Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Role Reversal

It's no secret that for over two years my husband took care of me - from making sure I was eating and taking my meds, to taking me to all my doctor appointments, he did it all. And while I've thanked him for all of that, and everything else he did (taking care of the children, the house, the cars, my family, his family, the dog, the cat, the bills, the laundry, the groceries, etc) I discovered that there was one area I didn't understand, didn't empathize with, when it came to the 'taking care' of things.

Being with me at the doctor appointments.

Let me explain.

He took care of the kids, laundry and major cleaning while I was in the middle of major depression. Now that I'm healthy, I can look back at that time and say, with empathy and understanding, "Wow. Thank you. I get what you did, I understand." To be honest, you don't have to have gone through a depression or illness to understand this. You know that what he did was amazing.

I go to my therapy appointments by myself now, I go drive myself to my  regular doctor when I have a cold. When I've had to go to the ER for a migraine in the past two years he's been able to leave me and take care of the kids. But it wasn't like this before.

And I didn't think about what that was like for him.

But while we were in Colorado he got an ear infection. We were in Basalt, he was fishing the Frying Pan River and it was bothering him. So we went to the after hours care center.

He sat on the bed. I sat in the chair. He cracked jokes about how things were reversed. I laughed. But when the nurse strapped the blood pressure on him I got a funny feeling in my stomach. When she took his temperature I got downright queasy.

When she asked him what meds he was on and he looked at me, I panicked. I don't know. I mean, I know what they are for, but not the names or dosages.

He always knew.

I was ashamed. He took such incredible care of me when I was sick. I can certainly do the same for him, when he isn't, can't I?

The doctor came in, looked in his ear, confirmed an ear infection and prescribed meds.  I paid close attention, even to the simple antibiotics and ear drops.

I'm not messing this up.

It was this simple thing, yet this monumental thing, that reiterated my husbands love and devotion to me, his taking care to know my medications.

I guess we always find love in the strangest places.