I’m keeping an eye on you, so please try to be ‘patient’
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 8:00 pm
By: By CHRIS MENEES, Staff Reporter
Nursing is clearly not my calling.
Gaping wounds make me woozy. If you throw up in my presence, I’m more than likely to join you.
Nor do I have the proper patience.
Make that “patient.”
Was I really paying attention to that “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” part of the wedding vows 20-plus years ago?
My husband and I have entirely different approaches when it comes to being sick. I like to be pampered, showered with tender loving care; he likes to be left alone.
Consequently, my need to nurture doesn’t always jive with his style to suffer in silence.
Case in point: His outpatient eye surgery a month ago.
I made it my mission to make his post-op experience enjoyable and entertaining.
I was determined to turn that post-op frown upside-down, to turn Monday into Funday (well, it was actually a Wednesday).
It started in the surgery center’s post-op recovery area — where I snapped an awesome photo of the hubby looking quite stylish in oversized dark glasses and an airy hospital gown which left a lot to be desired in coverage. It’s going to look great on our Christmas cards.
“Look,” I said, waving my cell phone in front of his face. “You’re a dead ringer for the guy in the ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ movie.”
He looked amused, but it could have been the drugs.
He also looked eager to leave, but not before the real nurse went over a few routine post-surgery instructions with his “responsible party” — me.
“Responsible? Me? Sure, I’ll sign for him,” I told the nurse.
It was my husband’s worst nightmare — two women telling him what he could and couldn’t do.
I suddenly found myself staring at a list of roughly 25 things he should or shouldn’t do following eye surgery and sedation. I began to wonder if I could hold up my end of the bargain.
“I’ve got my eye on you,” I warned, jokingly of course.
The list cautioned that he should not stay alone or make important decisions for 24 hours.
“So if he calls me at work and says he’s traded the house for a Winnebago and joined a heavy metal band, I should get home fast,” I told the nurse.
The list said he should avoid blowing his nose right away and should do so gently for two weeks.
“So if you blow your nose really hard and your eyeball shoots across the room, don’t come crying to me,” I cautioned my patient.
The list said he had to wear a protective shield over the operated eye while sleeping for two weeks. And the nurse, a true angel of mercy, showed me, the responsible party, the proper way to apply said shield — a clear plastic cup contraption — with surgical tape.
“Duct tape would hold better,” I suggested.
I’m pretty sure the nurse agreed, but we decided it might rip off an eyebrow when removed. I secretly wondered if she’d ever tried it on a problem patient.
The list outlined what my husband could do that same day and the next day, one week later and two weeks later. Aerobics, biking and dancing were among the approved activities for the very next day.
“That’s great, because he didn’t do any of those things before his surgery. We’re gonna have a really busy day tomorrow,” I excitedly told the nurse, then turned to my patient and sadly added, “Oh, but you can’t wear eye makeup for a week, honey.”
Good wife and responsible party that I am, I signed “the list” and the nurse sent us packing.
Once outside, though, I shifted into nurse mode, starting with a barrage of questions for the patient now in my sole custody.
“Are you comfortable? Are you in pain? Do you feel OK? Can I get you anything?” I asked.
He wanted only one thing — coffee.
“Coffee isn’t on the list. It says you should start with clear liquids and soup,” I replied.
He was giving me the evil eye through the dark post-surgery glasses and I think I heard a low growl coming from his direction. I feared he was about to put “the list” somewhere I’d never see it again.
Fine. I shirked my responsibility, threw caution to the wind and brewed a cup o’ joe for the patient.
As it turns out, it was just what the doctor ordered.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 3.30.12
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