Many years ago I had to have out-patient surgery for an ovarian cyst. If you've ever had one or know of someone who has, they will tell you that when one of those plants itself in your lady parts you are about to embark on one painful ride.
I was unaware I had a cyst until it was discovered during a routine yearly exam, and between that time, the testing and the appointment with the doctor to get it scheduled for removal, it burst (which is the painful part). This is what the doctor told Mark when he finished the surgery and came out to talk to him. What was left was removed, the blood was cleaned out and I was sent home later that day to recuperate.
Recuperating wasn't so easy as we had three small kids and no family here to help out so Mark was called upon to do a lot.
We also had a dog who was a runner and had a habit of bolting out the front door if the kids didn't close it all the way when they were going to play down the street. This usually resulted in both of us screaming at the dog, the kids, and the damn door that never closed all the way.
The day after my surgery Henry saw his opportunity for freedom and made a dash. I screamed, "MAAAAAAARK!!!! THE DOG!!! GET HIM!!!!"
Mark bolted out the door, flew over the hedge and missed the dog who took off running for the neighborhood kids who would chase him until they all ran out of steam.
Limping into the house Mark grimaced and said, "I almost had him but I smashed my toe on the ground and he got away." He managed to make his way to the freezer for some ice and his job of nursing me came to a screeching halt. He had a big toe to nurse.
The next day he and his big toe went to work where one of his coworkers said, "You jammed it. That happens all the time to professional athletes. It's called turf toe. Go see one of the docs and they'll yank on it and unjam it."
That night Mark came home and told me of his professional sports injury. "Are you going to have somebody look at it?" I asked. "Nah," he said. "That sounds too painful. It'll probably be fine soon."
A few days later my mom came to town. I was on the mend and her and I went grocery shopping. Mark hobbled to the car to help bring the bags in and Mom said, "Oh for God's sake, you'd have thought he was the one that had surgery." This was a true statement as the injury to his toe would take far longer to heal than surgically sucking a cyst out of me.
Four months later I had to have surgery again, this time more involved and with a longer recovery, and so I convened a meeting with the hubs to clearly communicate my raging, homicidal thoughts. "This is all about me this time. I don't care if you jam your toe or have a bone sticking out of your forehead. I get all of the sympathy because this time I'm getting stuff removed and stitches and I am not going to share that for some made-up sports injury."
"Okay," he said. "But it's not made up. Turf toe is very, very real. I don't know if you remember me telling you that professional athletes get it and if you ever experienced it you would know how extremely painful it is."
And like my mom I said, "Oh for God's sake."
Two weeks ago when I broke my foot Mark had a bit of nostalgia sweep over him as we sat in the emergency room. "Any time you injure your foot it's painful, Kath. Real painful. Do you remember that time I got turf toe? It's something professional athletes get."
"Isn't there some kind of statute of limitations for the retelling of a stupid toe injury?" I asked.
There is not.