Friday, May 02, 2008


So, this morning I'm worried.

Last night after we got home, Joe was very quiet. I went into my office like I always do to check emails from the day, see if there are any comments on the blog and play a game of Mah Jong. It's a little ritual, I like it. But it was different because there were no sounds of Joe puttering around in the other room. Joe putts. He is the kind of guy who can always find something to do and is always busy at something. We've all teased him about it. Having a bunch up to watch a DVD is great, but when Joe gets up to get a beer or go to the can, he's not back for 15 to 20 minutes because he starts puttering around. Drives us all mad.

But there was only quiet from the other room. So silent that I quit my game and came out to see what was up. Joe was sitting on a chair in the front room. He looked ashen. I immediately got scared. I came in and sat down, asked him what was wrong.

"My heel, it's unbearable."

Joe has been limping for a while and after xrays it was determined he has a spur in his heel that has to be surgically removed. Joe suggested that he go through the surgery in the summer when we are travelling less. (Oh, yeah, and moving.) I got up and got him a pain killer and in a very short time he was feeling better and putter sounds were coming from the kitchen. I offered help, he didn't want it.

He's in bed right now, sleeping, he took a sleeping pill because the pain was back and bothering him. I won't wake him until it's necessary.

I feel so helpless.

I feel like there is something I should be doing - but I don't know what.

After the years that Joe has taken care of me, I should have picked up on what I should do to take care of him.

We have a busy couple of days in front of us, I've got to be down to the office early today. This afternoon we've got to go look at an apartment. Then tomorrow we're planning to see Mike, Merrissa, Ruby and Joseph on the occasion of the kids 14th birthday - it means a drive to Belleville and back. A drive on Joe's bad foot.

He doesn't know it yet, but his needs come first.

He doesn't put himself forward much, prefers to be in the background, all decisions about the next couple of days will be about his needs.

That, at least, is a gift I can give him.

The question is - can I make him take the gift?


wendy said...

Poor Joe! Maybe you need to tell him, when he is struggling to allow himself to be put first, that it is a gift you are offering and you would be so glad if he would accept it. (It's something my partner and I have said to each other at times and it seemed to help ease the guilt being the one to "take"...instead we get to "accept" the gift and the love behind it) Just a thought.

Andrea S. said...

Tell him that it's not just you asking -- your readers are asking him to let himself be taken care of, too.

Joe, take a load off. Literally. And hope your foot gets better quick.

Kei said...

A simple, "I love you. You're in pain right now so it's my turn to help you with your needs." should suffice.
And Joe, accept this gift from Dave. Hope your foot feels better soon.

Shan said...

Hey, Dave?

THE ENTIRE BUNCH OF THEM IS LIKE THAT. All six. Believe me: they don't like to make a fuss, they don't like anything to be All About Them. They are much more comfortable Doing for others.

Be firm. I also find that the fait accompli works great. You just go around quietly, changing plans and calling to cancel things and rearranging it so that instead of having to go out to meet them at a place with stairs, the party people come to her house.....I mean, YOUR house....and you don't even tell her....I mean HIM.....about it. She (I mean HE, damnit!) might be a little annoyed at first but she'll get over it.

I mean "he'll get over it".

Rosemary said...

Your relationship with Joe is much like my husband's and mine. He takes care of me. I have chronic pain, and DH does most of the chores these days. However, if he is feeling a bit ill or his back is hurting, it is really hard for him to accept help. I tell him that when you love someone, it also means allowing that someone to show their love for you. You have to be able to not only give but also to take. Good luck!

rickismom said...

I know that when my oldest son used to find me awake reading at the most unreasonable time, shutting the light worked. I knew what he would say was true. His actions showed that he was serious. Shan is right. Actions work.

Nicole said...

I hope he is feeling better soon and can get the surgery he needs. I think I'm dealing with one of those too. YUCK!