Surrounded by family, friends, and the nursing staff, Thor hit the gong to signal his last radiation treatment on December 24th, then came to celebrate Christmas as usual.
Three days later, as I was leaving a gathering with some friends, my right foot hit ice, sliding out from under me, and sending me crashing to the ground. My hip, then elbow, slammed into the solid ice and I writhed with pain, before willing myself to get up again. Nothing was broken, but I had some work to do to heal.
A week later, as I was on my way to my first therapy treatment, I received a text from Thor: I am trying to crawl up the stairs.
I stared at the phone, trying to make sense of the words. Thor had fallen down the stairs and knew that the damage was serious. He would need me to take him to emergency.
I couldn’t believe it. As if he hadn’t already been through enough! I rushed to the house, only to find him sitting in a chair, pale and clammy. He had crawled up the stairs and onto the chair.
“It’s my quad tendon,” he said. ” I’ll need surgery. ”
Now, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but Thor is considerably larger than I am. Getting him up and out of the house was posing a problem. I found crutches, and he got to the doorway, but our threshold is aluminum – as in slippery – and then there are two steps down. In silence, we both looked at this obstacle and mentally noted the current impossibility of navigating it.
“What if we try a chair?” I offered.
It didn’t work.
“Get a cardboard box,” Thor suggested. “Flatten it and I’ll slide down.”
And that is what he did – down the porch steps, off the porch and across the snow covered lawn!
“You should video this,” he kept repeating.
I was too concerned about his well being to comply.
He slid himself right to the door of our Crossover, and faced his next challenge. I ran inside to see if I could find something to help. When I returned, Thor was seated in the passenger side. He’d pulled himself up.
Thor didn’t complain once through the whole ordeal. He joked with the nurses before and after surgery, and nodded with acceptance as the doctor told him that it would be a good six months to a year for this type of injury to heal, and that he would not be able to drive for at least a month.
I looked at my husband and wondered about the unfairness of it all. Here he was, immune compromised from the radiation, immobilized by the recent injury, and dependent on a wife who was also physically compromised. Despite my best efforts, I burst into tears.
“How will we manage?” I cried.
“Ah Honey,” Thor softly reassured me. “We’ll make it work.”
I don’t have the confidence about life that my husband has, but he was right. It did all work out. He is driving again, and with steely determination his life goes on. Not much stops him.
And through it all, I learned more about the man that I love.
Thor has always told me that “what you see is what you get”, and now I understand. Even under immense duress, Thor is still a rock.
And, I hate to say it, but he was right: I should have videotaped the episode!