I have noticed two things with men in general, my husband in particular.  First, they always have to act so tough.  Like they’re superman or something.  Second, the first only applies until they can’t.  Then, they make lousy patients.  Of course, they are lousy patients because they feel the need to act like superman.

Since S retired and moved in, he has worked non-stop around the farm.  We have had so many projects to get done, sometimes it felt like we were chasing our tails to accomplish them.  We made a lot of progress, but most days, I saw S for meals and that was about it.  He’s never been known to do things the easy way either.  For example, we have a log splitter.  It decorates the garage nicely.  He used an ax.  We have draft horses to pull things.  He’d use them if I was harnessing them up anyway, but he was just as happy to heave a full-length rail-road tie up and carry it somewhere.  Do you know how much those things weigh?!!  They are HUNDREDS of pounds, and he’s like 150 lbs!  If the animals needed water, I guess he thought it took too much time to use a hose and was too sissy to use a wagon for buckets.  Thus, he would carry two 5-gallon bucket fulls of water to the different troughs to fill them.  A bucket full weighs about 35-40 lbs.  I told him repeatedly to take it easy.  I needed him to last a lot longer.  He was going to hurt himself.  Blah, blah, blah, …you know, the usual wife stuff.   His mantra has always been, “Toughen Up!”

A week ago, he developed what we can only assume is Tennis elbow in BOTH arms.  No, he doesn’t play tennis.  Apparently all the bucket hauling, hay-heaving, rail-road tie lifting, feed-bag moving, log rolling, and so forth caught up to him and strained the tendons in both his elbows.  Now, he can hardly do anything without pain.

When he finally confessed and asked for help, I knew it had to be bad.  He still refuses to take an anti-inflammatory of any kind, but then again, he didn’t take anything but a tylenol after an old-fashioned appendectomy just because that’s who he is.  He also doesn’t sit still and let himself heal.

In any case, since his request, we have switched roles.  I have taken over the farm chores for a while, and he has taken over domestic duty.  I haul buckets (in a wagon), toss hay (a few flakes at a time), and don’t roll logs and heave rail-road ties.  It takes me twice as long to do chores, but I have to keep my elbows in tact.  He cooks, cleans, does laundry, and watches kiddos.  While I’m not sure my cast-iron skillets are much lighter than a bucket of water, slowly, but surely, his arms are feeling a little better.  Until he has to lift an injured child or shake someone’s hand.  Then he feels a sharp pain shoot up his arm.  As a reminder, I finally convinced him to wear a sling on the worst arm.  He finally obliged.  I think he feels guilty.

It’s definitely another challenge on the homestead.  I’m trying to be the good and supportive wife, because he did admit to needing help, after all.  After he’s all healed up, though, I think I’m going to have to find a special way to tease him and tell him “I told you so!”

Love ya, Honey!

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