Sunday, May 16, 2010

Imagine My Fear

As a writer, I often find myself drawing upon life’s experiences, even in a fictional world. Today, I'm sharing with you one such example that bristles the hairs on my arms when contemplating what could have been.

My wife had major reconstructive surgery on her abdominal wall this past week. When we passed the three day mark, she expressed a desire to take a shower before having to go back to see the doctor.

Mistake #1: not taking the recliner into the master bath.
When we unzipped/took off her compression garment, from her knees up to her chest, the pressure change caused her to be light of head. I quickly helped her sit down on the edge of the bath tub. That was when she passed out in my arms and started convulsing. It was not violent, just a lot of involuntary body twitching that scared the hell out of me.

Mistake #2: locking the bathroom door so the kids could not come in.
I didn't dare try and move my wife for fear of hurting her. She has drainage tubes coming out of her lower abdomen and sutured stitches spanning hip to hip. I yelled to her mother to come help--only she couldn't get in because the door was locked. Imagine my fear. I couldn't lay her down. I couldn't stand her up. Her face is ashen white and she won't respond. My mother-in-law is trying to bust the doors open, and I'm trying to revive the love of my life. My lips lock over hers, but her mouth won’t open. I call her name over and over again, but she doesn't answer. Her limp arms hang at my side. I wonder for a brief moment if this is it—if this is how it ends—and then everything inside me screams no! I slap her face with my free hand, desperate to wake her up. The bathroom door explodes open as her mother hurls herself through the double doors with the aid of my younger son. She grabs my wife’s shoulders and sinks her cold fingernails into her skin. Joy speaks. After almost two minutes of eternal silence my wife speaks, even if dazed and confused. I squeeze her tight and never want to let go.
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