Andrea's column: He's in Heaven, Andrea is notIf you have seen my husband recently, you may have noticed the big smile on his face. He’s been a bit giddy and I believe I heard him giggle a few times, too. This is one happy man.
If you have seen my husband recently, you may have noticed the big smile on his face. He’s been a bit giddy and I believe I heard him giggle a few times, too. This is one happy man.
Why, you want to know, is the man so full of bliss? Let me tell you.
It started with my appointment at a gastroenterology clinic 10 days ago. Towards the end of my visit, my voice got scratchy. Ten minutes later, I could barely talk. The woman helping me schedule another appointment struggled to understand me. I kept apologizing.
The next day, I spoke to a member of my primary physician’s clinical support staff. How she got the gist of what I was saying is beyond me. But she said I had a virus that had “landed” on my vocal chords.
She told me I had to stop talking. I told her my husband’s prayers had finally been answered. I called my husband at work, told him what was going on and said I would have to write my end of our conversations for awhile. “You can’t talk at all? he asked.
I believe I heard him slap the hand of a co-worker in a victory high-five as I whispered, “No. Every time I talk for a minute, I end up coughing for 10.”
This directive from the nurse would be a challenge. I am a talker. Give me a telephone call over an email any day, a real conversation over a Facebook connection. I was the one in grade school who brought home report cards with checks next to “disturbs others” and “talks in class.”
During eight days of training for my first job selling cars, I was the trainee who grimaced when the sales manager said once you had a purchase agreement written up, turn it towards the customer, ask them to approve it and then, shut up. “The first one to talk loses,” he said over and over. Each time, his eyes were on me.
When my husband came home for dinner the first day of my gag order, he stood in the doorway of the bedroom to see if I was awake. I offered a weak wave so he walked over and held a small yellow writing pad in front of my face. “Hi! How do you feel?” he had written.
“Fine” I wrote below his sentiments. “But you do understand my hearing is fine, don’t you? It’s okay for you to talk but I can’t. I am the only one who has to write.”
It took us a few hours to get the program down pat. Once in awhile, he started writing and once or twice, I forgot and said something. But basically, this chatty woman had been silenced. It reminded me of retreats at my old boarding school when, for a whole weekend, we listened to lectures, prayed silently and were forbidden to speak. (I failed every time.)
Like those retreats, I am ready for this vocal chord virus to be over. I’m not sure about my husband, though. The other day, along with his giggles and over-sized chuckles, he may have whistled, too.
“This won’t last forever,” I want to write on the small yellow writing pad. “Enjoy it while you can.”