I saw my rheumatologist last week for my annual make-sure-my-medication’s-still-working appointment. I take Plaquenil for my sorta-lupus, sorta-RA, slightly-mysterious pain and it can have some odd side effects. So far, so good.
However, he was concerned about a couple other things, one being my excessive bruises. No matter how much you assure physicians that your husband does not beat you (often), they’re suspicious. No matter how much you promise, “But he loves me! Well, he says he loves me. Y’know, when he apologizes for the smackdown,” you can tell the doctors still wonder if they should send an investigator to the house. The constant flinching probably doesn’t help.
Vic really is a pretty good guy, but he did hit me once. It was long before we were dating, and only after warning me—but I didn’t believe he would do it so I continued to punch him in the arm for ten minutes. He slugged me back—once—and I wailed like he had pulled out my nose hair. I totally deserved it, and that is not a battered wife talking. It’s the voice of a dumb girl who thought it’d be funny to see how long it would take her friend to hit her back.
I explained my bruises to the rheumatologist, but it was the stories of my constant foot injuries that made him write up the physical therapy referral. And as far as I know, there was no note made in my file about a “possibly abusive spouse.” This doctor, in fact, goes out of his way to let patients see what’s in their charts; he actually gives it to me to take to the nurse and then leaves the room. Thank goodness not all doctors are like this or there would be one less hilarious episode of Seinfeld.
The other concern was my blood pressure, as it was scary-high. It was only spooky-high on my last two visits.
When Vic got home he asked how the appointment went. I always assume he’s just counting down the days until he can collect on that life insurance policy, but occasionally there’s a chance he might actually care. When I told him,
there were dollar signs in his eyes he was very concerned.
Act I, Scene 1:
Vic and Jen are sitting at their respective laptops in the family room. Jen has just told Vic about her recent high blood pressure reading.
Vic: You know what you should do?
Vic: You’re not gonna like this.
Jen waits for him to say something she won’t like
Vic: You should spend less time on the computer.
Jen wraps her arms around her laptop and whispers into its USB port: That will never happen, my love. Pay no attention to the man across the room.
After witnessing the sister’s pants-dropping and now this, Vic is more sure than ever that he married into undiagnosed acute mental illness.
Act I, Scene 2:
It is several hours later. Jen looks up from her computer to see Vic lugging out the elliptical exercise machine.
Jen: Oh. You meant I should exercise more.
Jen whispers into her laptop’s USB port: Call off the electric shock, my love. It wasn’t about you.
We’re now trading back and forth on the elliptical machine while we watch TiVo’d programs together in the evenings, so he’s not making me exercise all by myself. And he found such a tactful way to tell me I should be more active that it took me two days to realize he was actually saying I’m a big, fat, hypertensive sow. At first I felt like punching him for ten minutes, but I’m exhausted.
I might just let this one slide.