This weekend my husband and I celebrated a wedding anniversary. Of course, no major event occurs in our lives with out drama. In this case, just half an hour before the babysitter arrived, I found my husband curled up in bed, crying from excruciating pain. He has been hit with an IC flare. IC, or interstitial cystitis, is a nasty, incurable condition in which the bladder lining deteriorates, exposing the sensitive inner cells the lining normally protects. In addition, the cells of the lining release histamines, creating more inflammation, and the pelvic muscles go into spasm. This disease is more common among women, but my husband is one of the lucky few men to get it. He has accompanying urinary retention, and recently had a Medtronics device implanted to take stimulate the nerves to function properly. At least he doesn’t have to catheterize himself, which is something many IC patients live with. And periodically, for reasons unknown, he is visited by sudden bouts of pain.
He was able to pull himself together with some painkillers, and we still had a wonderful anniversary dinner, which says a lot for my husband. He was determined that we would have a pleasant time together. We went to a restaurant in an old house in the old-town section of Duluth. We enjoyed good food and conversation (ah—how pleasant to have a conversation uninterrupted by our adorable children).
The next day found me at the mall with the two adorable children to give dear husband a break. I admit that I am not one of those moms who can herd kids through any situation. I always brace myself when I take them out alone, for I feel like I’m carrying two cases of dynamite. We rode the carousel. The youngest insisted on being in the spinning cup but burst into tears when it started to spin. It’s quite difficult to remove a struggling three-year old from a spinning cup while a carousel is moving and you’re holding onto a horse. Then we headed for Starbucks, mainly to shore up my reserves for the rest of the afternoon. The two girls chose butterfly cookies, covered in a hard frosting the slowly dissolves all over hands and clothes. After this it was off to the mall playground, which I think of as The Germ Factory. Here while I was boosting the oldest up onto some strange piece of equipment, the youngest walked right out into the food court, nearly giving me a heart attack. This is why I don’t like to take them out by myself. Even in an enclosed area I can’t seem to keep up—they have as many strategies as cats for slinking off. I was able to lure them away with promises of a trip the dollar store, where we purchased what I can only call “junk” but which they seem to treasure: My youngest daughter fell asleep clutching her small plastic cars. I survived and no children were lost, and nothing was left behind, except some of my cash.
All in all, I’m feeling a bit better about life, the universe, and everything, except that I worry about Dear Husband and fret that there isn’t a lot to do to help. I’ve also been keeping alert today to Katrina, and praying for everyone along its path. It seems that New Orleans wasn’t hit with the utter devastation may feared, but it sounds bad enough.