A Backstory Post
Getting to Know Each Other
We all thought we were home free after the chain plate fiasco had worked its way through the system. Little did we know, a second major problem was brewing. With all the love and attention Andrew had been devoting to me, Leslie apparently felt she needed to compete. I don’t know why!
As soon as the chain plate repair was finished, we all got back to sailing and adventuring like normal. We even celebrated their wedding anniversary together. Andrew and I (well, mostly Andrew) filled my whole salon with flowers. We (he) went to the seafood market and bought delicious clams to prepare a nice anniversary meal, we went sailing together, I (well, yeah, Andrew again) lit my beautiful brass and oil lamp, and the marina gave Leslie a gorgeous sunset show. You would really think all of that would suffice to honor her with enough attention, no?
For her birthday, Andrew bought and planted their “fall/winter season” flowers in the back yard (Which sometimes I worry they love more than me), made her a homemade soup, then wined and dined her.
I understand her desire for love and attention, I just don’t think this whole episode was really necessary. And it’s this rediculous thing with the mountain biking all to blame. So much mountain biking! How often does she really want/need to go mountain biking? I don’t approve.
She needs to focus.
…on sailing, of course!
Anyway, I think it started long before it actually came to an apex. In May of 2013, between work and weekends repairing me, Andrew and Leslie had been training for a mini cross-country triathlon: lake swim, trail run, and a mountain bike ride. While I’m unhappy about the time this means we’ve spent apart, I am satisfied that they are doing as they need to stay in shape and healthy. I can’t take fat, sick, or ugly sailors out to sea. Then, one night they are racing each other on their mountain bikes, and Leslie takes a hard crash on her right side. At first it seems she’s just scuffed up and no worse for the wear.
But, the next time they came to visit, Leslie attempted to pull one of my large, light wind sails out of my hatch when she stops and says, “That was weird.”
“What?” I ask.
“I don’t know. My back did something funny.”
“Does it hurt?” I ask.
“No, it just felt funny. Like a ketchup bottle farting.”
Gross. I have no idea what she’s talking about. We both collectively shrug and carry about our business.
Through that summer, every now and then she mentions a strange feeling in her foot, tingling in her toes, an aching in her hamstring, pain in her hip. She is seeing a physical therapist. They give her exercises and stretches to do. “You are in your thirties.” I say. “We are old ladies, now.” I tell her. What I really want to say is “Stop whining already. I have aches and pains, too. It’s to be expected.” But I’m still trying to be nice. She starts trying acupuncture, and she says that seems to help for a while.
Then, things go drastically downhill. They arrive one November evening with one of Leslie’s childhood friends in tow. We are supposed to go sailing, and we are all excited about the prospect of November whale watching in San Diego. But, as they arrive, Leslie is walking like she is frozen at the hips. She’s bent over a little bit and looks like she could really go for a walking cane.
“Oh jeeze, what now?”
Andrew shrugs and whispers to me, “I think she’s a hypochondriac…” and I nod. I think so, too.
Something about the drive from Vegas to San Diego jiggled her into the throes of pain like she has never felt before. The muscles of her right leg are cramping with no discernible reason, her whole foot is tingling now, and her hip aches. She can’t sleep in any comfortable position, she can’t sit. Only standing gives her some relief, but not even then does it go completely away. She’s swallowing 800MG of Ibuprophin in regular eight hour intervals and it isn’t touching the pain.
“You guys, I don’t think I can go sailing this weekend.” She says. “I can’t move, I can’t bend over quickly. I can’t do anything helpful.” Clint isn’t a sailor, so he can’t really take her place. Everyone is disappointed. They do some land exploring instead, checking out the hat shops and art supply of the Hillcrest Area, Mission, and beautiful La Joya.
Our next weekend together, we have much to celebrate! It is our one year anniversary of my “Gotcha Day”! They buy me and Neptune some Chocolate Cupcakes, pour some rum on my hull for Neptune, and take a slosh for themselves. They also bring me the best present of all: confirmation they paid off my loan. So now, I’m really theirs, they are debt free but their house, and we are no longer living a lie. The only thing that would make this weekend better is a sail. Can we go sailing?
Leslie says maybe, but as she hobbles around down to bed, I know we are not going sailing. Not now, not this weekend, if this doesn’t improve maybe never! How can she possibly go sailing if the jostling of a car puts her in this type of agony. Waves create a lot of jostling. I start to panic. Leslie starts to panic.
“Sonrisa, what if I can’t fix this?”
“Leslie, what if we can’t fix this?”
“Ladies, stop…you’ll both be fine..” Andrew says. But we know, this is serious.
“You have to go see a doctor.” I tell Leslie, but she has. She has been to her general practitioner who told her she can’t get an MRI until she tries physical therapy and muscle relaxers first - - which of course, Leslie has been doing for months now. Things are only getting worse. I do feel bad for her. What if my chain plates broke, and no one was willing or able to fix them? I shudder at the thought. “I’ll make them give me the MRI, this week.” Leslie says.
So, she returns to her doctor who thankfully orders an MRI, an Ultrasound, and an X-Ray.
The next time I see Leslie, she glows green. “So?” I ask her.
“I don’t know, yet. She reviewed my tests and recommended that I see an orthopedic hip specialist. I’m waiting for that appointment – in January.”
In January, she sees the orthopedic hip specialist who diagnoses her with bursitis of the hip, gives her a steroid shot with a long, deep needle, then sends her away. The steroids do nothing but make her a wild-eyed agro-insomniac for three days straight.
I know it’s not her fault, but I start to think I’ve made a really big mistake. Andrew’s great. I have no doubt in him. He’s strong, patient, and very good at fixing things on me that break. He even manages all my “tests” with stoicism. But Leslie? She seems weak, prone to dramatics, and this back thing… I really think it could prevent us from leaving. Maybe I’ve chosen the wrong sailors? My heart starts to break.