Taking The Relationship To The Next Level

Traveling together: Check. You know all about that because I blogged about that on May 27.  So what did we need to do to take this relationship to the next level? Oh, I know! Medical emergency!

I’m going to be serving as the interim minister of a church that’s 77 miles from my house – too far to commute from home every day. So I invited TNF to go out there with me yesterday while I looked for an apartment. We’d gone out once before just to scope out the area and he drove that time. Which was nice. Because, ironically (you’ll understand soon) I had a monster migraine the night before and I was exhausted. So I did some sleeping in the car. It was nice to be the passenger. I drove this time.

I had an appointment first – so TNF did the crossword puzzle while he waited for me, and then we hit the road in the early afternoon. It was a pleasant drive and it took us about an hour and a half. When we got out there, he told me that he’d probably eaten too much at his dinner with his daughter the night before, and he wasn’t feeling great. I was hungry, but he wasn’t. That was OK – he’d get some ginger ale and I’d have lunch later. That was the plan.

We met the owner/manager of the properties, and he showed us around a few places, and I ended up settling on the very first one that he showed me. Yup – he figured that would be the one I’d want, and he was right. Signed the lease back in his office, got the keys, and then we were ready for lunch. I was ready for lunch. TNF was ready for something carbonated. That’s all. We found a Panera, and he got some soda and I got something to keep me from fainting.

On the way home, he continued to feel worse. Hmm. He slept a bit in the car – well, that’s fair. I slept last time. And then we hit traffic in the last bit of freeway. Of course. And he was really feeling poorly then. And I touched him and he felt like a hot stove. Now, you can’t really tell if a person has a fever by touching him, because it’s possible to have a fever and have a  cool forehead, and it’s possible to have a hot forehead and have a normal temperature – but holy hot coals, Batman!

When we got to my house, he just wanted to lie down for a bit – which sounded like a plan. Only he had the shakes. And he felt like he was burning up. So I found the thermometer (eventually) and discovered that he had a REALLY high fever. And sometimes I just can’t not be the  nurse practitioner. “OK,” I told him, “so now we’re going to the Emergency Room.”

TNF didn’t argue with me. Well, he’s a smart guy. So we got in the car and drove off to the ER. Which does have some baggage for me – because this is an ER that I’m very familiar with. This is the hospital where Don died. Two years ago I spent a lot of time in that ER. A lot.

And TNF is a widower. He’s not a stranger to the whole hospitals and ERs thing, either. We’ve both done this caretaker thing before. A lot. For me – it’s been a lot at this particular hospital.

And why is it, by the way, why is it that I always end up at the ER with someone when I haven’t eaten dinner (because now it’s dinner time and you know it’s going to be hours) and I’m in shorts or a skirt or something and it’s cold? OK, rant over.

So where was I? Oh yes. The ER. So there we are in the ER. Well, in the waiting room for the ER. TNF called his daughter – which was important. I’m not his next of kin. I’m not his emergency contact. And his daughter lives with him. She needed to know. And then I talked to her, too, and we texted each other so that I could keep her posted.

Eventually, TNF’s daughter came to the ER, too. It was getting late. These things take a while. We sat with him. We talked. She brought the book he’s been reading, and I read it to him for a bit. He drifted off sometimes. That’s good if you can do that when you’re a patient in the ER.

Most of the time, though, TNF was antsy to get out of there. Once his fever came down, he was feeling a lot better (well, that stands to reason), and he wanted to go. I get that. So we talked. And he allowed as how this was taking our relationship to the next level. Well, yes, this is definitely one way to take a relationship to the next level.

That’s really at the heart of taking a relationship to the next level, when you think about it. It’s easy to be with each other when you’re having fun. I mean, who doesn’t want to go see a fun movie together? What’s hard about getting along at a baseball game? It’s the difficult stuff that tests a relationship. It’s when someone is hurting – when everything is boring – when one person has to carry all the weight.

So – next level – medical emergency: check. He still hasn’t witnessed one of my migraines. But we’re still having fun, and we’re definitely taking care of one another. And our daughters are getting along with each other and we’re getting along with each other’s children. So onward and upward, I guess!

That’s all I’ve got. That’s my mite.

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