Monday, October 6, 2008
Two Bags and Now I'm Nurse Hag!
This week has been charred with a few out of body experiences. Can you relate with those stressful times in your life when the room fades into surreal and all you can hear is your heart pounding. It is like you can only understand because you are watching the scene from the outside - kind of like you are sitting in your own living room watching the stressful moment of your own life unfold on a TV screen. You can barely concentrate on what others are saying to you because you are just trying to absorb the tears that are swelling up in your eyes. You know that if the tear falls onto your cheek, it will give you permission to let the floodgates pour.
That is what it was like for me as my very own drama aired two times and both incidents happened to be from a doctor's office.
The first scene I watched was of my darling husband, Fred. He was sitting in a pre-op room with his blue bonnet, booties and hospital gown. His eyes looked at me like a scared little boy as the IV cord dangled from his strong forearm. I tried to listen and not fall apart as the nurse had him sign all sorts of paperwork basically starting with, "In case something should happen..."
I couldn't imagine something happening to my husband. From the 15 years we have been together, he has practically never even been sick! I on the other hand, get sick each month with PMS and also am plagued with migraines periodically, not to mention my inability to manage stress appropriately so I physically can feel every bump in the road on my life's journey. Oh, and I occasionally am a hypercondriac too! Most of the time when I am starting to feel a little edgy, my husband is helpful. He takes care of the kids and gives me my space. He also encourages me to take the time for self care so that I don't get too uptight emotionally and physically. Yes, my husband is a pretty great blue ribbon guy. There are times when I feel guilty leaving him with the kids to get bathed and ready for bed while I go out for a jog or a walk with a friend. But then he gives me unlimited stack of "Get Out of Guilt-Free Cards" and let's me go on my own way. He understands how I tick and I am so grateful for him.
To sit in the visitor seat and watch my strong husband have to be the patient was so difficult for me. I wanted to be strong, stable and spoil him into recovery as soon as his urological surgery was finished. And, within a couple of hours, he was ready for me to pull the car around as the nurse helped him walk to the passenger seat. He was holding two bags, one with his extra clothes that I sent along with him and another bag for his catheter that he would become very close with for the next few days.
Although he was on some 'mechanical-strength' pain killer, he was extra sensitive to every bump on the very long drive home. About two hours and 2,000 bumps later we arrived home, he went straight up to bed. He slept for about four days. I would prepare his meals and take them on a silver tray up to him in bed. I would also make sure I was there with him as he'd stumble to the bathroom to empty his bag filled with yellow liquid. Along with playing nurse, I knew that one of his "love languages" was the act of doing things for him. And, I knew that he appreciated a tidy house so I tried my hardest to keep the house in order.
The more I tried to stay on top of the cleaning, the cooking the serving, the more impatient I grew. I admittedly was enjoying caring for him and the house and family but I was so used to Fred taking care of a lot of the chores like the garbage and sharing with the laundry and dishes and cooking. To not have him around was like having one of my arms cut off. As hard as I tried to keep it all together, my nerves were frazzled like Bob Marley's dreadlocks in an electric socket. I couldn't control my temper!
So, how do other wives handle this stress? I was out of control. All I could do is yell and scream at everyone around me. I am so ashamed on how I lashed out on everyone. I had no time for reprieve. I was lacking in sleep and self care and my darling husband and two sweet daughters who are also high maintenance got the best of me by 7:00 a.m. and after that, they all got the worst of me each day for four days.
Who did I become? Where was the person I wanted to be? I didn't sign up for this trashy unraveled tantrum tizzy I had turned into. I was starting to think I was more like my bipolar mother. The more I would try to control and manage my stress, the more stressed out I would get and lash out. I also realized that my daughter Sienna, who is also diagnosed with bipolar along with ADHD and PDD-NOS struggles with similar inter-personal conflict herself. It is times like these when I can better understand her. I always tell her, "You have choices to make Sienna. You can choose to throw those fits and deal with the consequences, or you can walk away, count to ten, do something that will help you relax... BLAH BLAH BLAH."
If someone were to confront ME during these past four days and lecture me like that. I would have told them to go away and COUNT MY FRICKIN ACE! (my frickin ace is a fancy word for my gosh darn behind!) And I would have probably growled at them or thrown something at them. Who knows? No one would have dared lectured me this past week. I was like a shark who just sensed blood and was ready to attack, like Bruce the Great White shark in Finding Nemo. He really wanted to overcome his addiction to eating fish but he just couldn't help being who he was. Interesting discovery... hmmm.... (I just realized this discovery through my blog writing. This helps me to accept my daughter more and more! I struggle with this sometimes. I want to change her make her conform too much of the time.)
Today is Monday. My husband is finally on his feet and back to work. He still has the catheter in but I think I am feeling a little more myself and less Nurse Cratchett.
Throughout all of this chaos, my toddler daughter has been getting over a flu with lots of green river snot to wipe and dirty diarrhea diapers to change. Good times.
The other out of body experience that I discovered as the drama unfolded in the doctor's office was about my six year old daughter. I will share in tomorrow's post...