Monday, September 20, 2010

Are You Better Yet?

So goes the eternal cry of the cranky husband.  He is trying to be funny, but not really.  He is trying to be cute, but not really.  I haven't quite figured out what it is code for.  When he says it though, it just irritates the hell out of me. 

I spent Friday getting ready to attend a wedding.  I was very fortunate that this week was one of my good ones.  Friday I caught up on shaving off extraneous body hair that I have come to neglect since I rarely go out in public anymore.  I tried on different outfits since I've gained weight and that gorgeous new white dress with huge red flowers on it that I bought this spring has no chance in hell of fitting anymore.  I laid out the third outfit that I tried on.  I dug my dress shoes out of the back of the closet, dusted them off and put those out.  Saturday I slept as much as I could.  Ate.  Showered.  Threw on my clothes and then it started.  Husband wanted to take the loud fancy '55 Bel Aire that he so lovingly restored to race track condition.  He loves driving this car.  I hate riding in it.  I knew I was pushing my luck attending this wedding in the first place and here he wanted me to ride in a loud uncomfortable car for two hours.  Napping in this car is NOT an option.  He got really angry that we had to take the VW diesel.  I think I managed to nod off during the trip there despite the angry waves oozing off my husband in the driver's seat.

I did tremendously well.  I was out of the house for 9 hours total.  This is the longest I've been out since I became ill back in May.  I sat the entire time.  I got the shakes at one point but I just sat still and tried not spill coffee on myself.  I kept quiet.  I watched everyone and listened to them talk.  My husband spent over an hour talking with someone he knew but hadn't seen in months.  I sat there quiet.  I felt abandoned.  His back was turned to me the entire time.  I watched the couples on either side of me talking to each other.  Paying attention to each other.  I looked at my husband's back and wondered how we were going to weather my illness as a couple.

But I was out of the house.  I could see Mt Monadnock from my seat at the dinner table.  I couldn't dance but I got to eat really good food.  I spoke a little bit to the groom and the groom's mother.  It was nice.

Of course I crashed today.  But I managed to clean the kitchen island first.  I mean scrub it down and wash everything.  A good thorough going over which hadn't been done for weeks.  After laying down for an hour I went out to dinner with hubby.  He was excited that it was cheddar broccoli soup day at the Cheesecake Factory.  We talked a little.  I brought up the fact that he was so angry.  Just my acknowledging it seemed to mollify him a little.  He started to talk some more.  I brought up the fact that I felt abandoned and it was like I just asked him to pull out a tooth and hand it to me.  He feels like he is being put upon.  He has to do everything.  And he does.  I don't deny this.  However, I don't have the energy left in me to debate my abandonment comment or even to explain things or have them make sense to myself never mind him.  I change the subject.  Brain fog is starting to set in.

So we get home and I am completely spent.  He notices my shuffling gait as I walk towards the house.  I no longer have the energy to pick my feet up as I walk.  I collapse on the couch to watch hours upon hours of Stargate.  He is playing kill the zombies on the Xbox in another room.  I'm freezing cold and covered in blankets.  He does some laundry.  My only movement is to advance Netflix to the next episode.  Then the kid calls for a ride and now hubby is in full cranky pants mode.  He is angry that he has to do everything.  That I can't pick up the kid.  That I am broken.  That I can't help him.  The clean kitchen and dinner has already been forgotten.  He always gets like this when I am too tired to do anything about it.  I am too tired to do anything but give him a blank stare.  I feel hurt.  I did my best.  I did better this weekend than I have in months but it is not enough to mollify him.  He has his cranky pants on again.  All I can do is ignore him.  I don't have the energy to cope.  I feel like my husband has morphed into a two year old child who is now throwing a tantrum in the middle of the living room.  All I can do is stare at him.  I'm just too tired to dance this dance.  He leaves and I go back to watching TV.  Too tired to even think about him.

I worry about us.  I can barely take care of myself and I certainly can't fix him.  He seems to want me to do something.  I don't know what.  I did my best this weekend.  I went to the wedding.  He wanted my company there.  I cleaned up the house a little and even offered to make dinner.  But all I know is that what I did do, what I can do is not enough.  This makes me sad.  And I worry about us.


  1. This hurts my heart. I have been fighting my chronic illness for much longer, so my husband seems to be well adjusted to it. I know it has to be difficult for him to deal with, too. We go through times like your's sometimes. Like you mentioned, you just don't have the energy to think about it or cope with it.

    I would try to explain to him that this is not what you want either. You hate that he has to do everything, and that you're feeling useless. Ask him what it is that is really bothering him - that he has to do everything... that you have changed... - find out what he is struggling with. I know it's hard when you're trying to celebrate those victories of getting out of the house for a few hours, and no one else seems to think it deserves any celebration. Try to explain to him that you truly are doing the best that you can, and that it breaks your heart that he has to do so much right now. But, that you need him... to love you, to care for you, and to help you get through the difficult times and celebrate when you have good times.

    I know it's hard to talk about it, and you'll probably feel spent after it, but discussing it more openly will be good for you and him (separate and as a couple).


  2. He is having a much harder time adjusting to this than me but I've always been better at rolling with the punches that life deals out. My husband is a doer. He does stuff. He is always busy. I can no longer do stuff and this is what drives him batty. I don't think the problem is with the housework really. The dance doesn't feel like that. There is an undercurrent to it that I haven't figured out yet. I think deep down I know we will survive this as a couple. We have survived worse. I'm just having a down in the dumps couple of days and it shows in my writing.

  3. I understand those "down in the dumps" days. I'll keep you in my prayers.