December 12, 2012

The very worst doctor story ever, Part 2

I could think of nothing with which to illustrate this blog. So here's Rob's other love - the one who'll never make fun of him.

The nice thing about being married for a while is that you establish your Married Couple System:

Rob buys the Christmas presents; I wrap the Christmas presents.
Rob thinks of house projects; I do the house projects.
Rob mows the lawn; I vacuum Legos.
Rob cleans the kitchen; I wash the stray dirty pot and wipe chunks off the counter when he's "done."
Rob pairs the socks; I fold everything else and internally curse him all week for my mismatched feet.
Rob man-crushes on Dirk Nowitzki; I man-crush on Ryan Reynolds.

When we break from our system, things go poorly.

Rob somehow jams the vacuum. I get lawn mower blisters and complain loudly for two weeks and refuse to wash dishes out of blister pain. Rob wraps all presents with pink grandma garage sale paper and repurposed (read: torn) mailing envelopes.
Notice the beautiful 1980s flower pattern, the strangely and oh-so-carefully taped-to-the-front seams.
Then there was the time he - after watching me spend hours pulling down wallpaper from our master bedroom in the old house - felt a little guilty and offered to help me with a house project. I should have stopped him. But hey, we were (somewhat) freshly married and our Married Couple System hadn't fully developed. I was naive. I was desperate. My arms hurt from scraping wallpaper.

So I asked him to sand any remaining wallpaper glue off the wall before I primed it.

And then the inevitable happened: things went poorly. He sanded, went to bed, then woke up delirious.

When the ibuprofen failed to kick in, I wrestled his obnoxiously unresponsive self into a cool shower, stuffed his still-wet legs into sweat pants, threw a t-shirt on him, jammed his feet into slippers, then hauled all 6'3" of him through the snow and into the car to drag him to the doctor.

Me, calling into work: Uh...I won't be there this morning. Rob sanded our walls last night and is now drooling into the headrest, flailing his arms randomly about, and mumbling nonsensicalities. Apparently he is dying. From sanding.

We showed up to his doctor, who looked just a little bit alarmed, poked him here, prodded him there, asked him questions about his neck, and BAM! she diagnosed him with meningitis. So off we went to the ER. By this time, Rob was more slow than delirious, but we were fully pot committed. If we had turned around at this point, CDC officials in hazmat suits would have hunted us down and came knocking on our front door. So we pressed on.

Upon a tentative pre-examination of a now-coherent, non-feverish Rob, the ER doctor looked a little skeptical at the meningitis diagnosis. However, he shrugged and told Rob to strip down to his underwear and t-shirt - he'd be back in a few minutes to do a full exam.

Rob went to pull off his sweats and then suddenly looked up sharply at me. And that's when I remembered I had gotten him dressed and had decided - while propping up 200 pounds of delirious husband - to skip underwear and go straight to sweatpants.

So, with the pressure of the morning crashing down on me, I started giggling. And couldn't stop. And started laughing harder when Rob started frantically barraging me with, "WhatdoIdo? WHAT. DO. I. DO? For REAL. What do I do? WHY DIDN'T YOU PUT UNDERWEAR ON ME??"

And I laughed and halfheartedly apologized (while pointing and laughing harder) while he sat red-faced with his pants off and his t-shirt pulled down as far as humanly possible.

The somewhat startled doctor returned a few minutes later and started testing Rob's legs and his neck. Rob took the wife-induced embarrassment like an adult - straight-faced and focused. (Focused on not strangling me, perhaps. But focused, nonetheless.) I, on the other hand, melted into a pile of tears, burying my face into my coat in an attempt to regain control of my breathing enough to stop laughing. I had regressed into something nonhuman. A whimpering pile of pathetic, uncaring meanness.

The doctor, now bewildered by this crazy wife laughing over her possibly disease-ridden husband who was wearing no underwear, looked with compassion on Rob and told him he could go home as he didn't have meningitis after all. I believe his quizzical eyebrow might also have been telling Rob to leave his horrible excuse for a wife on his way home. I could be wrong, but I swore saw it there (through my puffy, tear-blurred eyes).

To make it up to Rob, I devoted myself to being his personal slave for the day: I drove him home, tucked him into bed, brought him water and snacks, gave him a back scratch. And then I went to work the next day and hyperventilated with laughter all over again when I told the story to my coworkers.

Rob did receive an unspoken pass to opt of any and all future painting projects. He also received the award for getting the most bizarre reaction EVER from sanding wallpaper residue. And he got me to tell my most embarrassing doctor story in order to publish his. Don't tell me he didn't win on this one.

Stick to the Married Couple System, folks. It develops for a reason.