Do What I Say

Lion started to feel sick last Saturday. He felt worse on Sunday. Monday we were snowed in, but he was even worse. It was clear something was wrong. I had a doctor’s appointment Monday afternoon so I dug myself out, cleared some trees and branches out of the way, and got ready to go. I offered to let Lion have my appointment. It’s the same doctor. Why not? He declined. By the time I got home from the doctor, he was ready to go to the doctor. We made an appointment for the following day, but not with his regular doctor. This doctor said he should go to the emergency room.

In my mind, I had Lion loaded into the truck and on our way to the emergency room. He wasn’t having any of it. He was convinced they were going to admit him and he didn’t want that. I told him we needed to find out what was going on and the only way to do it was to go to the ER so they could do a CT scan. Nope. Not going. All day, he was writhing in pain. We made an appointment for Wednesday with his regular doctor. I asked if he’d actually listen to the regular doctor if he said to go to the emergency room. Lion said he would.

It didn’t surprise me when the regular doctor told him to go to the ER. He needed a CT scan. It was the only way to tell what was wrong. Again, he resisted. He didn’t want me to have to drive all the way to Seattle (it’s like 20 miles) every day if he was admitted. Finally the doctor convinced him to go. As you know, Lion had a kidney stone.

Last night, as I’m hunkered down for the night, Lion decides to tell me what he needs me to do for him. At this point of the night, I’m never sure if he’s taken a sleeping pill or what has brought on this nighttime need for conversation. In short, he needs me to realize he’s scared and in pain by his body language. He needs me to tell him what to do in these cases. I insist I did tell him he should just go to the ER because that was the only way to get better. He says I never insisted. He says I should have told him, point blank, to get in the truck and that we were leaving. And when he said he wasn’t going to stay in the hospital overnight, I should have put my foot down. I did. I told him he wasn’t coming home with me and that I was stealing his clothes so he couldn’t call Uber. Nope. I should have been more forceful. He says he is responsible for my well-being and I am responsible for his.

Whoa now. Pump the brakes. I can barely be responsible for myself. I’m way past the time when I was responsible for my kids. I’m not sure I can be responsible for keeping Lion alive. Especially since we’re not in a full monarchy. I am not in complete control of every aspect of Lion’s life. That’s not the deal we have going on here. He has, and absolutely should have, autonomy for most things. When to do to the doctor/hospital is one of them. I voiced my opinion on the subject. No, I did not say, “Just get in the damn truck. You’re going.” like I wanted to. Why? Because what if he landed in the hospital and his worst fears came to fruition? What if the kidney stone had passed already and he was just in the recovery stages, and putting him in the hospital gave him a worse infection than he already had? As he’s dying from MRSA, do you think he’d say, “Thanks for insisting I go to the ER.”? Me either.

Next time, and I hope there isn’t a next time, I’ll smack Lion in the back of the head and tell him to stop being an ass about going to the hospital. But I will not make that decision for him. I am not in charge of his whole life. He has to make some of the decisions.