This is day 11 of Mike’s hip replacement. He is doing well. His pain isn’t bad and he is walking a mile on the treadmill in 10-minute increments 3 times a day. He has been able to walk up and down the basement stairs from day one. His appetite hasn’t been good, which for me has always meant a lack of zest for life. Something about the desire for food makes everything seem better. I know—that’s why we get fat. I am blaming the appetite problem and his intermittent sick feelings on to the remnants of anesthesia. Getting him to wake up after anesthesia is a bit of a challenge and scary. I know that yuky stuff can stay in your system for some time. All in all it could have been worse but I am not sure he is ready for the second hip surgery. Hopefully it will be like having a baby and he will forget the bad parts. I think the hardest thing for him has been his dependence on me—mostly for his right sock. My fingers are bad and it takes longer than he would like.
So what has been the worst part for me in all this?: I forgot how much I appreciate Mike washing the dishes. He made that commitment about 10 years ago and it has been a wonderful addition to my life. I don’t mind cooking but having help with the dishes feels so nice. There have been many times when we have had guests and Mike has left me at the table visiting and gotten up to wash the dishes. I feel indulged. Sometimes I think he should stay and visit too but he never wants to let a dirty dish sit for too long.
My dad with all his crazy faults would clear the table after dinner. I remember him often taking the food away before we were finished. Mike is not that bad.
Mike is not good at what to do with leftovers and that is fine. I actually don’t mind helping him. Dish time is good amiable chat time for us as I help him dry the pots and pans and put away the leftovers. I still feel spoiled. My problem with doing dishes alone is; well, maybe it is the aloneness. It seems to take so long with one, especially after I have cooked. I find myself getting distracted and wandering off to do something else half way through the job. The other night I was finishing the dishes at 11:00 PM. I know some women leave dishes in the sink all night because they just can’t face the prospects after cooking, but that was something that never happened in my mother’s home. I can thank her for wanting to wake up to a clean kitchen.
Could this be the secret to our happy marriage? : "...researchers...found that the best single-item predictor of long-term marital success among the couples they studied was ‘husband voluntarily and cheerfully participates in the housework.’ There may be a number of reasons why this item turned out to be such a powerful predictor, but my guess is that it has to do with attitudes. The husband who pitches in to do his share without having to be cajoled is clearly a team player." My Parents Married on a Dare, Carlfred Broderick, p. 77.
So here is a big cheer of gratitude for my dish-doing husband and a hearty wish for his quick recovery so he can get back to the job.