Friday, December 14, 2012


It feels so strange to go from living with a man who is IN CHARGE in a big way to one who suddenly becomes "helpless."

Case in point:

Last night Hubby came down with the 24 or 48 hour bug that has been going round and round and round again.  Nearly everyone has gotten it -- I had it right after Thanksgiving (or maybe it was at the start of November; time telescopes on me lately). 

Anyway, last night Hubby got all cold and had an "icky" feeling so he asked for a cup of hot tea, which I delivered.  Hubby no longer enters the kitchen unless I make a special request of him.  He did make a pot of spaghetti sauce this week after I'd sauteed the beef and onions and boiled the pasta.  He also helped me cut up some beef to freeze so we could take steaks to Wendy in Houston when we go later this month.  But that's the extent of his kitchen activities in December. 

A friend called, talked with Hubby for a bit and then was commiserating with me about the tub mishap when Hubby suddenly demanded, "Have you run me a hot bath?" 

What the heck?  The bathroom is less than 10 steps from the bedroom.  You can't run your own bath?  And it's so important to have one that I have to interrupt my one phone call this month directed especially to me to ask if I've run you a bath?  Of course, my friend quickly hung up the phone -- she never was a person to delay a needed warm bath -- and I dutifully ran a tub full of plenty of suds and even a good splash of Epsom Salts, for aches and pains. 

Out of his bath, back sitting on the bed, suddenly Hubby moans, "Pot." 

"What?  You want a pot?  In the bedroom?" 

More moaning.  "Pot!  Pot!  Pot!"

He's going to vomit --and he's not willing to walk the 10 steps to the bathroom to upchuck in the proper facility.  Now I kind of understand.  Vomiting can be a fairly strenuous activity and any activity sends his poor heart into a race that makes him feel scared and vulnerable.  Again, dutifully, I fetch the pot.

The normal 24 hour activity ensues in the pot -- but here's the killer for me.  Hubby puts the pot on the floor, crawls into bed, and ignores the mess he has made.

Now.  In the 40 years we have been together (come 2013) I HAVE NEVER ONCE ASKED HUBBY TO EMPTY OUT MY VOMIT.  NEVER!  There are just some things one has to do for oneself. 

In point of fact, if I get sick Hubby ignores it and me.  I can lay dying on the bed, rolling in agony, and Hubby will calmly go about his business as if I were not at death's door.  He doesn't offer soothing drinks or dry toast.  And he never cleans up a mess. 

And this is the man that expects me to empty that nasty pot he just threw up in? 

Here's where it gets really upsetting -- the pot wasn't going to empty itself and it did not smell pretty.  So I carried it -- as far away from my body as possible into the bathroom and emptied it; then into the kitchen and washed it out; and finally back into the bedroom to Hubby.  All the while I was fuming and my fury continued to grow. 

Lying pathetically in the bed, wrapped up and shivering in the quilt, his apparent illness suddenly had no affect on me. 

"You will never expect me to empty your vomit again.  You have NEVER done it for me -- and I'm never doing it for you again.  You throw up -- you clean it up just like you expect me to clean up my messes.  Got it?  GOT IT?"

Even the dogs quaked in the bed.  "Okay," he murmured quietly as I stormed off. 

This morning Hubby is still doing poorly.  I walked the dogs at 7 a.m. Then the hot tea and buttered toast were delivered. At the moment, he's in the bedroom moaning softy.  This helplessness has turned my strong, macho man into a poor baby.  If he throws up breakfast, he's cleaning up his own mess, helpless or not.  


Donna said...

That's just how men are. I mean, when they are sick we have to wait on them, but do they wait on us when we are sick? Nope. I do think he will feel like a new man after he gets his pacemaker.

Margaret said...

Ah, men. I agree with Donna. Actually my husband got better as he got sicker because he didn't want to feel helpless. He was a big baby when he had a cold, but stoic when he was dying of cancer. Figure that one out.