Monday, 6:45 am, I wake up groggy, my feet hit the floor. From the bed I can hear my wife in the bathroom getting ready for work. I stand up and head toward the bathroom. On the way I think to myself “I wonder what it’s going to be today”, “What new thing is she going to tell me for attention, I wonder if she’ll finally give it up?”
“Good morning, love bug!” she says, I grumble back and ask “how are you?” “Tired, I didn’t sleep well, severe cramps woke me up and I couldn’t get back to sleep.” There it is, there’s always “something.”
7:30 am, breakfast, another day of oatmeal, peanut butter and fruit. We could eat other foods we used to love, but not now, those foods contribute to her “illness.” We begin to eat, after five minutes I look over and notice her pushing her hand into her abdomen with a look of pain. She’s become so good at faking these “symptoms.”
I ask her what time today’s doctor appointment is, “10 am” Great, another doctor, another misdiagnosis, another bill and another chance for her to get attention. Has she had enough yet?
8:00 am, we get to work where we share an office. She walks back to the break room to get a cup of coffee. Her walk is slow and labored, If I didn’t know her, I’d think she was in pain, but that’s not possible. She’s still faking, unfortunately for everyone else, they don’t know better and ask how she’s doing. I bet she just LOVES the attention.
10:00 am, we arrive at the doctor’s office. “We’ll need you to fill out some paper work, Mrs. Hogfeldt” the receptionist says. I hear a voice in my head, “Great, another chance for her to list as many ailments as she can, for attention of course.” “Cramps, bleeding, constipation, irritable bowel, head aches, insomnia, dizziness, fainting, weakness, fatigue, painful intercourse, bloating, and nausea.” “Oh look, she’s added a few this time, always gotta one up yourself, right?” I think to myself as I shake my head in silence. Maybe just once I should call her out and tell her to stop this game of always being “sick.”
11:00 am, the doctor had no real idea as to the cause for her “symptoms.” He told us “Maybe you’re constipated, maybe you’re light-headed and feel faint because you need to eat more, maybe you should drink some Gatorade, you could be dehydrated.” Awesome, I hope the attention she got is worth the doctor’s bill. The entire ride back to work she fakes a look of defeat and disappointment like she could be dealing with this “sickness” forever. The guy at the light probably thinks she is battling some great “illness” that effects her life daily, but not me, I know better.
12:30 pm, “Do you want lunch?” I ask, “No, I’m feeling really nauseous.” Right, you gotta keep the act going, we’re only halfway through the day.
2:00 pm, I look over and see her at her desk, she’s sitting slouched in her chair, her head hung resting in her hand. She’s got the other hand on her abdomen. Shouldn’t she be working? Then it happens, a tear trickles down her cheek. Wow, she needs an Oscar award, call up Hollywood! She sees me looking at her and wipes it away. “What’s wrong” I ask, even though I know what her answer will be, it’s always the same. “My cramps are really bad, and my head is splitting with pain.”I guessed wrong, this time it was two “things,” guess she wants extra attention this time.
4:15 pm, we’re driving home after work. I ask “Are you going to workout?” I don’t know why I even ask anymore. She used to love the gym, she was strong, motivated and determined. She even competed in power lifting and figure competitions. Well she did, that is, until she gave that up, so she could get more attention. To my surprise she says “Yes, I’ll come, I think I can try some stuff today.”
6:00 pm, we’ve been at the gym for 30 minutes. I look over and watch her, after each set she puts down the weight and stumbles around as if she’s light-headed and nearly fainting. “Oh great, I better go pretend to care. If I don’t people will think I’m a bad husband, but really, this is getting old, the doctors can’t find anything wrong, obviously she’s faking.” I guess since there’s a lot of people around it’s a prime place for her to get attention.
7:00 pm, I finish my workout, she’s been lying on the floor for 30 minutes. Supposedly, standing up makes her feel “nauseous” and her “cramps” get worse. I’ll give her credit, she’s been playing along with these “symptoms” for over a year. I would have given up the act months ago.
9:00 pm, we’ve eaten and cleaned up. We’re sitting on the couch watching TV, I look at her and think to myself “Gosh, she’s so beautiful” I lean over and give her a kiss and wink. Her kiss is stiff and cold, I try again, this time pulling her close. “Maybe tonight, maybe she’ll give up the act, please just for tonight.” I think. The look in her eyes says it all, not tonight. Sex is always “painful” and makes her “cramps” worse. Why can’t she just give up the act for one night, hasn’t she gotten enough attention already, doesn’t she want to please her husband?
10:00 pm, I’m lying in bed, she’s sleeping next to me. I’m surprised she was able to fall asleep, since her “pain” was so bad all day. Thoughts rush through my mind, “When will she give this up, I want my wife back,” “Doesn’t she care about me?” I’ve had to do the majority of the house work since she’s always on the couch with a heating pad on her abdomen, faking her “pain.”
10:15 pm, I begin to drift off to sleep. As I walk through the tunnel to slumber, the thought hits me. “Perhaps she isn’t faking all of this.” Perhaps she lives the life I think she’s faking. A flood of thoughts begin to rush into my mind.
Perhaps…she has Endometriosis.
Perhaps…the symptoms she has are very much, real.
Perhaps…she hates being the “sick” girl.
Perhaps…she hates this incurable disease she’s been diagnosed with after having surgery.
Perhaps…she doesn’t want the attention.
Perhaps…she does want to please me, more than anything.
Perhaps…she feels like a failure as a wife.
Perhaps…she wants to workout, with no problems, like she used to.
perhaps…she hides the true extent of her misery.
Abruptly, I wake up, it’s 3:03 am, I’ve been dreaming!
This life my wife and many other women live, is very much real. Nothing is faked and each day comes with a rush of physical and mental challenges for them.
I look over and see her sleeping soundly, it’s always relief to see her asleep, I know as short as it may be, she’s feeling less pain. I pull her close, feeling her warmth. Quickly I begin to drift back to sleep. Another stream of thoughts begin to circulate in my mind.
She is the strongest woman I know.
She chooses to smile everyday because she has hope for a better tomorrow.
She deserves every ounce of love and understanding I can afford her.
She deserves to feel worthy as a wife, because she is.
She doesn’t need to hide her misery, because I’m here for her, on every step of this journey.
She is my world, she is my everything, she is my angel.
Kylie, I’m in this life with you until the end, I’m here for you, no matter the burden, my love is yours!