My Husband’s Injury? It’s Not Like I Didn’t Try To Warn Him!


So here’s the thing: I have turned into an evil, selfish person. I wanted you to know that up front because, oftentimes, a person who writes a humor column is looked upon as friendly and fun. And I was that person, ever since my first column in 1981. But not anymore.

On July 14, my column was about summertime injuries. Among other things, I told you how my husband Mark slipped while working on his boat, injuring his heel. But I think you deserve the backstory. The backstory is that, after two years of my trying to talk him out of buying any kind of a floating vessel, he flagrantly did so anyway. I had told him how expensive boats were. I had told him how people our age sell boats, they do not buy them. I had told him that it was going to be a nightmare if he got hurt on that boat with no one around to help him. Deaf ears.

Fate stepped in on July 7. (We won’t call it women’s intuition or karma or any of those other, more accurate things, out of respect for the injured party.) On that day, Mark’s plumber took a chunk out of the back floor (a “hatch”) to work on the bathroom (the “head”) and left it like that, in the dark, while he went up front (to the “bow”). Mark (the “victim”) came down the two normal steps and then fell into the hole (the “bilge”). The plumber (an “idiot”) had neglected to close it up or to warn anyone else on the boat that it was open.

Mark, being a guy, wanted to assume it was a sprain so he a) did not elevate it, b) did not ice it, and c) did not go to urgent care. He simply hoped it would be better in the morning. It was not. He also had to face the fact that he should probably call me. When he finally did, I (being a girl), a) yelled, b) screamed, and c) told him to get to an emergency room STAT.

That’s when he found out his heel was cracked so deeply that it had almost separated from the rest of his foot. He was told that he needed surgery followed by six to eight weeks of immobility and that, if any infection set in, he could lose his leg.

Sigh. You can’t even say, “I told you so” to someone who has just received that diagnosis. You can’t say it, even though your long-awaited, pandemic-postponed, three-years-late trip to Switzerland is scheduled to leave the next day. All you can do is tell your sister-in-law that we’re lucky we bought the travel insurance, and then fill out 14 pages of forms to try to get your $3,500 back.

Then you sit at home for 11 days until the surgery date, go in for a post-op visit 18 days later and listen while the doctor says he “isn’t happy with it” and may want to operate again. He’ll let you know in two weeks. If he does, that would effectively re-set the time clock back to day one. And you can’t complain because you’re not even the injured party. All you can do is write about it in your column. Because you’re an evil, selfish person.