Early on in our dating career, Becky and I lost all pretense of privacy. It was about 11 months in when she got super sick, like erupting out both ends simultaneously sick. She was vulnerable, exhausted, unable to care for herself. Even driving the mile to the hospital was a test of her ability to not explode for 10 minutes.
I bounded in. Cleaned up. Did my best to make her not feel embarrassed at her body’s traitorous turn.
Other than that, we still are highly respectful of bathroom privacy. Even 6 years in, there’s no sharing the bathroom when one person is attending to nature.
I showed tenderness, but one thing with me and Becky is if I show any vulnerability, she’s on it! If I get sick, she yells at me to get better. As the unemployment strips her of her immune system and we get more frequently sick Becky, I still take care of her and say nothing.
Last week, Becky got the best gift ever.
We’ve often joked about how our roles are pretty reversed from the traditional husband and wife team. She’s way more assertive than I am. I do the lion’s share of laundry, dishes and cooking.
I also taught her a lot about sarcasm and witty barbs. For some reason, I’ve got a knack for teasing just up to the line without going over. She’s gotten better at it. Then last week, I gave her a massive tomb of a gift. Like some mad scientist, I’m now screaming “what have I created?!” to the skies.
You see, in August, our mattress suddenly decided after 7 years that it hated me. Like, to the point it tried to kill me through lower back pain. I woke up one morning from it. I figured it was just sleeping wrong. But after a week, it hadn’t gone away. Becky and I tried switching sides, and she agreed, my side of the bed wanted to kill people. It had become a murder bed.
So we got a new mattress. It helped a bit, but the pain kept going in and out for a month. Then it stayed for two months straight. I hadn’t had any major life changes – I was still the same weight, still dealing with stuff we’ve dealt with for years. We tried a lot of stuff – new pillows, new shoes, sleeping differently, massage, icy hot, advil, yoga stretches. Nothing was helping more than temporary relief or distraction.
Fed up, I broke down and went to the doctor. She had me run through some tests and suggested I had sciatica.
Whenever I hear that word, I think of old people saying it, much like George Castanza’s mother, or the great grandfather from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Old, growly, whiny, “my sciiiiiiiiaaaaaticaaaa.”
We had fun with that. I got prescription Aleve and a visit with physical therapy. The physical therapist ran me through some tests and came down to a weak SI joint. It’s a little known part of the pelvis that doesn’t really move much to begin with, but can get weak and start to cause pain. It doesn’t seem to have any one cause other than just having that part of the body tucker out.
Here’s a good video that hits a lot of the points my therapist covered. Though it does seem to have some psychedelic camera work.
Muscles take time to build back up, and while I have some exercises to do now every day to help gain that strength, I also had to get a special belt to help hold in my hips in the meantime. The physical therapist figured it would take a month to get the strength up there.
She brought in a demo belt. And here’s where things take a turn.
“It says pregnancy belt, but honestly I prescribe this to men more often,” she said.
So when I went home to tell Becky about how it went, she was over the moon – and only partly because my pain had gone down. She’s been delightfully merciless about it. I present here for my posterior’s posterity, her best insults.
“So when are you due again?”
“Should we get a pregnancy test?”
“Oh, are you having contractions?”
“I thought we were so careful. How could you get pregnant?”
“It’s not mine.”
“What will we name the little peanut?”
“Calling it a weightlifting belt does not disguise its real name.”
“Now you can still wear the high heels you love.”
“Should you be carrying that much?”
“If your area is as delicate as your ankles, I do have some powder.”
She’s sick and she still pulls out a, “Does it unhook like a bra?” and “When do you start lactating?”
I give her love, support, privacy and allow her to be vulnerable, and get “when will your boobs get bigger” in return.
Oh, and the time when I carried her purse in while she carried grocery bags and she said “what’s wrong?” I said, “I’m just looking for my lost masculinity.”
I wouldn’t put it past her to get me a bun in the oven shirt soon.
But you just wait until the day she’s erupting out both ends again. Revenge will be mine!
Though probably not because I love her. God help me. It’s my fault. I created this. But I’m glad it helps make the unemployment a bit easier to bear. Hell, I’ve got a pregnancy belt now to help hold the world up.
Note: Becky was worried she looked bad in this. I assure you that any negativity is for effect, and a bit to get back at her for the ribbing. I may do the dishes, but she handles all the boring coupons and scheduling and pretty much makes sure we get where we need to be every day. I’d be useless without her.