I have a habit of doing things too hard. I brush my teeth to the point where my toothbrush frays in submission. I've given myself blisters from mopping and sweeping and most recently from creating crumbs from the crust of old bread. I heft boxes at work all day, slamming them (usually by accident) onto metal carts and groaning counter tops. I trudge through errands in my steel-toed boots after work and I drive with my foot heavy on the gas pedal.
I've come to accept these things about myself and very rarely do I give it a second thought until I'm suddenly confronted by my own surprising softness. Softness at the point of the day when I knew I needed to be the hardest I'd been for the last 24 hours.
We've visited the hospital a lot in the last few weeks- mostly for knee-related issues that are routine and very non-scary. But then came the start of last weekend when I opened the door and was met with a husband-turned-stomach-migraine and we hit the floor running. ER, he needs fluids, he needs anti-nausea medicine, yes, we've been here before, yes we know it sounds awful, isn't there a room? oh, a hallway's fine, he doesn't like bags please give us back our bowl, here, let me interpret his sign language for you, more blankets please?
12 long hours in the hallway by the elevator.
4 IV bags of fluids.
An endless cycle.
Soft when I should have been hard.
Blisters from crumbling breadcrumbs but tears when there should have been words.