Monday, December 26, 2011

Pushed a Little Too Far

            The doctor pulled the curtain closed with a loud clinking of metal hoops and heavy fabric. I watched my sleeping husband disappear from view as the doctor cupped my elbow and directed me a few feet away.
            “Your husband is resting,” he said. “But I’d like to ask you a few questions.”
            I stole another quick glance toward my husband, but he was blocked from view.    “Mrs. Crawford, we set your husband’s arm. It was a clean break. But, can you tell me again how he broke it?”
            My mouth went dry. My forehead broke into a sweat.
            “He fell off the bed,” I said, as tears welled in my eyes.
            “He says he was sleeping,” the doctor said sharply.
            The events of the last few hours flashed through my mind. My husband was snoring, as usual, making it impossible to sleep. I listened to his chainsaw snores for as long as I could then I reached over and oh so lovingly, nudged him. The next thing I knew, he was lying on the floor, screaming in pain, saying that I was trying to kill him. But I couldn’t tell the doctor that.
            “Well, he was sleeping, and snoring, and I tried to roll him on his side. Gently! I tried to gently roll him on his side! But he rolled too far and fell off the bed.”
            The doctor stared at me.
            “It was an accident!”
            The doctor crossed his arms across his chest.
            “Can you explain the bruises we found along your husband’s arm? It looks like he’s been repeatedly pinched.”
            I gulped.
            “And the finger-like bruises around his neck?”
            “He was choking!” I cried.
            The doctor stared at me as though I were a criminal. I hadn’t meant my husband any harm. I was just trying to get some sleep! He snored so loudly that it shook the house. I’d tried everything, but nothing worked. He rumbled on and on, making a thunderous noise that I just couldn’t take any more. But I’d never meant to hurt him!
            “Mrs. Crawford, we found traces of cotton in your husband’s nostrils. It appears that someone placed a pillow over his face.”
            “No, you see, I just pulled the pillow out from under his head, but the force of….”
            My sentence was cut off by the high-decibel volume of a freight train screaming through the room. The bedside curtain blew in the breeze caused by the thunderous blare of my husband’s olfactory trumpet. I couldn’t even hear myself over the noise.
            The doctor leaned in with his hand cupped over his ear.
            “We’re going to keep him here overnight for observation,” the doctor said.
            I nodded my head and tried to look glum, but I was secretly gleeful. I couldn’t wait to get home and get back to bed. With my husband out of the house I was about to get the best night’s sleep I’d had in a long time.

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