Jealous of My Husband’s Surgery

A few months ago my husband was complaining about some heartburn or something (I don’t know–I assumed he was whining about some man-cold and ignored it on principle). Later on though, he woke me up in the middle of the night, notifying me that he was driving himself to the emergency room. I drowsily asked about his condition as seriously as I could muster given 1) it was like 3AM 2) I figured he was being dramatic and 3) it had already been a long weekend of listening to three kids’ whining and 4) Momma needs her sleep.

A couple hours later, I notified his mom who came over to stay with the kids so I could go up to the hospital. I arrived just in time for the sonographer and the doctor to confirm their suspicions: gall stones. They would have to surgically remove his gallbladder, but they didn’t perform surgeries on the weekend unless they were emergencies. Based on the location of the stones, the surgery could wait until the next day.

Which meant my husband got to stay. In a hospital. In a bed. Fully monitored and attended to by caring staff. For at least one night.

I don't really see a difference at this stage in my life.
I don’t really see a difference at this stage in my life.

My jealousy was instantaneous and immense.

As far as I was concerned, he had hit the surgery jackpot:

  • Minimally-invasive? Check
  • Relatively pain-free? Check–in fact, it relieved his pain almost immediately!
  • Not critical? Check
Yes, I'm aware that this is what I sound like. No, I don't care.
Yes, I’m aware that this is what I sound like. No, I don’t care.

Meanwhile, I returned home to the regular Sunday mayhem: my perfectionist six-year-old insisted on still going to church, so I got him ready and contacted a friend to see if he could sit with them; my five- and two-year-olds helped me to prepare our meal for the Supper Club swap; and I ran up to the high school to get substitute instructions prepped for my husband, who medically would not be allowed to work for a week. A WEEK!

I was running all over town to prepare for the upcoming work week while my husband, now pain-free thanks to hospital-grade drugs, was napping peacefully in an adjustable bed with television and nurse access at the touch of a button. I had to check a mirror to see if I had begun turning green yet. (I mean, sure, he was suffering through a liquid diet, but think of the benefits of that temporary diet I could have reaped!)

If you look closely, you can *just* make out my contempt.
If you look closely, you can *just* make out my contempt.

I was already exhausted by the time I brought the fed-and-freshly-bathed kids to see him that afternoon. While the kids were clamoring over him for a bedtime story from the hospital bed, I realized how much harder parenting is when he’s not around to help. But the guy was living my fantasy: a few days off in a restful environment while those who take you for granted come to appreciate all you have to offer!

As difficult as those couple of days were (not for him–this is about me!), they were nothing compared to having him home, where he was fully entitled to rest on the couch all evening. You know what’s frustrating? Parenting alone. You know what’s infuriating? Parenting alone in the presence of another grown adult who is out of commission.

I’m not saying I want to have a surgery (eww, IV’s!)–I am saying I wouldn’t mind a retreat where my every need is anticipated and taken care of followed by a week off of work so I can rest up. Only this time without postpartum pain.

Megan Southall
Megan is “Mommy! Mom! Mom-Mommy!” to four: Carson (9), Atticus (7), Evangeline (4), and Bo (8 months). She is from Port Allen and went to high school and college in Baton Rouge, getting her Bachelor’s Degree in English with a concentration in Secondary Education from LSU. Megan then moved to the ‘burbs in Zachary. She and her husband of 9 years, Ryan, are teachers, Ryan at Zachary High School and Megan at West Feliciana High School in St. Francisville, where she is also the Instructional Specialist. Megan is Nationally Board Certified in English Language Arts and has a Master's in Educational Leadership. She adores her job, as it gives her awesome opportunities: working with teenagers, gaining perspective on parenting them, and getting to pretend she’s a SAHM over the summer. When she’s not learning piano or reading, Megan can be found on the couch, talking to episodes of “Real Housewives of New York.”


  1. My husband had laparoscopic surgery last week and I must admit I have been a teeny bit jealous also. Those naps he gets to take, the not having to be the one going from one kid destination to another the busiest week of the year for events at our house, making sure the dog gets walked, the house is cleaned, HIS houseguest (planned months ago) is taken care of, and a thousand other things that I’m sure you understand. We only have two kids, but I swear if I had to do this alone all the time I would probably be the bathrobe drop off mom.
    Thank you for saying aloud what I have been thinking for the past 5 days!

    • From one sympathetic wife to another, best of luck to you! And if I can be counted on for anything, it’s saying aloud what many people only think–just like my mom always promised would get me into trouble one day! 😉

  2. I can definitely sympathize with this. In early 2014, I had emergency laparoscopic surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. Even though I’m told that I was a couple of hours away from death due to the internal hemorrhaging, I was back to my normal mom duties within 48 hours (except for the fact that I couldn’t lift my still-nursing 9mo old or drive).

    Later that same year, my husband was complaining of abdominal pain. He eventually went to the ER and found out that he needed a laparoscopic appendectomy. While he was in the hospital awaiting his surgery, I was home with a 3yr old and 1yr old… and trying to do the prep for a previously scheduled colonoscopy. It was a pain in the you-know-where, literally… followed by a week of doing everything while my hubby slept, watched TV, and played computer games. I quietly muttered ‘WTF?!’ to myself about 4,000 times that week.

  3. I get what you’re saying in this post about wanting a break, but I had gallstones when pregnant as well as terrible gallstone attacks for days straight when my baby was 2-1/2 weeks old. I ended up having the stones removed when she was 3 weeks old and then my gallbladder removed the next day. The attacks were super painful and so was the recovery. The gas they pump into you tries to escape and gets trapped in your shoulders/collarbone area and that pain is terrible! I did say to my husband at one point that at some points it was worse pain than my labor pains! It was really miserable and I wouldn’t wish it upon yourself!

  4. I am right there with Kelle, same way… horrible pain the last months of my pregnancy but I thought it was just part of the package… the next 3 weeks of my c-section recovery, the pain was bad but I guess pain killers kicked and blocked every pain… when my baby was 4 weeks old I couldn’t bare the pain the heartburns anymore, went to ER spent 4 crying and crying in pain until around 4 am finally a Dr took me in and said it looks like gallstones… but we can do that surgery here so go home and go to your doctor tomorrow… next day my OB contacted me with a friend of her and that next day did an ultrasound the following day a surgery… I went in got prepared 3 hours after I was walking out with my husband to go home. I was still in maternity leave but next day I went back to my normal day taking care of my baby with more pain killers… and yes!!! That gas they pump in to perform the surgery it’s a pain in the rear….! I felt like that gas was trapped inside forever and made me look pregnant ?


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