David never complains about anything. Really. He could have had the worst day, but when he comes home, he always first asks how I am and how my day was. I could be running through the house with a pair of scissors, not paying a lick of attention and run smack into him, stabbing him in the leg. And instead of screaming obscenities like most people would, he would ask, concerned, "Ruth, are you okay?!"
One time, we were at a park...I had on shoes, he was wearing flip flops. We hear this hissing right near us and, out of nowhere, he snatched me up and swung me around just as the automated sprinkler system sputtered to life and sprayed his entire back. He put me down and asked, "Sorry, did I hurt you? I just didn't want you to get wet." I looked down and noticed his foot was covered in blood. I asked, "Yeah, I'm fine. Are YOU okay?" His gaze joined mine as we stared as his big toe, missing a toenail that had been there a second ago. (Ick bleeegh) When he picked me up, my shoed foot had somehow more or less kicked his toenail off. ICK. Sorry, but I had to tell that story to demonstrate just how completely selfless David is. He is the most selfless person I know. (The toenail was bandaged and he now has two whole toenails again, in case you were wondering.)
David never complains.
Which is why I thought some action should be taken our junior year of college when he called me several times one evening complaining his back and side and stomach and pretty much his entire lower half was hurting something fierce.
I was in a dress rehearsal for A Midsummer Night's Dream. I was Puck. In full costume and make-up, horns and all. (No snide comments about the horns.) David was also in the play, but we weren't rehearsing his scenes that night. I'm up on the stage, reciting something or another, and during a break when the director was explaining to the fairies how she wanted them to be more fairy-like, a friend said my backpack was vibrating. I had some witty remark about how my backpack was a robot, but that would have taken way too long to say so I just asked her to answer it. She said, "It's David. He sounds weird." I went and grabbed the phone.
He said he drank a Sprite and then his back and sides started killing him and he felt like he would throw up any second. Who knew Sprite could be so dangerous. I thought maybe he just had a stomach ache. I told him to go drink some water and lay down. He said "okay" and we hung up. Ten minutes later...
My friend asked what was going on and I told her David's symptoms and another castmate piped up and said, "That sounds like a kidney stone. You should take him to the hospital." I remember my piano teacher had a kidney stone once. During an hour-long lesson, she would drink about 27 liters of water. I asked about it and she said, "It was horrible. I will never have a kidney stone again. Chug chug chug." So, I figured it must be pretty painful. And since David never complains, I thought this must be pretty bad. I told the director what was going on, put on my regular clothes (I didn't think Puck would be welcome at the hospital), scrubbed off my make-up and headed to get David. He was outside his dorm waiting for me, doubled over in pain. I helped him get into the back and then sped away.
The next 20-25 minutes were one of the top three funniest moments of my life. For David, not so much. I do understand he was in immense pain, and I was being very insensitive to be giggling behind the steering wheel. But you guys should have seen his face. I had never seen him like that so it was a whole new experience for me. But the noises he was making.
He was rolling around back there, grabbing the seat belts and oh crap bars. He kept saying, "I gotta go, I gotta go." And I was like, "Well, we have to get to the hospital, is there anything back there you can use?" He found an empty Coke bottle. Poor bottle. Oh, the things it saw that night. For a moment, he felt some relief. But a few seconds later, it got even worse. He mustered the strength to crawl to the window, roll it down, hang his head out, and....
ALLLLLLL over the road and side of the car.
We reached the hospital and parked in the emergency parking. I went to the door to help David out and gasped in horror. Not all of the spew made it out the window.
We sat in the waiting room for like 10 minutes, poor David hunched in his chair. I was like, "Whatevs. I'm not having him wait." So, I went to the desk, and with my best "I'm a very important person, so you should help me immediately" voice, I said, "Listen, he's in a lot of pain and all I see around me are some snotty noses and boo boos, so...yeah...make it happen." (Actually, it came out more like, "Do you know about how long it might be before someone can see us?") Well, I am quite charming, so a nurse came out soon after and asked David his pain level. He said an 8. So, they went ahead and took us back.
I waited out in the hall while the nurse went in with David. While they were in there, she took a specimen (I hate that word) and he passed two more stones. The first was passed on the car ride over. The nurse put the stones in a preservative liquid of some kind and asked if David wanted to keep them for souvenirs. He politely declined. I kind of wish he had kept them...they'd be on the mantle right now.
They gave David some morphine. The nurse said he might say funny stuff...or things he thinks is funny. She made a comment about a husband who told his wife she looked overweight and David turned to me and said, "You look fat." Sooo hilarious. We hung out for a little bit and, around midnight, they checked David out and we went on back to the campus. David's roommate helped him to his room and I went on to bed.
Hugs was definitely a trooper. Missed about two days of classes, with the gracious blessings of all of his male teachers, and was right as rain in no time.
Needless to say, he drinks enough water each day to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. I'll never forget looking in the rear view mirror and watching a wall of vomit spray across the highway. Good times in college.
Another day, I'll tell you about the time I peed in my pants in the music building.