Today is my 7th wedding anniversary.
Rather than bore you with a litany of reasons why L4L is the bee’s knees (he’s solid gold awesome!) I thought I’d take an alternate route. Today I won’t be grossing you out with sickening romantic prose.
However, I must warn you the following is graphic and not suitable for the squeamish. I’m being serious here, people.
When Angry Baby was born into this world it was by an emergency c-section. After 25 hours of labor, my health in rapid decline, it was the very last resort.
As with any major surgery, there are risks for complications, the abdomen in particular, is at risk for all sorts of nasty infections due to the bacteria that naturally occur in the area.
Mix complications, nasty infections, an already compromised immune system and you basically get what I battled for 4+ horrific months. A time period I quite literally refer to as, “my season in Hell.”
I was cut open on an operating table on October 16th. I was then discharged and sent home 4 days later. Upon walking in the door, I developed a 104° fever that raged on our first night at home with Angry Newborn. Lover fo’ Life took the entire night of baby duty.
The next morning, there was a hard swelling around my abdomen, combined with the high fever I was still running, Lover fo’ Life called my Doc’s office. The nurse on the other end told us to come in immediately.
We arrived at his office and they quickly ushered me into a room, had me lay on a table and my doctor opened the incision so he could get a look at what was going on. Lover fo’ Life stood behind the doc, intently watching. He had a front row seat to watch cups of pus, fetid fluid, and blood pour from my surgical wound on to the floor. L4L watched with horror, trying to act nonchalant about it.
With the fluid out of my abdomen all that was left was a cavern of various channels caused by trapped fluid under and around my incision.
The cure? A huge mess o’ antibiotics, daily saline cleaning (outside/inside the wound), and packing my belly with 3 feet of dry gauze. Due to the large scope of my gut wound, the daily packing had to be done in the hospital, every day.
I’ll spare you the true gory details, but my team of healers decided I needed to be packed every 12 hours…once at the hospital (with bleach) and once at home, each day.
This is the point of the story when it stops being about me, and it becomes all about the hero, my husband of 7 years.
Every day, with a surgeon’s precision (taught by my medical team personally) Lover fo’ Life proved true love happens when no one is looking for it in ways that are far more beautiful and ghastly than anything cooked up by Hollywood.
For several months, as my wound refused to heal, every day Lover for Life and I did a beautiful dance of
It started every morning at 5:00am. Lover fo Life would get up, collect his sterilized medical supplies and then gently wake me up.
After I was awake, he would carefully remove the special tape from my wound area, wash up, and with Sterile gloved hands, pull out all the gauze in my gut from the previous packing, once the 3 feet of gauze was out came the fun part (not really.) Every day L4L had to get a flashlight and physically inspect my internal gutmeat. He was told to look for any signs of infection or something out of the ordinary…as if looking to your sick wife’s guts everyday had a level of ORDINARY!?
Once he was done looking at my insides, it was time for him to touch them. Without fail he would apply the solution prescribed and stuff my gut with gauze until, as the doctor said, “the wooden swab used to push it in almost breaks from tension.” That’s how they gauged I was “full” (!)
Once I was packed, he finished by taping me up only to repeat the routine all over again the next morning.
No only did my Lover fo Life do this without hesitation, he took care of me (even the super creepy stuff) with a glad, serving heart of love.
I know most of you that chose to stick around for this post are about to hork from the gross-o-modo stuff I just dropped on you, I also know that those who aren’t grossed out, no doubt are fascinated to know what it felt like.
It felt like sh*t.
The good news is, when you’re truly fighting to stay on this planet, every pang of agony is a pleasure. It reminds you you’re still in the game.
While it was no pleasure cruise, I will be forever grateful to the months I spent with a massive opening to my innards for the world to witness. It has enriched my enjoyment of life today in ways I cannot begin to explain.
As always, I’m in awe of Lover fo’ Life and his quiet strength, class, wisdom and beauty…
Never once did he wince, say “ewww,” or look away. He wasn’t repulsed by the sight of my insides. “Whatever it takes to get you well, I’m up for it.”
“True love” is often summed up in flowery, beautiful quotes that inspire swoons. But in actuality, love in its purest form is bloody, messy, unwavering and more painful than death.
To the man who loves my guts, may I spend the rest of our lives returning the favors you have bestowed on me.