A Truly Happy Meal

Photo by a befendo on Unsplash

Whole 30 Day 26 for me. For Dr. Awesome, today was simultaneously Whole30 Day 19, and Day “Over.”

And now our Mama is all alone.

I admit, I enabled my darling husband’s farewell to this anti-inflammatory diet. I delivered him an inflammatory double quarter pounder with cheese, fries, and a root beer. And he looked at it, sighed a little sigh, said, “I’m sorry, honey,” and grinned like a little boy.

The actual little boy was in the backseat, devouring six chicken McNuggets.

I mentioned in my earlier post about how doing this on a budget is impossible that I have not yet experienced that promised, elevating “tiger blood” feeling of world-conquering power. I am, however, generally feeling good. I mean, I’m not feeling moody. I feel generally calm, except those moments when I’m screaming at somebody’s children (oh, mine) to clean up various messes underfoot, which is, thanks to the school day, only about 12 times an hour.

The real reason, I posit, that I don’t feel better is probably because I have been in so much pain lately. Seriously. That slip down my stairs three weeks ago morphed from a sore tailbone into a seriously, excruciatingly aching hip. How bad? Well, my mother booked a plane ticket to come help me pick up toys. And I put on my big girl booties and walked myself into a doctor’s office. That bad.

SI joint inflammation and ligament injury, the doctor, and the physical therapist I saw today, have told me. This is exacerbated both by the fall to the hip/tailbone and ending that fall by slamming my heel into the metal baby gate at the bottom of our stairs. Plus I apparently have tight muscles and “sticky” joints. The prognosis is good, just another four weeks with more homework and therapy appointments. I’m very blessed, and I know it, not to have broken anything. And I guess I should say, I’m blessed not to have drowned my sore sorrows in red wine or leftover birthday cake (which has been calling to me sweetly from the back of the freezer for the last 48 hours).

Maybe the ibuprofen is “gut disruptive” enough to come between me and that tiger blood. Maybe it’s just being in real pain, all day long, and worse when I’m chauffeuring kids around, that’s putting a damper on that can-do-anything feeling. In a way, it’s a miracle I’ve made it this far.

And it’s a testament to my husband that he made it as far as he did, because he didn’t want to do it, not no way, not no how. And Sunday night I was in such pain that Monday and Tuesday he rearranged his work schedule so he could chauffeur our kids to school and give my aching hip a break from sitting in the car, which is by far the most painful thing. And then Tuesday he waited patiently, doing preschool pick-up and keeping two kids in the van, missing lunch, while my PT appointment went half an hour over. I know he’s been very busy at work lately, but despite that, he took my pain seriously and made helping me his priority.

So when the appointment ended today and I realized he hadn’t thought to feed himself, or the kids, and he was sitting there in the driver’s seat with sweat on his brow eyeing the clock and, I’m sure, thinking about his desk at work, I did what any grateful wife would do. I told him to go straight to work and the kids and I would bring him something. Did he want me to go to Chipotle and get something Whole30? (Silence.) I knew he didn’t want to say yes. So I said, of course, “It’s OK if you want a burger. I’ll bring you whatever you want.”

I suppose what made the meal happy for me was watching their delight. After we dropped off doc’s food at his office we came home. I ate leftover trout and vegetables, watched the kids slurp sugary yogurt sticks and thought, “Oh well, the pediatrician wants them to gain weight anyway.” And I kept thinking about that smile on my husband’s face when I handed him a brown-bagged burger.

This is how our relationship works. He will love me, cherish me, prioritize helping me. I just have to remember to feed him.


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