No. 119 – Hiding your Symptoms

Most of you have probably acquired and consumed A Husband’s Survival Guide to the Crunchy Life. I was recently rereading for edits (as it is going into print form soon) which is always a weird experience as a writer. You generally don’t remember everything you’ve written and if enough time has gone by you can re-enjoy experiencing your own writing.

Anyway, one principle that stuck out to me was the importance of hiding your symptoms from your wife. Rather that restate it, I’ll just quote my own book here:


You must not, under any circumstances, get sick. If you do get sick, you must hide your symptoms. The reasons for this are two-fold:

1. Symptoms will require remedies, remedies you don’t want to know about.

2. A husband bristling with health is what every crunchy wife hopes for, sort of a trophy husband, to prove her point to her argumentative non-crunchy friends about the virtues of eating ‘Real Food’ and / or Juicing and / or Avoiding Delicious Gluten Products (ADGP).

Your health is her validation. Do not fail to give it to her.

It was with that in mind that I, very reluctantly, confessed to my wife this past week that I had done something weird to my jaw. I don’t know if I yawned too powerfully one day but my jaw did a weird thing then it hurt to bite down. I endured it silently for a day or two, but eventually she sniffed it out of me. She regularly asks me how I am doing, and what am I supposed to do? Lie?

It’s like random drug testing at work.

So she gets it out of me and not ten minutes later I’m cleaning the kitchen from dinner and then I see her sitting on the couch, on her phone, watching some kind of video. I couldn’t see the screen but I could hear the audio faintly:

MAN’S VOICE: “So now I’m just going to apply some pressure here…”


MAN: “Hold very still…see? It’s all about the angles, we’re just going to work these angles…”

(Ambiguous noises of angles being worked?)

MAN: “There, how’s that?”

WOMAN: “Amazing! It’s all better!”

This went on for some time, across several videos. I tried to not think about what this was for, but deep down I knew I had made a mistake.

A few hours later I come to bed and I find my wife waiting for me with several jars and a look of anticipation. I meekly follow her instructions to lie down so she can ‘work’ on my jaw. This involves several steps:

First she has me open and close it a bunch of times to ‘observe’ what’s wrong with it.

Second, several oils and salves are applied to my jaw, which is means mostly into my beard. I was doubting the woman in the video had a beard and was thus concerned that whatever their purpose, it would not be achieved. Also I was concerned some of the salves might have been Amish in origin.

Third, something akin to ‘working the angles’ was applied to my head and jaw, which was, frankly, a little frightening. Keep in mind that my wife’s jaw-realignment qualifications had just been earned earlier this same evening from YouTube University. She tried to explain what she was doing along the way but at one point confessed to maybe mixing up content from one video to another.


Finally, she did this weird thing where she applied MASSIVE pressure on my jaws and had me try and open and close them. This was the scariest part. I pictured my jaw being ripped off or at least pushed further out of aliment. Also it hurt quite a lot.

A lot.

WIFE: “How does that feel?”

ME: “It hurts.”

WIFE: “Hm…keep opening and closing.”

ME: “Ow.”

(another 30 seconds of this)

WIFE: “There. Now how does that feel?”

ME: “It feels…….hm. It feels a bit better. (surprised)

WIFE: “Really?” (also surprised)

ME: “Yeah…” (opening and closing jaw) “I think that might have helped.”

WIFE: “Great! We can work on it again tomorrow too.”

ME: “OK.”

YOU: “Wait, what? Your jaw didn’t get ripped off?”

ME: “No, this actually worked out pretty well. In-fact, the next day it felt even better, and the day after it was basically back to normal.”

YOU: “Well that’s disappointing.”

ME: “I know, it’s just that my writing always makes things out to go horribly and I thought maybe this time around I should actually give credit where credit is due, even though it was pretty scary up until the end.”

YOU: “I guess. Still….”

ME: “Fine, next time I’ll get hurt. I promise.”

YOU: “Badly?”

ME: “I’ll see what I can do.”

YOU: “Yay!”