One week ago, my wife Elaine, had her second shoulder surgery of 2020. The first one was in February right before the entire world shut down because of COVID. I don’t think her rotator cuff could have waited any longer and we were lucky to have gotten her in under the wire because many people had to cancel their elective surgeries shortly thereafter. This time it was her right rotator cuff giving her problems. I’m not sure if the surgery on this one was easier or maybe it was that we both knew what to expect, but she seems to be handling it better this time.
Elaine doesn’t really enjoy having me do everything for her. She’s sort of independent and likes to do things for herself. She hates having me cook meals, do the laundry, and drive her where she needs to go, (I’m not thrilled about doing these things either) but I just keep telling her, “When we got married, I agreed to this “for better or for worse.”
I was thinking about that marriage statement this week. When you’re standing at the alter and are looking into your partner’s beautiful eyes, those words really have no meaning. Worst case scenario, you think it means, “If we get into an argument, I’m still going to love this person.” I’m pretty sure I wasn’t thinking about us getting old someday, having aches and pains, and having to help the other one get dressed. Let’s be honest, it sucks getting old.
While stating those wedding vows, I wasn’t thinking about all the times she would need to be rolled into a surgery room, while I stand outside in the waiting room worried and wondering if something could go wrong, scared half to death about the worst thing happening. What could she have done to tear her rotator cuff anyway? It’s not like she’s the starting pitcher for the Royals!
Then, what seems like hours later, the surgeon finally comes out, sits down next to you, and calmly tells you the surgery went very well. That’s the point at which you seriously consider kissing another man (but I restrained myself).
As I said earlier, I’ve had to do pretty much everything for her this week including helping her shower, dress her, strap ice packs on her shoulder, and make sure she takes her medication, plus everything else that needs to be done around the house. Each day she gets a little better and there hasn’t been one single day this week that I haven’t had to yell at her, “sit back down and let me get that for you!” She gives me a sour face, but she lets me do it.
I suppose I’m thankful that we both enjoy doing what we do. I enjoy my work and keeping the real estate business running. She enjoys having the house to herself and doing her own thing. On Tuesday I said to her, “This is what retirement will be like!” She just gave me a look, but I know she was thinking, “You’ll have to be out of this house a lot more when we’re both retired.”
Times like these always remind me that we both need to exercise more and probably eat better, but a small part of me has enjoyed taking care of her this week. I know it’s tough for her because I don’t cook or do the laundry how she would do it, but I also know she appreciates me taking care of her. I have a sneaking suspicion that she’s enjoyed having me around the house this week too.
We do love each other very much and I’ll say it again, “For better or for worse, honey!”