They do not get near the attention they deserve when caring for a loved one who’s down and out.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I have often overlooked them as well.
Until this week.
From the moment that I fell, my Mr. has gone into overdrive.
The Mr. has usually been in the background. He has always been a quiet, firm foundation for our family.
I’ve always been the one to take care of the day-to-day minutia. In other words, I’ve been the loud one.
His job is very demanding; he’s always on call. Hence, I’ve been the one to take care of bumps, bruises, and other emergencies and not-so-emergencies.
With both kids grown and out of the house, the Mr. and I are each other’s primary focus now.
There aren’t a whole lot of other people to fill in the gap.
The breaking of my ankle has been traumatic on both of us. Watching him handle it has given me pause to think.
All of a sudden, he has had to do everything.
He had to decide which hospital to take me to.
He had to figure out how to get me to the car…easier said than done when I was screaming out in pain the entire time (no exaggeration).
He held me over the bedpan in the ER…three times.
He might have gagged a bit, bless his heart.
He had to figure out how to get me out of the car when we got home after that long night.
He’s been behind me every time I’ve gotten up to use the restroom. Neither of us trust my ability to navigate on crutches. My clumsiness got me into this mess.
I am sleeping on the recliner in the den. He has gotten up almost every night…in the wee hours…to check on me…to ask if I need to use the restroom. If he hears me moan in pain, he’s there.
He called around for recommendations on surgeons and then made my doctor’s appointment.
He drove me two hours to the appointment, sat and listened to every word the doctors and nurses said, filled my new pain prescription before we left this city, and drove two hours home. He was exhausted but kept on trucking.
He’s planned every meal I’ve eaten, except for the dish brought by a sweet gal from our church.
He’s gone to the store just because I had a hankering for orange juice, and he got Mexican takeout because he knew it was my favorite.
He helped me figure out how to bathe and monitored me closely to make sure that I didn’t get any water in my cast.
He’s been the primary caregiver of the dogs as well, letting them out every single time they have had to go…feeding them…comforting them during this weird time when their mama cannot snuggle with them.
While keeping up with me, the dogs, and the house, he’s also worked from home.
He’s also working on rehearsal dinner preparations and thinking about Christmas.
He’s trying to figure out how to decorate for Christmas because our human babies will be here in a few weeks.
He hasn’t figured out how to scoop dog poop. I think he’s leaving that task to me.
Caregiving has its limits.
This man is my hero.
He has completely put my needs in front of his own.
Y’all, marriage is tough.
There have been times when we didn’t know if we were going to make it.
Fortunately, we are past those days.
When I look at the Mr., I see a man who is exhausting himself in his attempt to be and do everything so that I can make a complete recovery.
I love him dearly and pray that I never take him for granted again…that when it’s my turn to be his caregiver, that I’ll be more patient (I’m not known to be), just as he has been.
When we look around at other caregivers, let us all remember that there is so much that we don’t see. They are putting on brave fronts, pretending like they’ve got things under control (most don’t), and that all is hunky-dory.
While we pray for those who need healing from whatever is ailing them, let us also pray for those who are providing the day-to-day triage care.
They are unsung heroes.