I Wonder How Many Men Have Died During Childbirth?

Sometimes I write something on the calendar a full year in advance.  Like last year.

Last year, I wrote on this year’s calendar, in the first week of May, the following words:  “Buy and begin using allergy medicine before the 3rd week of May.”

That’s because I finally kept track of my allergies and realized they kicked in during the third week of May and lasted a few weeks and then went away.

But it’s only the second week of April, and they’ve already started.  They’ve already started!  Stupid mild winter has tricked the trees and flowers into blooming unnaturally early and I didn’t have time to build up the allergy medicine in my nose.


You know how people like to make fun of men and say that they’re babies when they’re sick?  That’s not been my experience.  Darling Husband is in pain pretty much every minute of the day and has been for the past 15 years.  Before then, he was in pain every few days.  But how many of you who know him can tell that he’s in pain?  You can’t.  He’s usually got major neck pain or knee pain or how about the headaches that last for days in a row?  Yes, he has them, but you’d never know.

Now I, on the other hand, am a poster child for robust good health.  I have almost boundless energy, rarely experience pain, and am shocked and completely out of commission whenever I do experience a twinge of discomfort.  Usually the worst pain that I’ll get is a mild headache, maybe 6 times a year.  Maybe.  In a bad year.

One year I got tonsillitis and called my doctor for a sick visit.  The receptionist didn’t believe I was still a patient because I hadn’t been there in so long.  She figured I had another doctor who was too busy to see me, and I was trying to sneak my way into her office.  She said, “Who’s your real doctor?”  “What?” I rasped out. “What other doctor have you been going to for the past few years?”  “No one!  I just don’t get sick!”  She grudgingly made the appointment for me, but she made it clear she was under duress.

Incidentally, why are receptionists so mean?  I’d say that a good 70% of them are heartless, snarling gorgons.  What’s wrong with them?  You’d think they’re tired of dealing with whiny, irritable, sick people all day or something.

So, when I get sick, I have no practice at all in how to handle it with grace and I turn into a blubbering, self-pitying, depressed blob.  And in my book, allergies count as being sick.

Today’s been an unhappy day for me.

Of course, I have no one to turn to when I’m feeling miserable.  I mean, really.  Am I supposed to ask Darling Husband for sympathy?  Sure, maybe after he finishes up with his physical therapy for his neck, or maybe after he hobbles downstairs on his bad knee.  Or perhaps he can squeeze in some sympathy between taking his migraine medicine and heart pills.

Besides, he’s not a very good nurse.  I remember another time when I had tonsillitis (because that’s pretty much all I get) and my fever got up to 106.4, or was it 104.6?  I can’t remember, but it was pretty high, and he didn’t take any action at all.  There I was, a limp husk of my former self, shivering and sweating and unable to even read a book or watch tv (!), helpless to take care of myself, and he didn’t think to get me some Tylenol or water or give the doctor a little call.  After a day or two of me fading in and out of hallucinations, I finally dragged myself to the phone and made the call to the doctor myself.

And then there was the time where I had just given birth (given birth), without pain medication (without pain medication), and the midwife was sewing up my ripped body parts (again without any pain medication) and he announced, “Well, now you know what the pain of a migraine is like.”  The midwife paused in pulling a stitch through my very sensitive self, the nurse gave an audible gasp and then they both went utterly still, cringing in preparation against the sudden, fatal violence that was sure to ensue.  Thankfully, after slogging through the black depths of the excruciating pain of childbirth, I was left with a giddy euphoria that allowed Darling Husband to live to see another day.

After Darling Husband got home tonight, I went to the store to find some Nasalcrom and Puff’s Plus with lotion.  If you’ve never used Puff’s Plus with lotion, then you should.  If you use them your nose will not get red and cracked.  They’re like magic.  After a while, they make your nose feel slimy, so you might have to use a regular tissue every 8th sneeze or so, but other than the accumulated sliminess, they’re a nose saver.

I started at the grocery store, because Darling Husband asked me to get him some fruit as well.  (What?  Didn’t he know I was too weak from sneezing all day to stop and buy fruit?)  But the grocery store didn’t have the Nasalcrom.  I mean, I guess they didn’t.  The medication section of grocery/drug stores is utterly baffling.  It takes me forever and a day to find the medication I’m looking for, if I even manage to find it at all.  Which I didn’t.

Nasalcrom, where are you?

After the grocery store, I headed to the local drug store, but they were closed.  Closed.  It was only 7:10 at night.  Everything closes at 5:00 around here.  I don’t know how businesses stay in business.  They’re open all day long when everyone is at work, and as soon as their customers are off work and can get to the store…they close.

Are you kidding me?? This is America! Stores are supposed to be open til 10:00 every night.

When I saw that closed sign I almost burst into piteousl little tears.  Because I don’t even know where the next closest drug store is, but it’s at least 15 minutes away.  So, I headed home, dejected and wiggling my itchy nose, and not even bothering to sing along to the radio.

And now, I’m heading off to watch Juan with my box of Puffs Plus with lotion by my side to wile away the long hours until the drug store opens again.


Dinner:  Shrimp enchiladas.  Yum!


2 thoughts on “I Wonder How Many Men Have Died During Childbirth?

    • Oh, I don’t blame him, and I agreed with him that migraines are horrible. I chose no pain medication because I’m susceptible to the side effects which would have been worse than the pain itself. The side effects aren’t a cake walk.

      Childbirth is undeniably excruciating, but (for me anyway) there was no fear in it. It was just pain. Usually if you feel pain at those sorts of levels, it means there is something terribly, seriously, perhaps irredeemably wrong with you. But with childbirth, it all goes away in a few hours and there’s no damage done. (Usually, anyway.)

      A migraine sounds like pure torture. Out of control pain that can strike at any time, coupled with terror that it will never end, or that the migraines will keep coming back? What a nightmare.

      Yes, I agreed with him and was very polite about it. But there is a time and place, and when you body has just been ripped open in a jagged wound, which is being sewn up by a person who is covered in your blood, and you’re still shaking uncontrollably from the physical shock of childbirth…that’s not the time to compare pain.

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