I don’t talk much about my husband Chris, other than peripherally as a companion on my adventures or fall-man for my hormonal rants. He really is a Prince among men- he is the bucket man when my canoe is leaking, my own combination of court jester, unwitting sidekick, & personal cheerleader. He is God’s idea of the perfect compliment to my taciturn personality- outgoing, accepting, willing to jump into new situations- in many ways, still young-at-heart, though his body is beginning to disagree. Although I am a very independent person, who treasures privacy & solitary pursuits, my world would be incomplete with out Chris in it- he is the Yang to my Yin.
This being said, I want you to know he has been a big…whiney…baby! I had my medical overhaul last year- hysterectomy, physical therapy, gum surgery, & 3 root canals; I spent hours, week after week, in various medical/dental facilities, taking care of what needed to be done. 2007 is going to be Chris’ year; in the past two weeks, he has been to the eye doctor, the dentist, & his new primary care physician. I made the appointments (he won’t do it himself- he “forgets”- which is why he hasn’t seen a dentist in 3 years), handed him the list of times & addresses, & said “Be there.” You would have thought I’d served him with an audit notice- “Why do I need to go to (insert name of whichever office)? My (eyes, teeth, back/shoulder) don’t hurt that badly!” Being a sympathetic, compassionate wife, I told him to suck it up & quit whining.
First was the eye doctor. Eighteen months ago, Chris’ arms finally got too short for him to be able to read the newspaper, so I sent him off to the eye doctor for the first time since he was in high school. Two hours & $265 later, he was the proud owner of two pairs of reading glasses- one for work & one for home. Last month, while wandering around Santa Fe, Chris lost one pair of glasses, so I made an appointment to get them replaced at a different place then last time. The new doctor examined him, tested for glaucoma, & said, “You don’t need a prescription.” Chris was a little flummoxed- he can’t read without his glasses. The doctor walked out of the office, returned with a pair of glasses, & told Chris to try them on; they were perfect, just like his other pair. The doctor then told him that they were the magnifying glasses you can buy at most discount stores, next to the sunglasses. They cost maybe $12.00 a pair! The doctor told him these would be fine for a number of years, until the highest magnification won’t work for him anymore. I’m equally thrilled & ticked off- if he loses another pair, it won’t cost much to replace them; on the other hand, what I paid 2 years ago, he could have had eighteen pairs of glasses!
Last week was the dentist. Chris has had something rather smelly going on in his mouth since December, which needed to be addressed, & I wanted him to get an estimate on repairing his front teeth. The top four are all badly chipped along the bottom edges; they have been repaired a couple of times, but are broken again. It is to the point that Chris will barely open his mouth or smile, which is completely out of his nature. Since he has been to the dentist in three years, I was expecting major work or repairs, since all his molars are baby teeth & will eventually wear out. Surprise! He had no cavities, & doesn’t need root canals or deep cleaning- the smelly thing was a hygiene problem. Bad news is- the front teeth repair is considered a “cosmetic procedure” by our insurance, so the out of pocket is going to be- gulp- around $3200. He came home growling about learning to live with “looking like a hillbilly”, which I promptly stopped. I’m not vain about much, but I will spend whatever money is needed on my teeth; therefore, I’m not about to let my husband walk around feeling embarrassed by his appearance. I told him we might have to do it over a couple years- two this year & two next- but his teeth will be repaired! I’m now brainstorming fundraising ideas to supplement my flex spending at work, the first being clearing out the closets, study, & garage, & having the dreaded “Yard Sale Event” while I’m on vacation in April. It might be good for $300 or $400, if we’re lucky; by late April, Chris’ work starts getting busy & he puts in quite a bit of overtime until sometime in September. So, if all goes well, he can get the first two teeth repaired by May.
Today, he is off to the new primary physician. He has been complaining of elbow & shoulder pain for months, but instead of seeing a doctor, he’s just been eating bottles of ibuprofen. I finally had enough last week, after he grabbed his arm & grimaced with pain ten times in one evening- I made the appointment & told him to be there early to fill out paperwork. He went out of the house this morning, grumbling about having to leave work early & fight traffic, blah, blah, blah- my comment was, “Would you like a little cheese with that whine?” My Prince was not amused.