Here we are nudging right up on the “day of romance”… that holiday we call Valentine’s Day. As many CMBA marriage bloggers are taking up the challenge to write about dating your spouse (Here’s Tiffani’s post!), I’ve been spending some time reading and commenting on others’ posts. When I got to The Forgiven Wife’s blog, I was delighted to see this little gem in her Valentine’s Date post “Take Charge of Date Night.”
“When my husband was in the hospital last summer, we had date night right there in his hospital room—all with snuggling, a movie, and drink refills from his wonderful nurses. That date was about us just soaking in each other’s presence. We’d had a health scare, and we were so grateful to be with each other and know that he was likely to be okay. It was memorable because the date was distilled down to one thing: being with each other.” (Used with permission from Chris Taylor, a.k.a. The Forgiven Wife)
I was immediately taken back to my own hospital stay right after my first back surgery (see my post “Fear Not!“). My after-surgery experience was actually pretty doggone cool, and if you’ll hang with me for a few minutes, I’ll tell you why!
I was terrified going in to the hospital for the surgery because they were going to be working on my spine with very sharp instruments. I was flooded with thoughts of everything that could possibly go wrong. In the end though, the surgery went just fine, and now we get to the part of the story that tickles me!
One of the rules for me getting to leave the hospital was that I needed to get up and make at least two laps around the nurses’ station down the hall, on my own two feet and under my own power. But the docs had
made the mistake of putting me in charge of my own pain medication prescribed me a self-injected pain medicator and a fully loaded bag of morphine. I hate pain! And if it’s within my power to eradicate it, you’d better believe I’m gonna be all over it! I became an expert at hitting that button as soon as the little light flashed on – every 6 minutes on the dot. If slapping the button were an Olympic sport, I would have been a gold medalist by the end of the first hour. Now you must understand that when my body is being subjected to that type of drug, my mind really gets loosened up and I have been known to say some incredibly silly things. No, I’m not completely out of my mind… but I struggle to control my tongue and EVERYTHING is funny. I remember my dear wife and my daily nurses laughing with me (AT me??) almost non-stop the entire day.
So late that afternoon, the physical therapist came up and insisted that she take me for a walk to do my first lap. She wrapped this belt around my waist that had a heavy leather strap hanging from it. I asked “is this my leash so I can’t escape?” She laughed and said “Why yes it is!” We started walking VERY slowly. Ever seen a slug crawl across a sidewalk? Yep, those dudes put me to shame with their blistering speed. As we came around the first corner, there was a lady pushing a janitor’s cart and she stepped to the side of the hall and leaned against the railing to let me pass by unhindered. I remember smiling at her and saying “Yes, please hang TIGHTLY onto that railing. The vortex as I go screaming by is likely to rip you off the wall and toss you down the hallway.” (Thoughts in my head at that moment… “Why can’t I ever think up cool things like this to say when I’m in my right mind?”) Leash-lady, the nurses, and Janitor Lady all snickered at that. Meanwhile, Tiffani is leaning against the wall just outside my room, waiting for me to get back.
We joke a bit more, I’m most assuredly saying some really stupid things as we walk. The entire walk probably wasn’t more than 2 minutes, but it sure felt like an hour went by. Finally we arrive back at my room, and leash-lady releases me into the arms of my wife. We smooch right there in the hallway in front of all the nurses, and I’m grinning from ear to ear like I just won the Boston Marathon. A few minutes later, I’m back in my bed and a young lady (as in “teenager”) is hooking me back up to all my machines. She grins at me and says “Did I detect a little making-out going on out there in the hallway?” I looked over at my very amused wife, smiled really big, and said “You’d better believe it!”
The rest of that afternoon was spent with me resting, and Tiffani sitting in a chair right beside me. We held hands for a good part of that day, and I was simply content to rest knowing that my beloved was very close by. I dozed at times, and whenever she needed to leave the room for something (like a drink refill), she would always rouse me and say “I will be right back. I’m going to get a drink.” As day slowly turned to evening, I slid over in my bed a little bit and made room for Tiffani to snuggle in under my right arm. I can’t even begin to tell you how good this simple thing made me feel. I couldn’t do anything but sit there clicking my pain medication button, and Tiffani knew that it would make me feel loved to have her snuggled up with me.
This bit of the story is (even now) still pretty unbelievable to me, but I tell you it’s true. All my nurses up to this point had been females, but my evening nurse was a guy. He came in and introduced himself, and said “Wow, you two look really comfy. Would you like me to get you a wider bed so she can sleep beside you?” My bottom lip fell right onto my chest. If God hadn’t glued my teeth in at birth, I’m positive they would have joined the lip on my chest. I’m also quite sure my eyes bugged out a bit too. I looked over at my beautiful bride, then back at the nurse and said incredulously “You can do that??” He says “Absolutely. I’d be happy to do that for you guys.” We were both pretty much speechless for a moment. We’ve spent time in a LOT of hospitals over our 3 decades together, and NEVER had such an offer before.
After considering his offer and discussing it, we ended up having to turn it down because Tiffani had not intended to stay the night. She needed to get home and tend to our kids and farm animals, then she was planning to come back in the morning. But I made sure to tell the nurse that I was VERY grateful to have been given that option though!
For the rest of the evening she snuggled with me on the bed, and fed me ice chips while we chatted and sort-of-watched the news channel on TV. Some of you may not think that’s very romantic, but let me tell you… it’s what we were able to do at the time, and we got to spend EXCLUSIVE time together! It actually goes down in my own personal history book as one of my favorite dates ever!
And when I woke up the next morning, I woke up to THIS! (Yep, I took that pic from my hospital bed.)
The most beautiful nurse I’ve ever had, with a smile on her face, and a cup of real coffee in her hand! For but a brief moment, I thought I had died in the night and gone to heaven!
The moral of this tale is… if you and your spouse spend time together, connecting with each other in spite of the circumstances, then call it a date and NEVERMIND what the world has to say about it!
DATE YOUR SPOUSE!
Fellow CMBA Members’ Posts:
Enhancing The Dance