term memory is usually intact , so he can answer medical questions but had to retire. I totally understand why there are support groups! I do love him but don’t always like him. So what do we do? Take care of ourselves and never feel guilty!! It is part of survival so we can do what we need to do, and just for fun? Braid like there’s no tomorrow and do something ornery once in awhile!! Then act totally innocent when they want to know wHat the heck is going on!!
    Your bag is very pretty, id love to buy pieces of the greens you used! I’m working on a rug for my sister and need greens.
    In the Bible, Paul was given a “thorn in his side”!to keep him from being prideful and to help him stay close to God. I think I know what my thorn is most days!! Ha!! Sorry, I just had to add that!!
    Take care
    Jackie

  5. So glad to hear that things are returning to normal and you can put away the anxiety. I do like the colors in your bag. Putting the multi strand in the middle was inspired. I love it.

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