It all started last Tuesday evening, when Brent didn’t feel up to par and skipped his usual weekly meetup with those hammerhead bicycle racers he rides with. I went on to attend my writers’ group meeting, and the Board dinner meeting beforehand. I was walking IN THE DOOR of the Mexican place where we eat every month, when I got a text from Brent. “Coughed up some blood.”
“I don’t think I can stay for dinner,” I told my fellow writers.
When I got home we ate, then Brent started having severe pain spasms behind the lower right ribs. We fled to the emergency room. First thinking it was gallstones, they took some blood and X-rays.
Soon the ER doctor came in. Based on the X-rays, she said, “You have pneumonia.”
This was worse than gallstones. Both our mouths fell open.
But the blood tests didn’t fit the first diagnosis. Soon the doctor returned. “Not pneumonia,” she said, “but you have a blood clot in your lung. We’re going to run a CAT scan.”
This sounded even worse than pneumonia. Both our mouths fell open again.
Eventually the doc came back. “The scan showed numerous small blood clots in the outer area of both lungs.”
This sounded worse still. Both our mouths opened once more, this time to say, “Could you maybe just not come back in here?”
Oh, no. The underwear was ALL in the laundry basket with the cycling clothes I had been waiting to wash until after the bike ride. You know, the one Brent ended up not taking. Sheesh.
Load level: Large.
Pull knob to start.
The wash and rinse cycles allowed plenty of time to pack some toiletries and Brent’s briefcase, rinse the hardened dinner dishes abandoned six hours earlier, and generally make a dent in the chaos we had left behind.
I remained unusually attentive for the washer to finish up, threw the clean underwear and T-shirts in the dryer, muted the “done” signal and got to bed by 3:15 a.m.
Up at 7:00, clothing items and toiletries in a small duffel, and off to the hospital again. I found Brent finishing up breakfast. He had gotten even less sleep than I had, interrupted over and over by vital sign checks and pain meds and water pitcher refills, not to mention some funky monitor on his IV stand that made an obnoxious ratchety chir-r-r-p every few seconds. He was uncomfortable, tired, concerned, and even a little cranky.
Well—the nerve. How dare he be cranky after I’d spent half the night doing laundry? I didn’t complain, though. Just gave him his stuff and a kiss, made good my escape and took myself to breakfast. Bible and journal in hand, I lit into some delicious eggy, cheesy stuff and looked for Scriptures about healing.
Sometimes God seems to speak in sermon-sized chunks, but He also knows when I just need a swift kick. The first reference I looked up was Proverbs 16, verse 24. Here’s what God said to me:
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. So talk sweet to your honey. And buy him some underwear.”
I can take a hint. Brent was the one with the painful and worrisome condition, not me. For the rest of his hospital stay that “honeycomb” advice came back to mind again and again, helping me remain cheerful, understanding and affectionate. Most of the time, anyway.
And now he is out of the hospital and on the mend, sleeping by night and working by day.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll make him some toast.
Thanks for reading!