Monthly Archives: May 2013

True Romance

Romance comes in many flavors. Movies and books show beautiful, “perfect” (pretty, impossibly thin, and with long flowing hair) princesses and “perfect” ( muscular, handsome, and large) princes. The Princess has a problem, the Prince rides in on his noble steed and rescues her, off to a castle where every day is sunny and there are servants who do all the work. There’s another type of romance, where the man lavishes flowers, jewelry, and chocolates on the woman for no special reason. There’s also the Taking Long Walks at Sunset on a Tropical Beach type of romance, the Giving Handmade Trinkets to Show You I Really Care flavor, and the I Wrote You a Poem Even Though I’m Not a Poet kind of romance. Now it’s even  supposed to be romantic when  a vampire loves a woman so much he wants to take away her mortal life. I admit to having a soft place in my heart toward all these definitions of romance; well, with the exception of that vampire thing. I’ll keep my own blood, thank you very much! While this is the stuff of fairy tales, after three decades of marriage I’ve discovered real life romance often looks very different.

Last week I had a whirlwind of medical appointments, including two with new practitioners. One of the appointments led to a medical procedure scheduled with less than 20 hours notice. The whole thing left me overwhelmed to the point of being pretty much useless for a while as I processed what was happening. My amazing husband got the next day off (while I was still talking to him on the phone) so he could be there for me. He took care of dinner that night, knowing the day had been hard on me, and the following morning he drove me to the procedure. I was in pretty rough shape when we got home, so he spent the next few hours sitting with me, watching me drift in and out of sleep, ready to call an ambulance or bring me chocolate, whichever emergency might come up.

That kind of love doesn’t show up in books or movies. It’s not exactly riveting, just watching someone sit in a room and watch someone sleep. But guess what? It is very romantic. Flowers are nice. Jewelry is nice. A box of chocolates is nice. But what, at the end of the day, is the romantic value of all those things? They say, “I love you. I want to be extravagant in showing how much I love you.” And guess what? So does taking a vacation day to sit and watch someone sleep, just in case there is the tiniest thing they can do for you. My husband spent one of his vacation days just to be there for me: to sit and make sure I was still breathing. (The ambulance emergency didn’t happen, but the chocolate emergency did. 🙂 ) He didn’t begrudge me the un-fun use of his vacation time. He didn’t find me not worth the effort, and he didn’t think I should be mature enough to not need his support. That, my friend, is true romance.

So, will someone be knocking at our door, begging to write our love story? Probably not anytime soon, but that’s just because the world doesn’t understand what true romance can, and should, be. The occasional gifts are nice, don’t get me wrong! I have yet to turn down a gift given out of love! It’s just that the flashy ones get all the good press, so it can be easy to miss the bigger expressions of a deep, abiding love. You know: the kind of love that is patient and kind, and keeps no record of wrongs. True romance.

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Filed under Ponderings

Physical Therapy Day 3, In Which I Learn Deep Water Walking is Harder than it Sounds, and Not Much Like Walking

I love going to the pool. I like the feeling of being in the water, and I like being able to exercise without feeling all sweating and disgusting. Because of this, when my physical therapist suggested I should skip walking the track and neighborhood for deep water walking, I was like, heck yeah! I don’t mind walking, I love being in the pool; I just hit the exercise jackpot!

For the uninitiated, deep water walking is where you strap on a really thick, wide, closed-cell foam belt, get in the deep end of the pool, and walk back and forth. The theory, in my case, is that this will allow me to get the benefit of walking while allowing the stress fractures in my feet to fully heal.

I had visions of walking nearly effortlessly around the pool, exercising my muscles while bobbing along like a three year old wearing floaties. That is, until Brian the Great asked the question, “So, if your feet don’t touch the bottom of the pool, how to you move forward?” Thank you, dear. Now I’m insecure… I googled it to learn how it works, and headed out first thing this morning, ready to have some fun.

The first sign I was in trouble was in getting the belt on. (The belt shall now and forever more be known as the Belt of Floundering.) My physical therapist had warned me to make sure it was tight enough that it didn’t ride up. I put it on, cinched it as tight as I could, and got in the pool. The belt was apparently afraid of the water, as it did everything it could to stay at the surface. If it weren’t for my armpits catching it, the Belt of Floundering might have slipped right over my head. I took it off while in the pool and discovered that trying to put something determined to float around your waist while up to your ears in water isn’t a good idea.

Once the belt was in place, I tried to walk. The therapist told me it was important to make sure I stayed completely upright and didn’t allow the belt to push me into a leaning forward posture. She failed to tell me the reason. Oh sure, she said something about it being bad for my lower back, but I learned the real reason. All it took was a little lean forward and the Belt of Floundering conspired to shove me WAY forward. As in, one degree more of leaning and I’m positive I would have ended up upside down in the pool, doing my best impression of a duck feeding on a lake. Bottoms up!

As for gently paddling around the pool, well, that proved to be elusive as well.  I soon discovered that the term “walking” is taken rather loosely in Deep Water Walking. It ended up being much more like Treading Water While Cross Country Skiing Up To Your Neck in Pudding. I was concerned that it would be a nuisance to turn frequently, since half of the pool was roped off for swimming lessons. I needn’t have worried. Any forward progress was so slow (and I’m convinced accidental) that I welcomed the turn in the middle of the pool just for the change in scenery. My arms were pumping, my legs were pumping, and there I was, in the middle of the pool, going nowhere.

Are we having fun yet?

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Filed under Medical Issues, Personal