Childrearing

Mother’s Day Fail: The Year I Spent Mother’s Day Nursing My Husband Back To Health

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Last year right around this time of year, I was preparing for a brand new job. I was getting ready to celebrate my first anniversary. I was enrolling my daughter in pre-school. And I was mentally trying to prepare myself and my family for the possibility that my husband wouldn’t walk again. Happy Mother’s Day!

The Tuesday before Mother’s Day, my husband called me at work. He was on his way to pick up our daughter from daycare, when he stopped to put gas in the car. He stepped out of the door and felt a seriously disturbing pop in his lower back. He called to ask me to come get him because he was in an intense amount of pain and he couldn’t move his legs.

The minute I saw my husband, pale and sweating in pain, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to move him at all. I called an ambulance and started making arrangements. I called my parents to pick up our daughter. I called the daycare to let them know the change of plans. I called my brother-in-law so that he could pick up our car from the gas station. Plan, plan, plan.

The doctor in the emergency room admitted my husband after realizing that several rounds of Dilaudid had almost no effect on the pain. Much more troubling to us was the fact that he had almost no feeling in his feet and legs. After a couple days of tests and patience, a neurosurgeon scheduled a procedure to remove a portion of a bulging disc that was pressed up against his spinal column. There was serious damage to the nerves, which was causing his pain and numbness.

The good news is that surgery went well and my husband came through beautifully. He was actually up on his feet the same day the procedure was done. He still has a “dead spot” on his shin, but things could have been worse. The surgeon warned that degenerative disc disease would mean that my husband will have back issues for the rest of his life. We figured that we’re still pretty lucky.

So what happened on Mother’s Day? Well that was the day that we got to come home from the hospital, of course!

I know, I know. It was a happy day. My husband was home and going to be okay. Our week long circus was over. I promise that on the day itself, I was caring and positive, just happy to be home together as a family.

But in a deep, dark selfish place in my head, I think I had to admit that my Mother’s Day kind of sucked. I mean, all my husband could do was lay in bed. He hadn’t planned a gift ahead of time, because he obviously didn’t plan on being in the hospital for the week leading up to the big day. My daughter was still confused about what was going on and trying to come to terms with a daddy who wasn’t invincible. She couldn’t even jump on him, which she still likes to bring up as if it were an insult. “Daddy, remember that one time you wouldn’t let me play with you! I couldn’t jump on your bed. I couldn’t even climb on you…” I guess she’s still bitter too.

Our Mother’s Day last year wasn’t exactly a fail, but it wasn’t ideal either. The only meal that I didn’t make myself was breakfast provided by the hospital.. Instead of relaxing, I had two people to take of. But it would be incorrect to say that I didn’t receive a present. After all, what do you call a healthy husband who just days before that couldn’t wiggle his toes? I guess it will be hard to top last year’s gift. But hopefully, I’m the one who will get to spend the day in bed this year.

(Photo: AVAVA/Shutterstock)