I generally kinda hate gratitude posts. They bore me. Not so much writing them out of the blue, just reading them on other blogs, or writing them thinking people are just waiting for one. As if I began a post following the one about Phil’s health with anything but a big hamburger hut heap of thanks it would make me an asshole. Heaven forbid I post about handbags or getting drunk at a bar when my husband’s health is an issue. Your life doesn’t stop even when the world around you does.
I guess I hate the idea that any gratitude I could convey here can be seen as insincere, as "supposed to," as "should," as that forced thank you note your mother made you write for the itchy sweater. So I won’t say thanks. I’ll say, to an extraordinary group of strangers, you are a comfort to me. I feel less alone in dealing. I believe that positive energy helps. Just look at Lucas and all he’s come out of. I honestly believe it was in some way linked to all the positive thoughts, to all the hope, and yes, the prayers. I don’t know the percentages, how science nets out over faith, but I know how powerful the brain is, how you can visualize away cancer. So I have to believe that a hoard of thoughts thrown out there help too. And it’s a comfort.
The doctor told Phil to take the life vest off when he bathes, when he works out, if he were to go swimming. Common sense. When the representative was leaving our house, after hooking Phil up (literally), I chased after him, and almost in a whisper asked, "What do we do when we have sex? No, no, I know what we do. I mean, should he wear it during sex?"
"Common question, Ma’am. As a representative, I can’t tell you to remove it, but… well, I’d remove it."
Last night we had sex. The vest is a complicated contraption, not exactly some cute DVF design cut on the bias. It’s not just a vest with paddles that electrocute you built in. It has a very large "remote control" component, that’s the size of your DSL modem. The "remote" is so large (weighing 1.8 lbs.) that it sits in its own… man bag. Murse. Fanny pack. It looks like he’s carrying around a set of binoculars… attached to a wire, that attaches to the vest. Unbuttoning the vest, adjusting straps– it would’ve been like stopping things in the heat of the moment to unlace a corset. So we unplugged the sucker. Well, actually, no, we didn’t unplug it. Phil removed the battery from the contraption that beeps and in a very loud electronic voice says, "BYSTANDERS, STEP AWAY." Jesus.
"Are you sure it can’t shock us?"
"The battery is out, Stephanie. It’s fine."
"Yeah, but this is very Something’s Gotta Give of us." He cocks his head. "You know, the blood pressure scene. To make sure he’s up to it."
"I’m supposed to work out and strengthen my heart as much as possible."
"So this sweet ass of mine is your medicine? Score you."
Afterward, I cried. Sobbed. Like loud girl heave into pillow sobs. "Put it back on now. Hurry. Will you lie down? What if you get lightheaded? Can you please!"
"All right Miss Bossy."