Yesterday a friend told me my life reads like a Steve Martin film. And while there’s no Father of the Bride wedding or Dozen children swinging from chandeliers… some days we come close.
Picture it Sisley 1928… no seriously just plain old 2021 with masks and social distancing and rising tension in the most innocuous places. My husband, having injured his knee after three too many men’s soccer games has finally agreed to have his pain repaired. We had fantastic intentions which all went array when I realized I needed gas.
Just a mere stop for $10 worth of petrol set a day in motion that had me pining for my pillow… or better yet the quiet sandy beaches of some warm tropical island. We were to arrive at 645, no surprise when his phone rang at 655 as this enormous truck carrying a bed of house framing had brought our cruise control to a fleeting speed of 7mph. “We’re almost there” I hear him apologize while I fight my primal instinct to lay on the horn and scream out the window. But it’s early, and dark, and I kinda need to go potty so who knows what might happen. But, I digress. We finally make it to the dimly lit surgical center well labeled by absolutely nothing as he scrambled to confirm we are in the right spot. I do a rolling stop as he jumps from the car… the best a man of 47 with a bum knee can, and hobbles off.
Finally settled with our masks and social distancing he is soon swept away leaving me to make eye smiles at the man sitting across from me. It’s too early for any other niceties. Watching the influx of surgery bound people is quite fascinating. From the older couple cuddled like teenagers to the man who lost his wife. Literally lost her. Turns out the poor guy was on the wrong floor but took 5 staff to figure it out. The kicker was the teenage/young woman and her two parental units who soon turned check in into a battle over who pays the copay according to the court papers. It took all I had to not insert myself into their stress inducing battle. Especially after the young woman says “I’ve got it” and opens her crossbody and starts counting out crumpled dollar bills. My eye smile buddy and I make eye contact. He’s on the edge of his chair appearing on the ready to pull these bickering people apart. Thankfully the receptionist settles the “don’t make me use my dog money… the judge said you pay “ argument by advising they will just bill. I watch the shaken young woman take her seat and suppress my mama bear instinct to tell a bad joke to help her avoid the thoughts of her surgery and likely the recent kerfuffle caused by the adults. She is soon taken back and I can’t help but celebrated for her as she is soon guaranteed some individual attention and rest.
Meeting with my husbands surgeon he asks if he has been “grumpy lately”. How does one answer that without looking moronic or disrespectful or something? I felt like it was a trick question. His reason for asking? One of the worse tears he has seen recently and tons of smooshy stuff that had settled below his kneecap. Ewe. But hurrah he’s fixed. I spot his muscular leg (and boxers) as I enter recovery. It’s also hard to miss as he’s the only one with his leg in the air actively bending and extending it. “Quite the overachiever “ the nurse says to me.
We stop for breakfast of tea, coffee and a snack. Only to be confident nothing in our order will be correct given the high level of confusion my with almond milk caused the barista. Of course ended with chia on my car and a sour coffee… she must have been having a rough day. It’s 10am.
The drug store proves yet another test in patience. The meds not ready upon our arrival despite being send in prior to surgery and I remind myself as I always do that we should switch to the other chain down the road who is never busy. “10 calls for pharmacy “ continues over the loudspeaker as the three staff scramble to do their jobs. 30 minutes later we are finally headed home. My husband jaunts out of the car, forgoes the supplied crutches and enters the home like someone who’s just returned from Blaise rather than outpatient-surgery. Pays no never mind to my reminders to take it easy, avoid the stairs …
And then a dog blows chunks. Another tries to eat it as the women in the house try to suppress their gag reflex. No 17 year old son or 22 year old boyfriend around to save us from our demise that we have to clean this up. My 12 year old gets the nervous giggles as she reheats her food and puts her Big Comfy hood up so she looks like a Jedi trying to avoid eye contact. Mass confusion ensues as another dog tries to eat the recently regurgitated breakfast, we try to corral three dogs outside, and my husband shouts commands from the couch for clean up. Two bags, three boxes and a steam cleaned rug later quiet finally settles.
It’s noon. Time to return to my computer to continue my day of working until 9pm. Is it stressful? Yes. Is it insane? Probably. Is it our life? Yepper. This day was definitely a test of my sanity. But knowing that we made it through helps us celebrate our ability to keep our sanity.
Plus I later encapsulate myself in a cabin blanket to help me soothe my nerves as I push through the work day. Self care at it’s finest point.