This past weekend, Toby became ill. It started on Friday night when we were at his folks' house for supper.
I could see it in his face as soon as I saw him. He was flushed, sore and rather passive and quiet. I asked what was wrong and he explained symptoms similar to a urinary tract infection.
I pawed my way through the vitamin cabinet in his mom's kitchen and found cranberry pills. I filled a glass of water and gave him a handful of pills to swallow. He looked at me, looked at the pills, looked at me again and apparently knew he wasn't going to argue his way out of this one so he quickly swallowed them down and drank the water.
Meanwhile, a half finished bottle of Mountain Dew sat smugly on the kitchen table. Toby's dad, mom and wife were on the warpath against that vile drink and declared it the culprit for his ailing health. 3 against 1 made it hard for Toby to hold much of a case for himself so we condemned the wicked bottle to eternal banishment and coerced him into believing he needed to end the awful practice of drinking that stuff.
Toby just had a "whatever" look on his face. Poor guy... his whole family was against him that night.
On the way home from his parent's house that night, I delved into a long tale about the importance of him cutting pop out of his diet. I reminded him this wasn't the first UTI he's had and for a guy to get UTI's that reoccur, is not a normal or a good thing. It's not good for women either but it is more likely for us to get them because of our anatomy.
"Yeah," he said.
I explained that the pop had to go. Just like if a person was diagnosed with a severe liver disease and then took up drinking alcohol, their chances of survival were very slim.
"Well, yeah," was his reply.
(I could tell he was getting convicted by now.)
I reminded him that the last time he had this, we were able to recover his health without going the medical route. I told him I had antibiotics that the doctor said he could use and we could go that route or we could do the natural.
"Let's just go the natural route," he said after thinking for a moment and then he finished with, "And I'll stop drinking pop from now on."
I told him I was more than willing to do that if he would agree to stop drinking pop. Not just for now but forever. That meant he had to start right now to agree that he would never drink pop again... like maybe, one pop a year.
He said, "Okay, but I'll start that the day after tomorrow."
Then I'm not going to help you get better, honey. He had to stop drinking that sugar concentrated drink today. I couldn't help him get better if he didn't agree to eliminate the problem. He finally agreed.
We shook on it and he signed the dotted line. Not really, but you get the picture. He then quickly jumped into a deep theological topic and talked up a storm the rest of the way home. Hmmm, I wonder why.
As soon as we got home, I did my usual scrounge through my vitamin bin and came up with quite a concoction. Cranberry capsules, wild oregano oil and apple cider vinegar. And this was just the beginning. I topped off my large handful of pills with a warm apple-cider-vinegar-with-honey-drink.
All Toby said when I gave him the whole package deal was, "Do I have to?" I gave him the look that said, me or the doctor and he swallowed it all like a good boy.
A little later, I asked him where it hurt, while holding an imaginary medical form.
No swollen lymph nodes.
No cold or congestion.
No bleeding gums.
No abdominal pain.
But he did have a headache, achy all over and urinating caused pain. I repeated the former dose again before bedtime. It's always a good idea to get on top of illnesses right when they start.
The next morning I repeated his pills all over again and added a few more. He took a deep breath, swallowed them and shook his head as his spine shivered. Though I felt sorry for him having to gulp down such high amounts of pills, I was inwardly excited about all the nutrients entering his pop infested body.
That day we were gone all day helping our friends move but every hour, I brought him water and another handful of pills. He would usually say, "I'm fine honey." Or, "I just took those 2 hours ago." His excuses didn't defeat my purpose though.
By that evening, he was in pretty bad shape still. When I asked him how he felt, he'd say, "I just feel blah."
"What do you mean by blah?" I'd ask.
"Oh... my back hurts..." He replied.
"Does it still hurt to go to the bathroom?" I asked, digging a little deeper into his medical problem.
"Well, I think..."he said.
So, I scrounged some more and came up with a new and improved prescription: fresh garlic cloves. That would surely nip the "blah" feeling in the bud.
Poor Toby moaned and groaned and assured me he was better but I was determined to get him completely healed. I held the spoon in front of his tight lips and told him it was either this or go to the doctor and he quickly opened his mouth and swallowed everything, washing it down with more vinegar honey water.
Later that night, I was concerned since there hadn't been much improvement yet. Surely by the 24 hour mark, he should at least be getting better if not already well. I did more research and found he needed acidophulus, vitamin B6 and higher doses of garlic.
I decided to start pin pointing his sickness... maybe this wasn't a UTI?
"Does it hurt if I poke you here?" I asked as I felt his abdomen.
"Maybe it's a little tender," he said, indecisively.
Maybe was not the answer I was looking for.
"Well, does it hurt or not?" I pried.
"I guess," he said.
So, I went on the internet and did another search. Surely by now if this was a UTI he'd be better.
I finally decided to just go ahead and have him diagnosed him with chronic prostatitis. That was surely what it was.
And then I decided it was just a UTI.
And then he told me he thought he just had the flu.
I then chose to just treat him as if he had a common cold since maybe that would eliminate his pain.
Who knows, maybe this was lyme disease or some other incurable illness. Maybe he had malaria, for all we knew.
I gave him more cranberry and garlic (those seem to be my main standbyes) and we went to bed. By the next morning, Toby was still sick.
So, I combined all the illnesses we discussed the night before and went to my vitamin bin with fresh vigor. I chopped garlic, warmed honey and vinegar, dumped loads of pills out and made fresh cranberry juice. I brought the entire brigade to him and set it in front of him. Five minutes later, a half dozen pills still laid there.
I brought them out to where he was eating breakfast and reminded him he still had to take them. Then I left for church.
When I came back, they still sat there. How was I supposed to help him get better if he wouldn't swallow his pills? Maybe I should've just intubated him then.
Through out the day, he perked up. I could tell he was feeling better. He said he felt like a druggie with all the pills he was taking. Landon walked around the house repeating, "druggie" while I continued bringing pills for Toby to take.
By that night, I brought him one last dose of everything and he assured me he was better.
"Does it hurt to go to the bathroom?" I asked, while coaxing him to take his vitamins.
"Nope," he quickly said.
"Does your back still hurt?"
"Maybe a little," he replied, not realizing this was a bad answer.
"Then you need to take these because if you still have pain there, you still have a UTI," I said while putting the capsules in his hand.
After he swallowed everything down, I repeated my first question.
"Now tell me if it hurts when you go to the bathroom."
"Yeah, it still does... a little," he admitted.
"I thought so," was my wise response.
It doesn't take long to be married to a guy to know what they mean when they answer the way they do some times.
This morning before work, he assured me he was better. I still gave him his pills, just for good measure. During work today, I asked him how he was feeling.
"I just feel blah," he said.
"What do you mean by blah?" I questioned.
"I just feel blah all over."
Oh dear. It'll be more than just a kiss that I greet him with when he comes home from work tonight.
Later this afternoon, I talked to his mom on the phone. Over the lunch hour, Toby had gone to his folks' house to eat his lunch. His mom had offered him some juice.
"If that's cranberry juice, I can't drink that," he quickly said, indicating he was filled to over flowing with that UTI combating drink.
I'm afraid he's in for a long haul tonight. And it'll be more than just cranberry juice that he'll get.