I managed to hurt myself a few weeks back. Nothing life threatening, fortunately, but alarming nonetheless, as the whole thing came on innocuously as a simple headache, and then proceeded to balloon into a full fledged medical scramble to magnetically image every inch of my body at least twice and drain me of what must have been half my blood, only to find a big case of NOTHING visibly or chemically wrong with me. Meanwhile, to keep things interesting, my usually textbook blood pressure, informed by the intense pain, went into “we think you’re about to have a stroke try to relax” territory and my BP was taken every fifteen minutes for 8 hours straight by one of those cuffs on a timer dealies. This was all very reassuring, and blinding, nausea inducing headache not withstanding, I felt SURE everyone there know exactly what he or she was doing. Or rather, that all were doing precisely what they had been trained to do. The End.
Anyway, it was determined that I have a fairly common injury when it was all said and done. I’m expected to recover 100% and be fit for duty (three weeks ago). While I’m still experiencing a good deal of pain, what is more bothersome are the effects of the pain meds – they are as debilitating as the pain itself, and make other things hurt, too. My otherwise iron stomach is in shreds, my breathing is off, my brain is in a fog, and I find it difficult to work or even drive, which I only do if I can remember where my keys are and where I parked my car so…I don’t drive. Oh, and rebound headache is a common side effect of the medication used to treat – you know – headaches.
/whiny diary entry
My husband has been spectacular during this entire episode. Double-duty parenting during one of the busiest times we’ve experienced as parents, doing his own job, doing some of my (not household related) job, doing all of my other (household related) job, and generally keeping things going in his usual efficient fashion, all while making sure I am not only comfortable but actively cared for either by him or someone he’s enlisted.
You know, these things make a wife appreciate her husband.
You also know, if it’s at all possible, he’d like for her to show him.
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT! you ask….you are suggesting I do WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT! when I’m physically uncomfortable, when I’m suffering, when I really don’t want to even acknowledge that my husband has a penis, much less a libido?
Why, yes, I’m suggesting.
Now, I’m NOT suggesting that all injuries and/or illnesses are created equal. If you’re unconscious or contagious or have had open-anything surgery or your doctor says NO WAY SHE’LL DIE then puh-leeez, don’t be a sociopath about it. I would also suggest that not all men would be receptive to the advances of an ailing wife, so YMMV, but that doesn’t mean a wife should abdicate her duty (yeah, I said duty) to be available to her husband as much as she’s physically able.
Dear Sisters, here is the truth: you’re not dead and neither is your husband. Act accordingly.
Here are a few ideas for those who have the capacity but are perhaps lagging behind in the motivation department:
– ENGAGE IN LOTS OF PRAYER, SPECIFICALLY IN THANKS FOR YOUR HUSBAND AND FOR HIS WELL BEING This takes the focus off of yourself and your pitiful pitifulness, and shifts it to your husband. Pain creates such a vortex of self-consideration, and while it is necessary to focus on your unwell self to the extent an avenue for relief can be determined, it can also result in a focus on self that actually makes it worse. If you’re lying there thinking “my head hurts, my head hurts, my head huuuuuurrrrts!!!”, guess what? Your pretty little head is likely not going to stop hurting. Think Godly thoughts, think lascivious thoughts, think of him thinking of you naked, at your best. Feverish prayer can be a most profound thing when it is focused on the object of your love.
– TAKE LOTS OF HOT SHOWERS If you’ve been in and out of hospitals and doctors offices, and if you’re taking pain meds and forcing liquids, you smell. Get yourself into a shower or a soak at least once a day. You’ll feel better both mentally and physically and you’ll get to indulge in being in there as long as you want (or until someone remembers you’re in there and comes to get you out). Use something with a bit of fragrance, his favorite, so you’ll think of him.
– LIE IN BED NAKED ON CLEAN SHEETS Either use some of your energy/pain relieved moments to make sure your sheets are clean and fresh or have someone else make sure your bedding is changed daily. You don’t need to be tangled up in a bunch of night clothes anyway, with all the fumbling back and forth to the bathroom that’s likely going on. This way too the setting is always right. If you hit the sweet spot of comfort and availability, you’re not delayed by uninspiring or outright disgusting linens.
– OFFER HIM YOUR GOOD MOMENTS BEFORE DOING ANYTHING ELSE This is true whether you’re sick or well, but it is amplified by those moments being fewer or contracted for whatever reason. If you’re feeling well enough to do the dishes or clean the pool, you’re feeling well enough to make love with your husband. Drop the excuses.
– TAKE CARE TO SPACE YOUR MEDS SO YOU CAN ENJOY IT, TOO There are good sound medical reasons for not overdoing the pain meds. You don’t want to mask symptoms to the extent that you can’t recognize if they’re becoming worse, and you don’t want to overmedicate yourself into nausea or worse. Aside from those very important matters, pain meds interfere not only with pain response but often pleasure as well. As much as you can reasonably tolerate, take it easy on the meds and let some endorphins do their work. It’s a great way to reassure your husband by letting him get a glimpse at that part of you he loves so well. He DOES love you, and if you’re unwell, he’s unwell. Let him feel good by seeing you feeling good. Let him see you “normal” as much as you can. He needs to feel better, too. Even short, to the point sex that is “all about him” is good for you both, it’s bonding and binding and reassuring. Get you some, sooner rather than later.
I can hear it now “buuuut, Velllllllvet, I don’t feeeeeeel gooooood”. Sugar, how did you feel yesterday? And now? What do you figure you’ll feel like tomorrow? That’s what I thought. Sicky-poo, being prepared for sex with your husband when the opportunity arises, even in a less than an ideal state, is GOOD for you, like as in getting healthier, improving your physical wellness because it requires paying attention to yourself and what’s going on around you. This is good for morale, too, because when you’re down physically, it’s easy to get awfully glum.
Now, get yourself a consent form, a safe word, and some ice packs and get to it. Duty sex can cure what ails you.