It’s been a heck of a week for the Smiths. Or a heck of a month. Now that I consider it, we’ve been rather occupied since our in-laws filed the lawsuit against us last year. But just this past week seems to be the most eventful. One of the Ladies quit her job, the other is pregnant, I went to the ER, and my husband got arrested.
Edward left for two weeks on a business trip across the east half of the country. It was difficult for all of us, but at least in the first week the Ladies buckled down and put the nose to the grind. I did little more than work, pray, clean, and sleep. When I am under emotional stress I like to keep myself too busy to remember how I’m feeling until I collapse in a heap on top of the sheets still in my clothes. Then the sadness overwhelms me, and I set a tear or two free before passing out. It wasn’t as easy for Bailey, and halfway through the second week she quit her job and took a Greyhound to meet up with Edward.
I’d had an infection or two that lasted since delivery. I thought I was still waiting for things to heal up, but when I described what I was feeling to Alice she explained that it was a UTI. On top of that some other things weren’t doing so well, but I wasn’t in pain so I thought it was still part of the healing process. Edward instructed me to go to the emergency room, which was weird to me since I wasn’t dying or anything. I was raised with the practice of not going to the doctors unless something was broken, and I’d never broken a bone. On the way to work Alice asked me, “Are you feeling nauseous?” This was at the end of the 2 week stretch of dealing with my husband being out of town and my wife coming home from work later and later and then taking a bus out of town by herself, and the stress knotted up my stomach.
“Yeah, a little bit.”
I felt like Odysseus’s dog at the end of the epic when my loved ones returned home and I let the burden I carried die in relief. Even with relief from the stress, the next day my stomach still felt a little funny and I told Ed. “We’re taking you to the emergency room when you get off of work.” Okay, cool, I thought nonchalantly. Again after work he was asked how I was feeling. I thought maybe I hadn’t packed enough for lunch, because I had the shakes. “We’re taking you to the emergency room,” he repeated. He said he was afraid I might have Sepsis, saying that the heat flashes I was having weren’t from hormones stabilizing, those were fevers, and the lethargy and other symptoms I was having also weren’t part of the healing process from having a baby. From getting picked up at work at seven at night to being discharged at three in the morning I sat in the ER, trying to find the most opportune times to sleep, thinking I would go back to work in a few hours and not even get the chance to lay my head on my pillow. One knit baby bootie, a shot (with a lot of fluid, the nurse emphasized), and four pills later, and I got a signature for a day off of work and felt like I had made a great accomplishment for the benefit of my family. I guess I’m not used to taking care of myself.