Saturday was a very busy day, starting with a shopping trip to a plumbling contractor’s supply store, where I wore my Chippewa logger boots (’cause it’s damn cold and icy!)
When I arrived home, I had messages from some of my senior pals who asked if I knew anyone who could shovel their sidewalks. Frustrated and angry that teenage neighbors refused to help, even for pay, my boots took me to four of their homes and I shoveled… broke up the ice… and shoveled.
Man, when I returned home, I was beat. But the day’s trials of my soul weren’t over…
That afternoon, my spouse was stable, so my brother and his wife took my truck and went to visit some of our family.
I had left my logger boots in the garage because their treads were clogged with sand and mud. I peeled off my dirty clothes and jumped into sweats, padding around the house in socks (I usually don’t wear boots in the house).
My spouse and I were enjoying a quiet afternoon, relaxing — and I was recovering from the soreness of shoveling snow (it really was not that much, but nonetheless, it was several hours of hard work when you consider the ice-breaking involved.) I prepared an early dinner of soup and sandwiches, then we settled down to watch a movie together.
Then my spouse got ill and began to have symptoms that mimic classic food poisoning. I will not describe those symptoms, but if you have ever had it, you know what I am talking about.
The thing is, I ate the same foods that my spouse did, and I was fine. I called my brother and he told me that he and his wife were fine, too.
My spouse’s condition continued to deteriorate. It was awful. About two hours of that, I decided that he had to go to the hospital, as his condition was getting worse and worse and there was nothing I could do to remedy it.
I quickly got dressed again, and the first pair of boots that I saw were my Chippewa Pitstop work boots, so I pulled them on with a clean pair of jeans and flannel shirt.
By then, my brother returned home. We carefully lifted my spouse into the back of my truck and drove to the hospital, which fortunately is only 20 minutes away.
He was admitted into the emergency room quickly, while my brother and I waited… and waited… and waited.
Eventually, someone came to get me and I rushed back to my spouse’s bedside. By then, he was sound asleep. They had given him something to calm his symptoms and rehydrate him. I just sat by his bedside, holding his hand. I then had presence of mind to ask someone to go get my brother, who came back to the room where I explained what was going on.
The ER staff were very busy with other patients and no one could tell us what was wrong or when/if my spouse may be released. We just sat there… me, holding my spouse’s hand and my brother, holding mine. Eventually, both my brother and I nodded off, and were told later by a nurse how “cute” we were with our heads and bodies propping each other up.
Long story short, by 4am on Sunday, a doctor came in, examined my spouse, and said, “whatever it was is over. You can go home now.” — no more details, no explanation, and no treatment. My spouse was awake and anxious to go home.
My brother went out to fetch my truck while I helped my spouse get dressed and then I wheeled him out to the truck. When we got home on Sunday morning, my spouse went back to bed and fell back asleep again, as did the rest of us.
Sunday (yesterday) was quiet. No more incidents. My spouse’s primary physician called to say that the blood and stool tests taken at the hospital came back clean — no indication of food poisoning. Whatever this was must have been related to his ongoing illness. Symptoms like this for his disease have not been seen before and are not in the literature. Leave it to spouse to have that happen!
Life is short: show those you care about how you care.