Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Close Call

In mid-July, I came way too close to losing Red. I spent a week sleeping in a hospital chair, watching my husband sleep, listening to machines beep, and praying for various measurements in his blood to go one way or the other.

We got lucky. The doctors say there is an excellent chance that there will be no lasting damage to Red, though if we'd waited just a couple more hours to go to the ER, I'd be posting something much much different right now.

What happened? Well, I won't post the name of the drug, because I don't want to freak anyone out, and I don't want to get sued by the company. But Red took a very common over-the-counter pain killer, and turned out to be the one-person-in-a-million who has those horrible adverse reactions they list in the commercials that most people ignore. His kidneys shut down. His heart nearly stopped. All because his foot hurt and he popped a pill.

I had a lot of time to think while I was sitting in that hospital chair. Though most of it didn't relate directly to DD, in a lot of ways, it related indirectly, so I thought it worth posting here.

The thing about Red is that he's a pretty private guy, and not many people know him very well. If they did, they'd know that no matter what assumptions you make about the guy, you're probably wrong.

For example, Red is physically the kind of spanker-man about whom most women with our particular preferences would dream. He's a big guy, even "larger than life" in some ways, and when he wants me to go somewhere (such as the bedroom for a nap, a spanking, or something else), he has no trouble getting me there. He's both an immovable object and an irresistable force when he wants to be. He seems unstoppable.

Because of his appearance, most people assume he's a meat and potatoes kind of man. But Red doesn't eat red meat. Red doesn't eat fried foods, fatty foods. He has a rather conservative diet.

Because of his incredible knowledge (Red is at the top of his field and has been becoming rather well known in his area of work), people assume that he knows everything. And sometimes I think so too. They'd never guess that Red has an incredible weakness when it comes to figurative speech. It quite frequently happens that Red needs to come to me after speaking to a client and ask me what a certain commonly-used metaphor means.

People also assume that Red is, just as he calls himself, "insensitive and uncaring." This may be true about some things, but Red has revealed himself to me over the years to be one of the most sensitive people I've ever met. The same man who warned me that we would not go through extreme and costly measures to save an animal's life when we adopted our first dog is now going through hell and high water to keep the poor, elderly, senile creature alive.

I tell you all of this to try to give you an idea of what it was like for me to watch this powerful man made helpless, and dependent upon machines and medicines to save his life. It is easy, and often pleasurable for me, to feel helpless and dependant on him, because he is so much larger and stronger than I am. I feel vulnerable around him. He is older and more experienced than I am. I rely on him quite a bit. I let myself believe that he's every bit as unstoppable as he seems.

But suddenly I found myself being the much stronger of the two. A little pill that has little to no effect on me, damn near killed him.

The fact is that despite all appearances, in the end Red is every bit as vulnerable as I am. He is my foundation because he chooses to be, and I can believe him to be unstoppable because he lets me. And I simply cannot take that for granted.

I am a very lucky woman to have Red with me. We're both lucky that his doctors are so capable and that the treatments have been so successful. Red has been getting stronger every day, and has even felt strong enough to threaten me with spankings for various minor misdeeds. And while I, of course, argue that I should not be spanked, I can help but feel so very grateful that he's strong enough to make the threat, and getting strong enough to follow through.


Hermione said...

Rose, my thoughts are with you and Red. I'm glad the worst is over and he is getting stronger.

I know exactly what you mean. A close friend went through the same sort of ordeal after taking a similar (maybe the same) drug. I posted about it. It was terrifying for all concerned, but had a happy outcome. So I know first-hand how precarious life can be.

Hugs to you both (and the doggie too)


Sara said...

Rose, I am so very sorry Red and you are going through this, and so very glad that all is coming out well! A close call can make you think through what is important, and counting your blessings is sure on that list! I hope he is up and chasing you soon!

kannakat said...

Dear Rose, I hope your husband is better soon. What a frightening shock for both of you. May you both continue to get better in all ways!
good wishes from kannakat

PrettyGirl said...

Rose, How horrifying this entire ordeal sounds. I am so happy Red is coming through and his prognosis is positive. May you continue to be richly blessed and grow together as you move forward together. P

Jigsaw Analogy said...

I am so glad that Red went to the hospital on time, and was *seen* on time.

I want to add how much I appreciated the rest of the post--it nearly brought tears to my eyes, seeing how much you love him, and how close you came to losing him. Well, that, and the bit about him doing everything he can to keep your dog alive.

Serenity Everton said...

Rose, I am so sorry I am commenting late but I am so *glad* you both survived the close call.

Be good to yourself,

PrettyGirl said...

Just touching base to let you know someone is thinking about you. Hope you guys are doing well.