Sunday, August 22, 2010

No Injured/Reserve List

My husband hurts himself a lot. And that's kind of an understatement. It really is like I have a third child, who stubs his toe and cries about it on a weekly basis. My husband doesn't actually cry, but everything comes to a halt when he has a blister, or a splinter, or he stubs his toe. We are all made very aware that he has hurt himself and the world must come to a stop and focus on him. Can you imagine? I mean, can you imagine as a mom having anyone actually care that you stubbed your toe or have a splinter?

Four summers ago I had a wide-excision surgical biopsy on my right heel. If you do the math, four summers ago I also had an 8 week old infant. This surgery was by no means elective or planned and it came about rather suddenly. And just to be clear, an excision of any kind, wide or not, done on the heel of a foot is extremely painful. After the surgeon removed what she needed to, she recreated my heel by pulling the skin so tight across the sole of my foot it felt like I was trying to give birth through the bottom of my foot. It was by far the most excruciating pain I've ever felt, and I'm including in my frame of reference actually giving birth, twice.

And in all this pain, I found that the world did not stop for me; the world barely even noticed. My husband still went to work. The newborn still cried and still needed to be fed. And the potty-training 2 year old still peed all over the living-room floor. No one really noticed until my husband saw me trying to crawl up the stairs after a day of hopping around on one foot, crying like I was the baby. I was actually crying. I finally convinced him that this was debilitating pain and I needed my world to at least notice so I could heal. That night he got up for the 2am and 5am feedings and brought the baby to me so I didn't have to crawl down the hallway to the nursery. That was helpful, I guess, but I would have really liked to just sit that night out. Don't get me wrong, I was thankful for that bit of help and for anyone who stopped in during the day, but the world never paused during that time. The world just doesn't acknowledge that moms get hurt too. We just aren't allowed; its not in our contract. There's no Injured/Reserve List for moms. I'm always on the roster and expected to play when needed. Clearly my husband negotiated better terms for himself. Its much easier for him to just take himself out of the game.

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