“Did you know dry ice was that cheap?” Chelsea asked me last night as we stood in the soul sucking customer service line at Walmart so we could save seven bucks on Deadpool. I looked to where she was pointing and saw dry ice was $1.87 per pound.
“I didn’t,” I said.
I made my share of dry ice bombs during my juvenile fire and explosions phase, and also remember buying dry ice with my high school girlfriend’s dad so he could make root beer. He was extremely proud of his root beer. I thought it was flat. Despite having purchased dry ice multiple times in my life I thought it was closer to five dollars per pound. The cost of dry ice is one of the many things Chelsea and I have learned in 2016.
Chelsea was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease this year, and by diagnosed, I mean she diagnosed herself and had to convince her doctor to test her for it.To all you doctors out there: I do not automatically respect you. I am not in awe of you. You are not God’s gift to the rest of us. You are just as bad at your job as most of the other adults I … Continue reading
Hashimoto’s is an auto-immune disease that severely restricts her diet. Staples like tomatoes, grains, and potatoes now have no place in our kitchen. We don’t eat out anymore. Movies are always popcornless. We carry coolers with us on any trip we take because she has to make her own food (hence the dry ice revelation). If we ever get back to Texas to float our beloved San Marcos River, that tubing trip can no longer begin with breakfast tacos from Lolita’s or be punctuated with kolaches. (Silver lining—I no longer have to be as frustrated that Utah’s breakfast taco/kolaches/barbecue/Mexican/general food game is the weakest of all sauces.)
This disease is life-altering, but not life threatening, so while this might be the hardest thing we have had to deal with in our marriage so far, that’s just a sign that we’ve knocked this marriage thing out of the park up to this point. It has simply added stress. What used to be leisure time is now filled with meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. If we want to go camping or spend a few days at Lake Powell, we have to do a large amount of planning and food prep. While it’s tough that we can no longer celebrate with a pizza or a cake or Thai food or buy overpriced kettle corn at a baseball game, our plight is relatively light. Chelsea can still be healthy as long as we’re vigilant, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a slew of little things that we miss.
So how do you celebrate without cake?
While I haven’t watched Good Will Hunting in years, I think about the below scene often, and even more lately. This scene is the moment Will (Damon) finally begins to talk to his therapist Sean (Williams) after sessions of silence. Sean’s wife is dead and he explains to Will that he misses her small imperfections, or as he calls it, “the good stuff.”
Back in our restaurant going days, I would usually decide on what I wanted to eat within 45 seconds of opening the menu. I’d set my menu down and sit back as I watched Chelsea agonize over the pending decision like she was the leader of the free world wondering what to do about Putin. She’d widdle her options down to two or three and then ask me to decide for her. I’d point to an option that she’d invariably not choose. Our food would arrive and soon her fork would invade my side of the table and return to its homeland with a forkful of my food. I’d stare at her annoyed.
“You can try my food, too,” she’d tell me in order to make amends.
“I don’t want to. If I wanted to try that, I would’ve ordered it myself.” Peace talks always broke down.
It’s stupid, but this behavior legitimately bothered me, however it will never happen again, and I’m surprised that I miss it and that I want it back. I thought the loss of that particular ritual would be another silver lining to this situation. I don’t know if part of me actually liked our banter about the borders around my food, or if it’s just a part of the sympathy I have for Chelsea since she can no longer walk into a Thai restaurant and order Pad Thai every single time even though there are forty other dishes she wants to try. My food now is surrounded by impenetrable stone walls armed with automated Gatling guns that shred anything that moves. I wish I could tear them down. I feel guilty that I didn’t let Chelsea have the first bite of everything I ever ordered. How many other things are there about myself I should change now, but won’t see until the next life-altering moment?
The below clip is rated R and NSFW.
|To all you doctors out there: I do not automatically respect you. I am not in awe of you. You are not God’s gift to the rest of us. You are just as bad at your job as most of the other adults I come across, so shut up and listen to your patients so that people like my wife don’t have to diagnose themselves and then spend time and money convincing you as we watch your eyes glaze over while our words go in one ear and out the other.