In the hairy scary month of May

There was a time when the end of May sprang forth with new possibilities – the end of a college semester, a fresh season at Dewey Beach, the inaugural igniting of the Weber grill, white jeans unfolded after hibernation in the attic. The aroma of new-mown grass, the jingle of the Good Humor man turning the corner on to your block and the first sighting of the season’s fireflies used to be the sights, sounds and smells we soaked in on the eve of the first of June.

Decades later, I say to what was once my favorite month, Don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out. Good riddance, Hasta la vista, Sayonara and every other cliché I can spit this day.

Since we last met in April, the only May flowers around here are the ones my husband was planting when he yelled out “Call 911!”

Not to worry, he’s okay. After a Memorial Day weekend stay in our neighborhood hospital, he was deemed to be suffering from benign positional vertigo. He is slowly getting back to work, though he can’t yet drive himself there.

The week before, the mister’s head was covered in electrodes for a 72-hour take-home EEG. Picture a 64-year-old man in a luau shirt, with colored wires running from the back of his head to a shoulder bag–out in public. It’s a miracle he wasn’t taken into custody.

While my husband suffered two medical emergencies and spent much of April and May with various docs for various ills, I had to get in on the fun. By Memorial Day, I had had 11 appointments with five specialists, undergone five diagnostic procedures for what is essentially an aching back, and gotten two dental crowns. I even had my piano tuned. That’s not code for anything. It just seemed like the thing to do.

We visited a friend who’s had two liver transplants since Christmas and remains in the ICU five months later; buried a cousin and a family friend; prayed for twin babies born four months premature, and offered there-theres to a friend suffering a fierce animal attack. And many moooore… including a friend who also spent Memorial Day weekend in the hospital with benign positional vertigo. This could be an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Oh right. It was.

So what have I learned from this period of trial?

  1. When your husband calls out “911!” he doesn’t mean finish taking in the groceries and bring him some grape juice and a cheese stick.
  2. When you walk into pain clinic and hear blood curdling screams, turn around and limp for your life.
  3. It is possible to make a daisy chain out of hospital bracelets.
  4. If you and your spouse get sick at the same time, make sure one of you can drive. But know this: There is a 10-minute stage of benign positional vertigo, between extended periods of total incapacitation, when a patient is able to hop in the car and drive to Baskin-Robbins. (You won’t read that on WebMD.)
  5. If one is carrying around a bag with electrical wires attached to one’s head, putting on a floppy hat isn’t going to make him look any less like a suicide bomber.
  6. When the slightest drop of self pity seeps in, remember the guy in the ICU.

As the great modern philosopher Michael Bublé once sang:

Golden haze,
Another morning feels like yesterday.
End of May
Now you’re gone and there are still bills to pay.

Medical bills, no doubt.


Filed under Health, Holidays

6 responses to “In the hairy scary month of May

  1. Deidra

    OH my! I’m so sorry and very glad you two survived a very stressful period.

  2. Alyson Ward

    Holy cow. Just. Holy. Cow.

  3. Ellen

    Just READING this gave me vertigo! You know June will have to be so much better than May. The Good Humor truck is right around the corner.

  4. Paul and Sara Rohde

    M and M – OMG, OMG this May has been a challenge of Grand proportions for the two of you. June will be a glorious month for the two of you by comparison. Hope to see the two of you soon!
    Sara & Paul

  5. Wes Merchant

    Monica and Marty –
    Even though I am not a completely “religious” person, I have asked GOD to make you both well and to stop playing around with Marty so he can get back to running marathons…..He’s a great guy and deserves better..
    You both were MISSED VERY MUCH at the Beach House Luncheon on Sunday. You were the main topic of conversation…
    I hope to make it back over Christmas so I can wish you both “Continued Good Health” in person.
    Until then..
    Wes (of the Wes Merchant family)

  6. Laura

    Monica, I can only shake my head and say “geeze louise” what the h****! Brad and I missed you yesterday at the luncheon. Let us know if there is anything we can do! Now, Marty has worn some different outfits before, but the wires do seem to be the strangest one yet. Love you both, Laura and Brad

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