|Not Henry's house, but identical in layout|
EMERGENCY ROOM?! Henry has had myriad medical problems -- serious ones -- since his accident in October 2018. Complicating matters, he no longer has insurance coverage. (This latter situation is unwise and was completely avoidable; don't get me started.)
Anyway, Henry told me that as he walked down the stairs he was attacked by "an orange and black striped" possum or raccoon. He "kicked the shit out of it" and it ran away, but he and Reg went to the Emergency Room.
He complained that they had to wait 2 and 1/2 hours and all the ER staff did was give him a tetanus shot and an aspirin. They had to pay $250 for this! Animal Control was notified and will check the neighborhood looking for possum or racoon. Henry reassured me he will be looking for it, too, and will "kick the shit out of it again."
"Stop right there," I said. "Do not tell me you are going to harm an animal ever again. Just consider yourself lucky you didn't need rabies shots. Tell me about your bandages."
He has no bandages. The skin was not broken.
I asked if he needs to apply cream to the scratches. There are no scratches.
I asked if his shoes are ruined from the attack, or if he can still wear them. His shoes are unmarked.
He complained about the "swelling." I told him he probably twisted his ankle as he fought off the possum or raccoon and he should just take an Advil. After all, if the skin isn't broken he can't have an infection.
I told him how much I love him and I'm glad it wasn't a snake or something poisonous he stepped on. I reminded him of the time we were walking the beach and I saw a jellyfish in the sand. I instinctively moved to pick it up and throw it back into the sea. Henry grabbed me by a fistful of bra and t-shirt and stopped me because jellyfish can be poisonous. "You saved my life that day!" I enthused. Then I asked if I could talk to his husband, Reg.
"Can he hear us?" I asked.
"Yes." Reg said.
"Did this attack thing really happen?"
"I don't see how," Reg said wearily.
Is Henry lying? I don't know. He's adrift now that he's unemployed. He's jealous of the time Reg spends at work (and Reg is working two jobs these days). Maybe he made this up to get attention.
Or worse, maybe he believes it happened. Henry has not had a neurological workup in two years. First it was because of covid. Now it's because of (don't get me started) insurance.
I've made my peace with the reality that Henry will never again be who he was before the accident. I wasn't prepared for him getting worse. It scares me.