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**worry and wait**

By Margaret BrennanPublished about a month ago 4 min read
image by: kindpng.com


**worry and wait**


As Gloria stood in the doorway that connected their bedroom and kitchen, she heard the distinctive hissing sound of the nebulizer that her husband had insisted he no longer needed and thought, “Well, clearly, he finally realizes his inhaler isn’t enough.” She thought but didn’t say aloud.


A week earlier, he began coughing again. The spasms weren’t as severe as they had once been, but she knew they soon would be.

Her husband, Al was a very stubborn man and never wanted to admit to failing health. He would never even admit having a cold when he was younger and now, neither of them was no longer young.

She approached the subject delicately. “You know, Al, the directions said that your inhaler isn’t a replacement for your nebulizer. The inhaler is to be used every morning and the nebulizer, three times each day. Your cough is coming back.”

He wasn’t happy but she noticed that he had placed his machine on the table near the couch. “At least, this time, he didn’t argue,” she thought but didn’t say aloud.


Gloria noticed when he walked from the kitchen to the living room the limp he had had the day before wasn’t as noticeable.

“How’s your foot?” she asked, trying to keep the sound of extreme concern from her voice.

“Better,” he responded. “That Tylenol you gave me last night worked great. The pain is gone as is most of the swelling.”

“That’s good. Be sure you mention this to the doctor when you see him tomorrow.”

She glanced down at his foot and noticed it was still swollen more than it should have been.

“Darn that gout,” she thought but didn’t say aloud.


Al lowered himself onto the couch, and Gloria heard a slight muffled groan.

“Just the usual aches,” she thought but didn’t say aloud.


She left the kitchen to begin tidying the living room and noticed Al had already fallen asleep.

“Huh! That’s odd. He only woke up half hour ago,” she thought but didn’t say aloud.


Gloria knew Al’s health was failing. She’d known it for years but at age eighty-four, he was a stubborn old coot. He never wanted to admit to not feeling well. He pushed himself hard at whatever task lay before him. Before he retired, he’d drive about ninety minutes to his job, work anywhere close to and sometimes over ten hours a day, then drive home, only to begin work on whatever project he’d started the previous weekend.

After their dinner, he’d sit in his recliner and all but pass out from exhaustion.

Being six years younger than Al, Gloria often wanted to walk around town, or visit a local arboretum, or even spend a few hours at the zoo in the nearby town. Normally, when she felt the four walls closing in, she went alone. Those activities just held no interest for him. Every so often during the week, when he felt a bit more energetic, she’d see him in the yard pruning a few bushes here and there. Even while doing that, he needed to take more than his usual breaks. Gloria knew he just no longer had the stamina that once kept him going all day.

“Huh!” she thought, “It’s not even that. He just lacks the interest for much of anything else. He always enjoyed fishing, but the fishing has been so inadequate lately, and plus it’s been too hot. So now, he stays home and watches TV. Well, after all, he is getting older,” she thought but didn’t say aloud.


Gloria’s interests always varied. She loved to wander through the woody parks and look at the natural ponds and their wildflowers. She marveled at the animals in the zoo and never tired of watching them interact with each other. If she found time during her day, she’d make the hour-long drive to the County aquarium. That was one of her favorite places to go. She joined a gym to keep herself as limber as her seventy-six-year-old body would allow.

Their interests weren’t always so different. When they were younger, she enjoyed fishing as much as he did, and Al loved walking through the woods hoping to see a few of the wild animals that were known to live there. However, time, age, arthritis, and illnesses changed them both. There was no denying how much older than their years they often felt.


After his nap, he had again walked to the garage and grabbed his hedge trimmer. And once again, a few minutes later, walked inside with his leg bleeding.

“Whack your leg, again?”

“Yep. It’s not a big cut but with these damn blood-thinners, you’ll have to help me stop the bleeding – again!”

As she cleaned the small tear on the side of his leg where his skin had thinned, she said, “Ok, this is another item on the list we need to tell the doctor about. He might want to decrease the dosage of that medication you’re taking.”

“And, here we go again,” she thought but didn’t say aloud.


She cleaned and dried the small cut which continued to drip blood. She taped a very thick bandage on his leg to cover the cut and cause enough pressure to slow and eventually stop the bleeding.

“Hon, you know the drill. Keep your foot elevated for at least an hour. In the meantime, I’ll make you a cup of tea. Grab the remote and put on the TV.”

She walked into the kitchen and put the kettle on.

“And, here we go again,” she thought but didn’t say aloud.


About the Creator

Margaret Brennan

I am a 77-year old grandmother who loves to write, fish, and grab my camera to capture the beautiful scenery I see around me.

My husband and I found our paradise in Punta Gorda Florida where the weather always keeps us guessing.

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