I am not much of a nurse. I know that comes as a shock to many of you who read my thoughtful columns each week and can't believe that I would have trouble being sensitive to someone else's pain. But, alas, it is true.
It has never been more evident than these last few days. You see on Friday my wife had surgery to remove a hematoma from her hip/butt area the size of a sedan. I'm not joking, I think you could have actually fit eight people in the gigantic mass. Anyway, four layers of stitches and a fluid drain later, my wife has been rather immobile the last few days.
Believe me, I don't have a problem helping my helpless wife, it's just I'm not good at it. You see, I'm a believer in tough love. The "if you want something, get up and get it yourself and while you're up, grab me a soda" type love.
Part of it is just my laziness, part of it is my lack of patience and the other part is because of how I am when I'm sick. If I don't feel well, I don't want somebody asking me if I need something every five minutes. As a matter of fact, I just want to be left alone. As long as I am stocked in some sort of medicine, I will be fine if people leave me alone. Since my wife is kind enough to follow my instructions, I feel it is my duty to help her when she is down.
So there I was, constantly asking if she needed anything (like she wouldn't tell me if she did) bringing her books, food, drink and her pills (which unfortunately for me did not include anything that caused drowsiness). I even folded some laundry and at one point I was even tying her shoes for her. How good of a husband am I?
She even developed a little system if I was out of earshot. Instead of ringing a little bell, which thankfully we don't have, she just picked up the phone and dialed my cell phone to tell me what she needed. I do love cell phones.
I was handling everything fine, without complaint I might add, until the moment she needed help with her bandages. That is when "David the Nurse" became "David the Disgusted." It's bad enough I have to see her fluid drain in her little container, filling up with nasty blood and God knows what else. But I draw the line at having to look at the wound itself. I got into the newspaper business because I wanted to avoid the blood and math that came along with other jobs.
So this is when I tried the tough love approach and told her she should be able to change them herself. When that didn't work, she picked up the phone but surprisingly there was no answer on my cell phone. It's tough to get reception when your cowering in the closet. So she had to use the phone to call a friend to come over and help her rebandage the wound.
Of course, after the bandages were replaced and I came out of hiding, "David the Nurse" was back on duty bringing food and drink to my helpless patient. I think when all this is over I may have to get injured so I can reap the benefits of having my own nurse. But then my wife would probably just throw that tough love thing back at me.