Thursday, 24 October 2019

Love and Farts!

I woke up this morning and I felt miserable.  The pain was back at full force and I felt bad tempered and fed up.  

Craig smiled at me "You okay honey?  How are you feeling today?" the same question he has asked me everyday for the last year.  My instinct was to snap back something mean and uncalled for like "how do you think I'm feeling" or "like shit".  But, as I lay there with him smiling down at me, I thought to myself I don't deserve you,  your care, your love, your unending patience no matter how much he has to deal with from me.  I burst into tears as I have done more than a few times over the last few weeks.  He sat down on the edge of the bed and stroked my hair and he said "it's okay, I got you".  It's something he says to me a lot and it is always something that instantly grounds me, changes my mood and makes me feel safe and loved.  To a certain extent it even makes the pain I am dealing with at the moment seem less difficult.   

He got up sorted out my medications, made me a cuppa and brought me two hot water bottles that he carefully placed under each of my aching legs.  Something he has also done every night at around 3am when I wake up crying in pain.  What amazes me more than anything is I keep expecting him to just get pissed off.  At some point fire off a tirade of abuse, you know "Oh for fuck sake Kate stop being a pain in the arse and just get on with it" but he doesn't, not even once has this amazing man grumbled, been bad tempered or even slightly pissed off with me.  

Quite the contrary.  I think, in fact I know as he tells me daily that he truly wishes he could take my place, that if he had a magic wand he would gladly take what I am going through so I wouldn't have to.  Much like we feel about our kids when they get sick I suppose.  It's the worst feeling in the world watching someone you love suffer and knowing you can't do anything about it. 

It's easy to forget about the carer at times like these.  The people who sit by the bedsides of those who are sick.   Worried till they feel ill, tired and running on empty.  I think in some ways it is far easier to be the patient than the carer.  As the patient we get to go off to sleep for the operation which in my case took a little over six hours, a fair bit longer than expected and I know that extra time would have been spent pacing like a new Dad waiting for the arrival of a baby during that part of history when expectant Dad's were expected to wait outside and not support their wives. Then, the next days are spent watching their loved one throwing up, falling over, screaming in pain, crying, moaning and looking like death warmed up.

I have seen the worry in his face, the tears he thinks I miss, that he desperately tries to wipe away quickly so I won't see them, because God forbid I would worry about him during this time (that's not allowed apparently!).   When I wake him in the early hours of the morning I can see the lines of worry on his beautiful face, and his nervous, jittery hands stroking mine, I can see in his face how completely helpless he feels.  I smile at him and I can see his emotions catch in his chest "I love you, you are my one, you know I would do anything for you, if I could take all this away I would" then he lies down next to me and strokes my arm till I am once more sleeping and so it goes on. He must be so tired, so exhausted.

As a relatively new couple, just three years there were still so many things we haven't 'shared' for instance I had never been to the bathroom in front of him, or farted in front of him!!!  The thought of either mortified me.  I can always remember my Mum telling me that there should always be a little mystery left between a couple and that's what category those things belonged in!  However, I didn't have a choice, given the choice of a male nurse or my loving husband helping me to the toilet there was no competition and he took it in his stride, we even giggled about it.  

Then the dreaded fart incident, the absolutely mortifying moment when the surgery had built up so much wind I simply couldn't contain it any longer and couldn't get to the toilet in time to hide it.  Almost in tears and apologising profusely the noise ripped through the flat like a mini earthquake, I wanted to die of embarrassment. Craig laughed his socks off and said don't worry about it, smiled at me and let off the biggest fart before we both fell about laughing. Something he would never do, ever in front of me, he did just to make me feel better.  

Today felt like it was going to be a write off.  But in true Craig style he gently pushed me, cleverly offering me fresh croissants if I attempted to get to the bakery with him.  I can't tell you how good if felt to arrive, order croissants and apple juice and actually sit down at a table and devour them like a six year old eating chocolate.  I felt amazing, yes there was pain but we were back where we started the first day we arrived, back in the cafe we first went to and there it achievement and his smile said it all "I'm so proud of you".  

We wandered back to our little flat and we felt so full of energy that Craig gently suggested perhaps we should venture a little further.  I looked at him and my instinct was to say no and climb back into bed but instead I picked up my scarf and said "okay let's do it".  Before I had a chance to change my mind we had bought two short distance tickets for the tram.

I have discovered that the only problem with not having crutches is no one is careful around me anymore which is a little scary. So, rather sensibly Craig suggested I wear the back brace on the outside of my clothes so that people can see they need to give me room.  We 'jumped' on the tram, this of course is completely the wrong word the right word would be something like 'stumbled' or 'tentatively'  but anyway I digress.  We traveled along till we got to the Opera house, then we wandered the streets.  

Speaking to my lovely Dad yesterday he told me that when he was in Zurich many years ago there were Bratwurst stands and knowing Craig loves nothing more than a hot dog, it became my mission to find him a Bratwurst dog.  The only problem was the stand was the other side of a door which was at least 12 steps up in front of us.  I looked at them nervously then took a deep breath and climbed them, like any normal person, totally conquered them!  I haven't been able to climb stairs in 12 months and it felt bloody wonderful!  

After devouring a well deserved bratwurst (yuck as far as I am concerned!!) I was beat so we climbed back down the stairs found a tram and went home to our little flat.

What a day!  A day of firsts, a day of things I didn't think were even vaguely possible yet, a day of laughter, cuddles and fun.  None of which I would have done if Craig hadn't gently pushed me, reassured me and loved me every step of the way.   

I have never known a love like ours, and I have come to realise that not everyone is lucky enough to find a love like ours.  I know I have had to wait long enough to find it!  I know one thing though I will never take it for granted or what he has done for me during this trip.  Craig says "It's what you do for the person you love" but it's so much more and I know in my heart I will never be able to repay it, but I will spend my life trying for sure.

 Love Kate x


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