In Sickness And In Health

As I recall, part of our marriage vows referred to loving each other in sickness and in health.  I’m pretty sure that those vows were referring to our state of health, but that’s not really how we use that vow.

Long ago, Shaun nabbed the role of over-reacting alarmist .  I was left with the less envious role of being the level-headed, calm minimalist.   I can still vividly recall KT eating her first piece of meat…and choking on it.  Shaun started screaming for me to “Call 911” over and over again as he grabbed her by the ankles and held her upside down.  The meat was quickly dislodged by his quick thinking, so I saw no need to call for emergency help.  He was dumbfounded by my refusal to make the call, even though our little girl was fine, if a little shaken up. 

A few years later, Mimi fell down against a table and cut her lip.  My beloved went ashen at the sight of all the blood gushing from our baby  girl’s face.  He was ready to haul her to the emergency room while I calmly applied pressure to the small wound.

And so it has gone our entire lives together.  Shaun over-reacts  and wants to rush to the ER.  I, in order to compensate, under-react. and take on a wait-and-see attitude.   In doing so…we manage to drive each other nuts.  Apparently, we have decided that we are now going to go beyond fussing over our kids.  They are getting ready to fly the nest in a few years anyways.  Our animals have promised to live with us for the rest of their lives.

On Sunday morning, Shaun noticed that our little dog, Penny wasn’t acting quite right.  If you touched her, she yelped.  (Only you could touch the same exact place a moment later and it was fine)  Another major symptom was that our normally perky dog was very lethargic.  Shaun was convinced that our sweet puppy was on her deathbed.  I thought she was just suffering from the same nasty cold that Shaun was.  I would have  given in and agreed to take Penny to the vet, only they are all closed on Sundays.  Well, except for dire emergencies.  So, we glowered at each other for most of the day.  (Well except for the parts of it that my sick, grumpy husband was fast asleep) 

Around two in the morning, Shaun decided that Penny was having convulsions.  Naturally, he dismissed my suggestion that she was just having a dream.  Convinced that Penny was indeed, in need of emergency care (and angry beyond belief at me for disagreeing)  Shaun decided to take Penny to an emergency pet hospital about a half hour away.   It was then that we discovered that it had been snowing for a while.

Our big dog, Shelly, and I, sat in the dark and fretted about the snow-filled roads (right at the time all the bars were closing) and our poor sick(ish) puppy.  I was afraid to call to see how things were going for fear of distracting Shaun while he was driving. 

Two and a half very long hours later we heard the jeep pull into the driveway.  (Actually we could hear it plowing through the snow about a block away).  Penny was jumping all over the place from her little night time adventure.  Shaun was full of tales of all the crazy drivers and the small accidents along the freeway (including the car that had flipped over on it’s side). 

The vet couldn’t really find anything wrong with our little dog and instructed us to  simply observe her for a couple of days.   Guess who was back to her normal self today?

If we ever end up renewing our wedding vows, I’m seriously thinking of rewording that pesky “in sickness or in health” part to give myself full control over the worrying of illness.  There are just some things that I am better at…

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