On Fridays this month, I’ll be telling the story of Husband-Mans journey through illness this year. This post is about when we first found out that Husband-Man was sick.
At first, we just thought it was post-graduation exhaustion. I had just finished a part time MBA while working full time, and Husband-Man had just finished two bachelor’s degrees and a minor. We traveled a lot while preparing for finals to see family during Thanksgiving. Family had just come in for graduation and Christmas, and we had spent days at my parent’s house.
So when Husband-Man said that he didn’t feel good when we were supposed to go to our friends’ for New Years Eve, we didn’t think much of it. We were sure that he was just getting some winter-ick and settled in for the night. He fell asleep at 10:00 PM and I stayed up watching chick flicks. It felt pretty normal.
But his midsection kept hurting. He went to a retreat with camp friends, and his midsection was sore. His stomach hurt. He felt a little bit slow, but we didn’t think it was a big deal. He was just tired from too much school and not enough rest.
He still wasn’t feeling good. We were starting to get worried, but Husband-Man hates going to the doctor. He kept putting it off and putting it off.
And then, one morning, something else happened. His urine was the wrong color. (Don’t get offended. Everybody pees.) It turned the color of orange Mountain Dew. And we both got scared.
So, he went to the doctor. She ran test after test, and discovered that his liver was inflamed. Really, really inflamed. Almost to the point where he would need to be put in the hospital. His levels were so high that she called him every day to check and see how he was doing. She sent him for tests every other day to make sure that his liver inflammation was still within “acceptable” limits. (“Acceptable limits”= not quite to the point where he has to be put in the hospital.) She consulted with specialists at university hospitals and called us with updates. She researched and ran more tests. The tests continued, and eventually, he got referred to a specialist.
And the whole time, Husband-Man was getting worse. We didn’t know if what he had could be spread, so we stopped visiting friends. He didn’t hold new babies, just in case. He got off the couch less and less. He watched a lot of Star Trek. He played a lot of games on the Wii. He didn’t want to eat anything. His skin turned yellow. And one snowy day when I made snow cream, I noticed that his eyes were yellow.
He didn’t want to tell people that he was sick because we didn’t know what was wrong. Our families knew that he was sick, and my coworkers knew because I would burst into tears when on the phone with him after he got more news from a doctor and because I took so much time off work to take him to the doctor.
I was terrified. I would cry at night, worried sick.
And so the waiting began. “Life” kept going. I still had to work. People got married, had parties, and went on with their lives. I was consumed with the fact that my husband was very ill, but that we couldn’t do anything about it. There was nothing that we could do but wait.
Have you noticed that when you’re in a crisis, it seems like life should stop? When has your life seemed to stop while the “rest of the world” keeps going?