Gary's back went out almost a week ago. It hasn't gone out for years, ever since he went to the physical therapist and started stretching. One thing he took away from the PT was that resting in bed for six weeks works against you, so he's been up and shuffling about throughout.
I've been doing the chores, but Sunday night he decided I should go to bed and he should do the dishes.
That sounds lovely, doesn't it? It was not lovely. I would not have accepted the offer had I know he meant, "Oh, hon, you just go to bed, I'll take care of the dishes WHILE I SHRIEK INTERMITTENTLY IN PAIN."
My instinct at the first yelp was to get up, go out to the kitchen, and insist he stop. But I know how he would react. "NO LEAVE ME ALONE I'M FINE. (SHRIEK)"
So, I just lay there and got more and more upset. It was like listening to someone I love being tortured by someone I love. And, most infuriating, I'd been pushing pain relievers on him all day. "Advil? Tylenol? Wine, hon, do you want some wine? Baileys? Heroin?" He kept saying it didn't hurt that much. (YELP)
I know he wants to be the tough guy. The cowboy who refuses the shot of whiskey while he yanks the arrow out of his shoulder. But he's not that guy. He's the cowboy who refuses the whiskey, pulls the arrow out an inch, screams, stops, reaches for the whiskey then refuses the whiskey, pulls another inch, and screams "AHHHHHH! I'M DYING! AHHHHHH! NO WHISKEY I'M FINE NO REALLY THIS DOESN'T HURT THIS MUCH!"
So when the dishes were done he came in for a goodnight kiss and found me with my head sandwiched between the pillows, sobbing. I hissed, "Get your hand off of me" when he patted my hip, and he wisely elected to vacate the room.
I stayed in there for a while and thought about how I should be feeling, since clearly I was overreacting. Back when I could deal with my emotions, I would have just hardened my heart with every yelp. Now I have the amplified reaction to everything, and every yelp from Gary reminds me that he's just ten years younger than Mom was when she died.
Eventually I realized I need to calm down and go in and give the man a normal degree of sympathy. We negotiated a dose of one (NOT TWO!) Advil (TWO ADVIL ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME), and since then he's tried to make strangled noises instead of shrieks. ("UGGH-CHUH-CHUH-Chuh-chuh.")
You might say "It sounds like Gary isn't the only one who needs to be on medicine." I hear you. My thoughts are still rational, though. It's just when other people are expressing emotions I can't apply the brakes anymore.