Me: Sweetie, are you stuffy?
Hubby: Oh, my feet, Amy. Oh, my back. Oh, my head!
Me: ... (hobbles around, winces as I get up from sitting, takes some meds if pains are too bad and waits in silence as they tackle the problem area).
Pain and illness. We all have our own way of dealing with it. Hubby speaks of his often to me. Sweetie practically takes offense if you suggest to her she's anything but "great" in every way. And I - perhaps the person who's most in any sort of regular physical pain here? Maybe? I don't know? - just deal with it in relative silence and carry on with life.
None of these coping mechanisms are ideal, of course. Hubby's complaints no longer strike me as anything more than just words. And I’m frustrated that, for some reason or another, Sweetie seems to think it's an absolute weakness to be sick or pained in any way. Or, when I'm really concerned about her, I imagine that she perhaps feels not-so-hot all the time, so that she's used to it by now and it's just the way it is. She no longer remembers what it's like to feel truly great, so what she regularly feels is "great" to her, even though I perceive her to be a little out of sorts.
Or maybe she's fine. I don't know. She's a mystery wrapped in an enigma who likes to tell riddles, that one.
And I, well... when I do speak up with a complaint (not so much a complaint, really. Just an acknowledgement that I'm feeling a little more worse for wear than usual), or Hubby recognizes in me that something hurts... I've been told I’m being a martyr. Bucking up and dealing with my problems, but not actively doing anything to take care of them, and moving on in a less than ideal physical state, when I don't have to.
Ah, I see. Sweetie does take after me, doesn't she? The difference? I'll admit to aches and pains if asked. Sweetie won't. When asked, in fact, Sweetie will get exasperated with you (okay, me), roll her eyes, and tell you "I'm fine!" Literally, it's as if she thinks it's some sort of personal defeat to admit illness or pain.
Not that she won't tell us, sometimes, when she's feeling bad. She tells us on occasion when she has a slight headache. If she feels funny in the belly, like she's really going to be sick, of course she tells us. But for the average coldy, sniffly, or regular Lyme Disease-y days... eh. She's fine, mom! Great! Never better!
As for Hubby and me... I think Hubby is like a lot of Hubbies out there. He doesn't complain at all to the average person. He just complains to me. Perhaps he could find a way to manage better on his own, and move on. Whereas I, I'm sure, really should do more to help myself, maybe even let others know more often that it hurts me to do this or that, rather than sit in silent pain as often as I do. I have easy access to a chiropractor, but I don't get adjusted because we can't afford it. If I get really hypochondriacal about my issues (which, believe me, I can... I just don't tell anyone my worries), I know I really should make myself a doctor's appointment and get some tests done. But then, we can't afford that either... even more so... so I don't. So I live with things as is, which isn't great.
And Sweetie? She probably has the best observation/coping skills of us all, when it comes down to it. She probably hears Hubby regularly mentioning his pains, and how easily I can ignore him because I hear the same things from him all the time... and knows that's not quite right. And she probably sees me wincing and silently "dealing" with my issues... and she knows that's not quite right either. So she adopts her status of usual greatness, not allowing herself to be "weak" and sick, and only lets us know when things really take a turn for the worse for her.
To get even more deep with it... maybe Sweetie perceives that my life in general is tougher physically than anyone else she knows, yet I rarely complain. So what right does she have, she may feel, to mention any of her little problems?
As I said, none of our ways is the proper way to manage one's own health. We each need to work on things. For me, I know it would do me well to remember more often that not only am I Hubby’s help-mate, but he is mine. We are here for each other, even through - especially through - sickness and pain. When he tells me about his aches and pains, I can possibly help him through some of that. And, if only I told him more often about mine, perhaps I’d feel just a little bit better myself because of the care he can offer me.
I don't know that I have any real sort of point to this post. It’s all just something I wanted to write out to see if, through the writing process, I could make some heads and tails of the situation. Why we each are the way we are. Usually, that happens for me - writing makes everything more clear. This time, though? Not so much. It's still a murky mess of random observations.
Oh well. So, this one may have been a waste of time. And I've been sitting here for quite awhile writing it all. The more I sit in one place, the more my back hurts when I finally get up.
I guess that's what I get for writing about pain. More pain.