Life happens: In sickness and through late-night ER trips

By Aprill Brandon
Oct. 24, 2013 at 5:24 a.m.

Well, I can officially check off that whole "through sickness" marriage vow.

(That's how it works, right? You do it once, and then you're off the hook?)

Although technically, it was more of an injury than a sickness, but the point is, when my husband busted his head open last Friday after slipping in the kitchen, I didn't run away.

I didn't roll over and go back to sleep, ignoring his yells (even though I was, like, super tired). I didn't even pass out at the sight of gallons and gallons of blood casually leaving his head.

Instead, I calmly and maturely assessed the situation and swiftly took the appropriate action.

Ha! Just kidding. Considering I'm married to a member of the male gender, it went down more like this:

(Loud series of bangs and yells)

Aprill (running into kitchen): "Ah! What happened? Are you OK?"

Ryan (with blood and brains spurting out the back of his head): "Yeah. Fine."

So, what exactly happened, you ask? The official story is that he turned around to close a kitchen drawer and slipped on our dog's toy, falling backward and hitting his head on the world's hardest ceramic dog bowl. But the unofficial story, the much more sexy conspiracy theory story, is that my dog is trying to murder my husband.

I mean, the dog toy, a stuffed squirrel we had nicknamed Jedediah, just happened to appear right under his feet? Out of nowhere? At the perfect distance to make him hit his head on the dog's water bowl?

Not to mention, we're expected to believe Buffy isn't holding a grudge against us because we removed his manhood when he was still a puppy? And also named him Buffy? And maybe once dropped him on his head as a puppy? (Oh, calm down. I said once - twice tops.)

Yeah. Coincidence, my patootie.

Luckily, my husband is one of the most calm and laid-back dudes in a crisis that you could ask for.

So while I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to find socks and my car keys and yelling for him to "Just hang on, baby! Don't die on me! You have so much to live for! Stay away from the light!" as I ran from room to room in the house, he was being practical, looking up the closest hospital on his phone while simultaneously trying to staunch the blood flow from his gaping head wound. He even called the hospital to double check they had an emergency room:

"Hi, yeah, I was just wondering if you guys had an emergency room? You do? All right, well, I'll be seeing you real soon then."

Meanwhile, I was in the bedroom, helpfully yelling things like "If you see Grandma, stay away from her! Do not let Grandma lead you to the afterlife! Tell that old biddy to shut up!" while putting on two different shoes (both left shoes, by the way).

And then, if you will indulge me, I'd like you to picture the following:

My husband is in the passenger seat, gently giving me directions from his GPS while blood and brains are spurting from his head (OK, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little).

I'm a wide-eyed lunatic with crazy bed head in the driver's seat yelling obscenities at red lights and making lewd gestures to the only other three cars on the road (sadly, I am not exaggerating). When all of a sudden we encounter a "roundabout," a fun marvel of modern road design that I nicknamed "Traffic Circle of Death."

Ryan: "OK, you'll want to take the second exit."

Aprill: "Second!?! What does that mean!?!"

Ryan: "Just get in the right lane and then take the second road that veers off the circle."

Aprill: "Which way is right!?! I can't tell my left from my right! Oh God, we're going to die!"

Ryan: "It's OK. Breathe. Just turn right here."

Aprill: "Ahh! There's another car! What do I do!?!"

Ryan: "He's like 100 feet away from us, babe. You're fine. You're doing great."

Aprill: "I can't do this! We're going to die! Did I mention we're going to die!?! Oh my god! Oh, OK, we're off the circle. So just go straight for another mile then?"

By some miracle (and no thanks to me) we made it to the emergency room in one piece, and three hours later, Ryan's head was stapled with the world's most intimidating stapler, and we were sent home with the instructions that I was to wake him up every two hours to make sure that he wasn't, you know, dead.

Terrifying as this whole experience was, however, it did teach me a good lesson about marriage. And that lesson is that when it comes to sickness, my husband is actually better off on his own.

Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at



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