Journal of a Living Lady #347
Nancy White Kelly
Poor Buddy. He doesn’t get a lot of sympathy from me most times because he has a new ailment every day. I tell him he is like the boy who cried wolf. One day he is really going to be sick and I’m not going to know it. Over the years I have grown rather indifferent to his complaints. Recently I kept count of how many consecutive days that he told me he was tired. The tally was 32.
Buddy gets at least one if not two annual physicals. All his blood work is fine. Buddy isn’t sick. He is just getting older.
Yesterday he woke up complaining about a sore shoulder. Again I humored him. Poor baby. He then said his neck was aching too and sort of stiff. Again, poor baby. When Buddy asked if we could go out for breakfast, I reluctantly agreed even though I had a pile of “to do’s” on my list. At least it would get his mind off his shoulder and neck.
Buddy pitched the car keys to me with today’s good arm. I stopped at a restaurant about halfway to town hoping to get back in time for the usual eleven a.m. time of the Ye Old Coin Shop.
The busy waitress finally took our order. Buddy, in obvious discomfort, grew crankier as the minutes ticked by. I perked up our conversation in an attempt to keep his mind off his pain and the poor service. The chit-chat evolved into a warm discussion. He was unhappy that I wasn’t taking his hurting seriously enough.
Buddy is a hard person to read when it came to illness. I do care greatly about this husband of mine, but sometimes giving excessive sympathy makes the situation worse. Our personalities are totally opposite. I prefer to suffer in silence. In contrast, he likes to at least vocalize, if not dramatize, his every pain. I kid you not. Ask him about the toe he hurt in the Navy.
This day I questioned Buddy about radiating pain, headache, shortness of breath, and any other possible symptoms that could be the precursor of something serious. My conclusion was that he slept in a poor position resulting in a neck crick. I suggested a hot shower and offered a massage. If that didn’t help, I would call the doctor for an appointment. That seemed to appease him.
Finally home, Buddy opted for a heating pad. I gave him a pain pill. He slept for a couple of hours and by mid-afternoon he was moving around the house slowly. By nightfall, he was eating popcorn and watching television. There was no further mention of his shoulder and neck.
Apparently Buddy didn’t have spinal meningitis or some insidious, paralyzing disease. This morning he is outside cutting grass and dealing with moles and ant hills. I expect my tired husband to come into the house any moment now wanting breakfast. Life is back to normal.