Q: How do you know when your man is on the mend?
A: He starts getting horny.
And for a man who spent the better part of six weeks with a ball sack the size of a melon, being horny is particularly significant.
M is much better now and thanks again to everyone who was worried about us. His kidney function has not returned totally to normal and his diabetes is still a bit out of control, but hopefully over the next few weeks we’ll get both of those things sorted.
The experience put a lot of things into perspective for both of us. We had a particularly teary banter session lying in his bed one day not long after he got out of hospital. I told him that it had been a very scary and stressful ordeal for me because I didn’t want to lose him. And then he said that he realised that he didn’t want to die and leave me alone, that he wants to get healthy and try and live as long as possible for me.
It was exactly what I wanted and need to hear.
He has said before that he is sad that there is such an age gap between us – 19 years to be exact – and that inevitably he is going to die first and leave me alone (assuming nothing happens to me, of course!) but never before had he said that he wants to extend our lives together as much as possible.
I felt incredibly loved and cared for. I cried then when he told me and I’m crying again about it now when I think back to what he said and the look on his face when he said it.
I had been worried for years and years about his size and the fact that he was literally eating himself to death. I guess in many ways he had simply been lucky up until this point that his body had coped. But your body can only cope for so long under that sort of stress and it all came to a head. It was a fast, sharp wakeup call and as M puts it, ‘the worst experience of my entire life thus far.’
Since then we’ve both been on a portion control dieting plan. In typical man-fashion, M has lost something like 12kg (24 lbs or 2 stone) since getting out of hospital with not a huge amount of effort, by doing nothing except eating less. Yours truly, on the other hand, in typical girl-fashion has lost a piddly 3kg (6 lbs or 1/2 stone) by eating less, exercising more and not touching an ounce of chocolate. M has actually lost 34kg (68 lbs or 5 1/2 stone) since his peak in hospital when his body was filled with fluid and they were wanting to start dialysis. Those are simply crazy numbers when you think about that level of change over such a short period of time. The human body is a very tough machine.
Two weeks before any of this happened, I’d had a melt-down about needing some alone time in the apartment. M had said that he was going to go and stay in a hotel for a night and give me a couple of days of quality alone time. There was a morning I was laying in bed and I could hear the tv and ‘feel’ him sitting out in the living room and I literally felt like I was going to scream. It wasn’t quite a panic attack, but I felt claustrophobic and ridiculously angry and just wanted him gone then and there. My alone time never eventuated because he got sick and then suddenly he was in hospital and I was coming home to an empty apartment every night.
As you might guess, I felt incredibly guilty because I’d wanted him gone and then he was. Yes, I wanted alone time, but definitely not in this way. Funnily enough, the ‘alone time’ I ended up getting, wasn’t really what I wanted. I couldn’t relax at home and went into a mad cleaning flurry. I’d sort of wander around the apartment aimlessly like a dog suffering from separation anxiety and I wasn’t sleeping very well at all. We usually have constant fights about the tv volume. I’m a person who likes to only have the tv on for certain short periods of time and then on a low volume. M likes the tv on from the minute he wakes up until the minute he goes to bed at a volume which I can still hear through two closed doors and with a pillow over my ear.
When he was in hospital, the apartment almost felt too quiet. It wasn’t the restorative nest that I’d usually come home to, it was lonely and I was alone.
Those boppy remixes of Fast Car kept popping up on my music feed while I was walking between the hospital and home. I still remember the original (and best!) with Tracy Chapman. I was eleven years old when it came out and my sister and I were obsessed with it. She was 15 and in the midst of her rebellious years so it probably meant a lot more to her than it did to me at the time. I’ve got a song for all the ‘bad’ periods of my life and Fast Car is now my song for this one.