Today was a mess, top to bottom. I didn't set the alarm or think the morning through very well. Ended up running like a madwoman to get Aiden to school on time, making it just under the wire, got Cilly to school okay, stopped by the in-laws to check out the van that was donated to us by one of John's diving families, then realized if I went home, I'd be there for about 12 minutes before needing to come back to pick up the little lady. Wouldn't have been such an issue, but two friends had come by to help with kids and everything, and although I left them a key to get in, there were no kid and not so much for them to do with me gone. I felt kinda like a dork. But they were sweet about it.
Went to spend some time with John. He told me some little but great news: for the first time since his second brain surgery, he coughed AND sneezed, and his head didn't hurt! I brought my computer and the first season of Fringe that we are devouring, and as we sat there, I looked at him. His cheeks have scruff, you can see the oil on his skin, he still has the line for the IV in the back of his right hand. The question-mark shaped scar on his head where they cut him open for his two major brain surgeries is white and smoother than I thought it would be. He is so tired. The bubble on the side of his head was not quite as pronounced this evening. For the smallest moment, I was able to see through his eyes, and it took my breath away like a fall from a height, or a punch in the gut. He has been through so much. And I would like nothing more than to make it okay. In some small way. I hold his hand. We watch Dunham start to realize she might have been one of the children Walter experimented on. Maybe being there and doing that do make it okay, a tiny bit, in some way.
It would've been nice if the evening was just that. But it was real, instead. He started to have horrible pains in his ribs, so bad he couldn't breathe. He has a high tolerance for pain and this was not a comfortable experience for him. He wanted me to shut the door, so no one would see him like that. ?? Really? The only people there are neurology patients and nurses. But he is my Green Lantern...silly man. He didn't think the percoset would help, silly man, but took it anyway because I insisted. The thing that we argued about was that when he is hurt- stubs his toe, or bashed in the face by a baby head (much more common than you non-parental types might imagine), he chooses ANGER instead of pain. He grits his teeth, bares down, sort of growls. That is one of the ways he fights through. I hate it. It scares me. And now that baring down like that can cause his brain to bleed again, it REALLY scares me. He angrily asked what he was supposed to do. "I don't know! Suck it up?" was my lovely, supportive response. I tried to draw parallels to the three babies I had, the 62 hours of labor with the first one alone sans pain meds. We used the Bradley Method. I tried to get him to do "rag doll" where you go limp and let go, breathe deep and long. He didn't like that.
One of the many things I love about him is that he called once the percoset kicked in and we talked. He said that moments like that make him realize how much of his shit I have to put up with and how grateful he is.
I guess it is fair to say that I will never really understand what he has been through. But I guess it's also fair to say that we both have been through so much.