I think we can all agree that when it comes to pain tolerance, women are the superior sex. That is why WE have the babies. I can promise you if it had been up to my husband to carry and deliver our four children, today we would be a family of three, with an overindulged only child.
As women we know that if one of our children gets a cold, that child must stay far away from Dad. Because Dad colds are a whole other level. The term “Man Flu” is a thing for a reason. Unfortunately, because of this fact, we women have developed a desensitization to our men being sick. We seriously don’t intentionally roll our eyes.
It’s not that we don’t believe that you are sick. It is just that if WE get sick, life continues. We don’t have the luxury of swaddling ourselves in blankets and drifting in and out of consciousness all day. Moms do not get a break. A child will walk out of the room where his dad is standing, to go find Mom to ask her if Dad is taking him to school.
Why not just ask DAD?
So when my husband woke Sunday morning complaining of a back ache, I will admit my first thought was: Me too, Buddy. Every. Single. Day.
I could tell almost instantly that this wasn’t just a backache though. This was a Man Backache. A man-ache. Meaning, this backache was going to monopolize my entire Sunday. I will admit right here that I am not a nurturing spouse. But to be fair I am also not the most nurturing mother either. I love my family fiercely, but my love is more along the lines of: life is hard, suck it up because this too shall pass.
In my defense though, when I am the one who is sick, I do not expect anyone to change their schedule in order to cater to me. So I am an equal opportunity hard ass.
Not only was my hubs complaining of a backache, he also had cold chills. I am not a monster, so of course I took his temperature. It was 98.4. There may have been an eye roll behind his back at this point.
My advice was for him to take it easy. Which he did and apparently men can sleep through any affliction.
Monday rolled around. Hubby had added nausea to his list of symptoms. Being a working man though he had obligations that he couldn’t miss. So man-ache and all, off he went to work. I felt confident that everything would work itself out. The job would take his mind off of everything. *double eyeroll, in alternating directions
Around 4 o’clock that day he called. He was feeling worse. A doctor’s visit was now evident. Except by then, doctor’s offices were closing. He called his doctor’s office as a Hail Mary and not only could she not see him that day, but also not for the next eleven days. So he would either be cured or dead by then.
Note to self: find hubby a new doctor.
I told hubs to try a walk in clinic. After making the trek home, he found the only after hours, non-emergency walk in still open. They examined him. No blood in urine. No clear signs of infection. Here is a pain shot and some meds for the nausea. Have a lovely night.
The pain meds worked wonders. He slept like a baby all night. He awoke bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Tuesday morning, ready to take on the world. Clearly his man-ache was gone.
Or so I thought until he called me from work at three o’clockish. The pain was worse. By then I felt it was time for an emergency room visit. We had to get to the bottom of this. My husband though, being all manly macho didn’t want to go to the emergency room. Not for a backache. What would his man friends think? So he decided to try another non-emergency walk in clinic.
I will say that this clinic went a step further. This one actually took some blood. And more urine. No sign of infection or blood. Sending the culture off. Will call if anything grows. They would schedule him for a CT scan the next day. The clinic was not equipped to do one.
My husband, at this point feeling frustrated, returned home. Two doctors in two days. No answers. Forget that his wife had mentioned the hospital earlier. A place where they actually do CT scans. By this time I was worried. A man-ache would have been gone by now.
Cut to early Wednesday morning. I was awakened from my peaceful slumber by a grown man making low groaning noises, in the dark next to me. For a moment I thought I could ignore him and go back to sleep. When it became apparent that wasn’t happening, I announced it was time to get dressed. I was driving him to the emergency room. No excuses.
At 3:30 A.M. I dropped my husband off at the emergency room adult entrance. I had left our kids resting peacefully in bed while I made the short drive, as they are no longer babies and did not need to be drug to a hospital. I did have to return home though or none of them would actually get up and make it to school that day.
Husband kept me updated via text messages as he could. More urine. More blood drawn. CT scan. Finally answers: a 2 MM kidney stone had already passed from his kidney into his bladder. Drink plenty of liquids. Here is another pain shot. You are released. By 6:30 A.M I picked him up and drove him home.
My poor husband. It was not a man-ache. It was an actual stone. The first he had ever had. How was I supposed to know that this time was different? I had doubted my husband while a kidney stone had churned its way from his kidney to his bladder. Next stop: the toilet.
Or actually the strainer. He had to urinate into a strainer in an effort to catch the stone. And so he did. A mere six hours after his emergency room visit. And naturally he took a picture.
And then he zoomed in for effect
Being a wife/mother to ME means managing my family efficiently. My job is to cut through all the bull and push my family to be the best that they can be. Will I believe my husband the next time he tells me that he has a backache?
Probably not at first. But I am glad he is okay now.
I have however told him that it is time to part with the kidney stone that is still sitting in a strainer next to the toilet. I know they have been through a lot together. I just don’t need a constant reminder that sometimes men are not exaggerating.