Saturday, May 30, 2009 – It was a long and busy day. Chris and I worked with other parents in our high school for the annual Senior All-Night Party project due to come to fruition in just over a week. We got home around 7:00 pm, had our take-out dinner with Ryan and then hunkered down for a movie. Around 11:30 pm I got my aching body up from the couch to go to bed.
Everything was quite normal. But as I got into bed, I felt “different”. Somehow I felt like a bad side cramp coming up and no position could relieve the discomfort. A couple of minutes passed and I found myself tossing and turning, feeling bad because I knew Chris was exhausted and I was not making it easy for him to fall asleep. A couple of minutes later, I was up pacing the room.
By now, Chris is asking me, “Carol, what’s wrong?” I’m trying to explain to him I’m feeling a different kind of pain. Lights go on, and he finds me in agony as I’m writhing in bed. “Do you think you need to go to the ER?” he asks. And because this pain now seems way more than I could handle, my answer is, “Yeah, I think we need to go in.”
Together, Chris and Ryan help me get into the back seat of the car, with a pillow and garbage can (I felt I was going to puke any minute). Quickly, but apologetically, Chris is driving as fast as he can to get me to the ER because he can hear me moan over every bump and stop he makes with the car. In my mind, I’m feeling deja vu… this is exactly the position I was in 20 years ago when he was rushing me to the hospital while I was in labor with our daughter Allison.
Long story short and about two hours later, post CAT scan, they confirm a kidney stone. So I now sit here two days post onset waiting for the stone to pass.
I spent that first day home a bit wiped out from all the pain meds and tired out from the ER visit. So I’ve had more quiet time than usual since I’ve canceled some work-related appointments. And here’s the thing I’m most aware… That I am #1 in Chris’s life. I’ve never doubted this, however, in all our busyness of life and with his demanding work schedule these past few months, it would be easy for an outsider to think we weren’t as connected as we actually are.
As I was in the worst of my pains, Chris continually at my side with his loving eyes looking right into mine reassuring and comforting me. He told me how much he wished he could take the pain away, how much he wished it were happening to him instead of me, how much he loved me. When we got home from the ER, he tucked me in bed making sure I was as comfortable as possible. When I was tired from the meds and kept sleeping, he got in bed with me just to be close. He stayed home from work on Monday to continue taking care of me. This was hard for me since for the past couple of months, he has been working crazy long hours.
It’s not that a kidney stone (or any other problem for that matter) has to prove how much my husband cares for me. I have never doubted how much I am loved in this marriage. Even when we are both going in our different directions, we make the time during the day to cross paths to say we love one another. Life is never too busy for that.
What I know is that when there is authentic love in a marriage, in a family, no matter what happens you’re never alone. And with that you can endure the most challenging of challenges. Kidney stones and all.