When you live with a woman for over thirty-five years, you have a tendency to pick up on her moods. Anger is simple, especially (and mostly) when I am the target. So is happiness and sadness. Sex is a crapshoot, meaning yes, no, or let me get back to you on that sometime next week.
The easiest mood for me to notice, however, is when something is bothering her. I not only see it, but I can also feel it—bummer electrons, I think they call them. Martha, by nature, is not a worrier; she takes things as they come, deals with them, and then moves on. For the past month or so, though, she’s been bothered.
But try to get anything out of her when I ask, “What’s the matter, honey?” “Nothing,” she replies, which is the most aggravating non-answer in the world. I learned a long time ago not to push her because it makes her angry. So she stews in her own juices, while I sit around with my one tooth in my head and worry.
Don’t you worry because all of this is leading somewhere; you all know me and my problem with verbosity.
During December, Martha has had several use-or-lose vacation days. She scheduled an appointment with her female gynecologist for a “wellness check,” which led to some testing—blood work, bone density, an ultrasound of her pelvic bone, and yesterday, the thrill of them all: a mammogram (she once used the analogy of having her boobs slammed in the car door), as well as an ultrasound of the same.
So last night at the supper table, I finally found out what Martha has been brooding about: a lump she found in her right breast. The doctor who reviewed the mammogram and ordered the ultrasound met with her to assure her that it is no more than a drainable cyst.
I’m super thrilled for her, but I’m also pissed off.
“Why didn’t you tell me this before?” I asked.
“I didn’t want to worry you.”
“Don’t you think that I’ve been worried already, knowing that something was wrong, but all I get is evasiveness and mumbling? I thought we were in this together, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health?”
Martha apologized, and I felt lower than a worm’s belly button for getting angry, and then I grabbed her and hugged her as hard as I could.
So now, I have a couple questions for you, my dear readers:
Was I a self-centered horse’s ass putting my own worry above her's?
Most of all, should couples share their medical concerns and suspicions with their partners?