While we’re on the topic of ailing hubbies, I’ve got one last tale for you. Nico was a little over two years old at the time of this story, and I was seven months pregnant with Gabriel and on bed rest. Meaning Ken was understandably stressed, since he was responsible for all the cooking, cleaning and daycare drops in addition to his heavy work load. (Hmm, like most mothers.) Meanwhile, I was holed up in our bedroom watching TV all day, trying not to think about anything while I tried to keep from going into early labor.
So of course Ken used my bed rest to persuade me to finally give in and put a ginormous TV in our bedroom. I’d been battling this one for years, mainly because we already have a gigantic TV in our basement and Jesus, how many TVs do we really need? But I needed a TV if I was going to weather 24/7 bed-arrest, so give in I quickly did.
The next thing I knew, Ken had hauled home a 32-inch flat screen TV he promptly proceeded to park in our bedroom. And yes, I admit it–that TV definitely did brighten my day. Now I could waste endless hours watching HGTV and The Colbert Report instead of reading awful books about how awful it was to be stuck on bed rest.
And then Ken brought in Shane. Shane was the super-nice, low-key handyman we hired every so often to help us fix the endless house to-dos that we never quite got around to. (Back when we thought we were beyond busy because we had one kid. Yeah, right.)
The problem with Shane was that he was always telling us way too many personal details (just like I’m doing with this blog!). Like the time I’d just gotten back from a scary overnight hospital stay and Shane said, “Yeah, I totally understand how you feel. I’m not feeling that great right now, either. In fact, I’ve got some pretty nasty hemorrhoids….”
Right around this time, Ken’s back started going out. My mother, who usually helps out in emergencies, was visiting family in Serbia, so we started relying on my brother Dean when we needed help.
Which meant that we were suddenly calling him every other day. On the night in question, I was lying up in bed (as I did every hour of every day), when Ken walked by and boom, down he went. At the time, I just happened to be having one of those complications that kept landing me in the hospital, and lucky me, my hubby’s back had just gone out. Enter Call #64 to Uncle Dean.
My trusty brother arrived, car keys in hand, took one look at us, and started laughing. He laughed all the way to the hospital, over each and every bump that jarred Ken’s back and sent him into spasms of pain. I sat next to him, shaking my head in disbelief. Seriously? I kept asking myself. Is this seriously happening?
The boys dropped me off at labor and delivery, where my doc was waiting for me, before Dean shuttled Ken off to urgent care so he could get some painkillers for his back. (See a theme here?) By the time they’d returned that evening with Nico, Ken was as mellow as could be (and completely hopped up on Vicodin). I, meanwhile, was strapped to a monitor and chugging anti-contraction medicine, wondering if I’d somehow found myself in the middle of one of those really bad reality shows.
And then Ken really outdid himself. I’d asked Dean to bring my laptop and some books so that I’d have something to keep me company overnight. So while Dean chased Nico up and down the hallway, my doped-up hubby surfed the web, pricing sheds.
“Let’s stop at Home Depot on the way home,” he said when Dean finally returned. “I want to pick up a shed.”
I would’ve hurled a book at him if I could. “I’m in the hospital hooked to monitor and you want to go buy a shed?”
Our eyes met across the computer screen, mine pissed-off and piercing, Ken’s glassy and unfocused. “Yeah!”