Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Time I Was Suspected of Being a Battered Woman

If you've ever met my husband, I'm sure you have just burst into peels of laughter, but for those who haven't had the pleasure of meeting him, Lander is the sweetest man, ever.

This all starts with a gmail chat with said sweetest man ever. I was busy doing this new work-at-home mom thing, attending to jewelry orders, dreaming up marketing schemes, and taking care of Rosie when Lander says, "I'm coming home. I don't feel well."

Wondering how I could check on the status of Hell and their current level of rock solid ice, I tried to be nonchalant with, "really? This is new," I continued. Lander comes from a long line of proud Fresians in the Netherlands, including a Grandmother who waggled her tongue at occupying German Soldiers and sneaked food to hiding Jews. His is not a race of people commonly known to let a little sickness hold them down- you know, finger in the dykes, holding back the ocean and all that.

When Lander arrived home he was actually a shade of green I didn't think possible for the human face, and quickly set about puking for about 12 hours straight. Deep heaving puke sessions colored our night, and made getting out of bed the next morning challenging. But he did- and then he went back to work. I was dumb-founded. I would have stayed in bed for the next three days if I could get away with it. I come from a shifty stock of people, apparently.

In truth we were wondering if his illness was just the pork chop we got on special the night before, or a virus that was rumored to be going around his workplace. Either way, we thought for sure that I would start turning green soon enough, and that he would need to come home and care for the baby in my place.

A few days went by and I wasn't sick yet, but Lander lost his voice due to the stomach acid bath he gave his vocal cords. He sent me a text from work, when all he had left was a whisper, and asked me to finally make him a doctor appointment.

I was busy trying to get myself and Rosie ready to go to the doctor. I was going to meet Lander there and talk for him until I remembered that I still hadn't found my car keys. Rosie really likes to play with them, and no matter where I put them she always seems to find them and turn on the panic alarm. I have looked in all of her places she likes to put things, but my keys are no where to be found. I think she threw them away. Kris was rushing home to pick us up before his appointment. I went to carry the vacuum down the stairs to appear like I was a gifted housewife and could keep that damn house clean for once, when as if in slow motion I found myself suspended in time and space over the stairs. I thought back a few moments and remembered my silky sock slipping off the edge of our narrow Sugar House stairs. Perhaps people's feet were smaller in the 50s so they didn't need deeper stairs, but at any rate, I concluded that I was once again falling down the stairs and there was nothing I could do about it, so I just waited to land. And I did, with my left arm somehow underneath my body. It really hurt. I poked around and tried to move my fingers and all that, wondering if it was broken since the pain was crushing my soul a little. My body does not respond appropriately to pain stimulus, since my central nervous system tends to be a little overly-dramatic. When I started to involuntarily cry a little, Rosie climbed up the stairs to see what I was doing. Then she sat in my lap and hugged me. It was really cute, even if I had to cry to get my daughter to hug me.

Since we were going to the doctor anyway, I decided I would just ask him to poke my arm a little and tell me if I needed an x-ray. My bleeping insurance co-pay recently doubled, so I really didn't want to pay it twice that evening.

After hearing the story of Lander's illness the doctor swiftly decided it was e coli. "And who was responsible for the undercooked meat?" the doctor asked, looking at me and the ice pack on my arm.

"No- it was totally him. I don't cook," I explained.

With a few more jokes at Lander's expense, the doctor was about to let us go. "Can I just bother you for one more minute?" I asked. "Right before we came I fell down the stairs and hurt my arm. I'm sort of wondering if it's broken." I showed him the cuts and bruises already forming across my ulnar bone.

"You can just sign in and we'll look at it," he offered.

"My co-pay is really high. Please?" He started to poke my arm, and I could barley stand to let him touch it.

"They call this a night stick fracture..." and then he held his arms in front of his face in a mock defensive stance. "If you want to come back tomorrow, we'll take an x-ray, but I don't think it's broken."

It occurred to me that he might have been trying to get me alone so I could tell him what really happened to my arm. He continued in a slightly accusing voice, "really you can come back tomorrow." He meant, I could come back tomorrow, alone. I guess I did seem suspicious. I wouldn't let him make a record, and the injury on my arm was not a logical result of falling down the stairs. I was just being cheap, but I think some doctors tend to think the worst of people. He made me feel guilty even though I was not lying about the source of my injury.

***

The next day I found myself with my head out the car door, puking on the side of I-80. An ill-advised hot dog hastily eaten at a down town movie theater on the opening night of the Sundance Film Festival is probably to blame. But it seems too coincidental that Lander and I would have both gotten food poisoning within days of each other. Here's hoping that it's true, and we don't have a puking baby to look forward to in a few days.

2 comments:

Natalie said...

OMG, you are so funny. Your "shady stock" comment really got me laughing. I must be from shady stock as well...I would have also remained in bed.

David thinks that it is hilarious that you call Kris by his surname.

kris said...

Natalie: I'm fairly certain that Lissa doesn't remember my first name.