In my day, when I had to make a career choice, only those women who had guts stepped out of the box and did something different like study law or engineering. The majority of us that had the privilege to go college majored in either education or nursing.
Every now and then I am reminded why I selected teaching, and the last few days have been one of those reminders. I am a disaster as a nurse. Nursing TLC is not in my genes. I also detest the site of anything that has to do with injecting a needle into the human body. Watching an IV needle be inserted or removed sends shivers through my body and the site of blood causes me to dry heave. I was blessed with two sons that rarely skinned a knee. Their specialty was anaphylactic reactions or severe asthmatic attacks – neither which involve blood. Although far more deadly than scraped knees, I could handle their illnesses.
Hubby had meniscus surgery on his right knee this past week. The patient survived the hospital end of the deal. My lack of TLC skills kicked in when I had to help him into the car for the trip home. He had to sit in the rear seat of the car, both legs resting on the seat, and his back to the door. Hubby is a head taller than I am. Getting him into the rear seat without bending his leg is something that had to be done, but we were not sure how. My clumsy attempts almost sent us to the emergency entrance, so once his butt was on the seat, Hubby decided to complete the task by himself. When he felt comfortable, I started the car and headed home. I made a sharp turn out of the driveway, and Hubby screamed. “Watch out for that truck!”
I slammed my foot on the break, looked, and saw no truck. One glance in the rear view mirror told me he had to still be under the effects of anesthesia. He was looking straight ahead – out of the side window. He quickly realized his error, but still his complaints continued all the way home. “Drive slower,” he demanded from the rear. “Every time you switch lanes the handle jams my back.”
“There’s a minimum speed,” I reminded him as we headed north on I-95.
When we parked in our driveway, he decided it would be safer if he inched his way out of the car than have me assist him. No argument from me. After a few minutes and not too many groans, he was standing sort of erect, leaning on his walker. He headed towards the house, me the mailbox. “Can’t you at least walk next to me in case I fall?” he asked.
“If you fall on me, who’ll take care of you?” Not even a smile came to his face.
Once inside, my lack of physical therapist skills continued to sabotage Hubby’s recovery. So far, every time I have had to do anything – change the ice water in the ice pack wrapped around his knee, take off the ace bandage and then rewrap it, help him stand up or sit down – he manages to scream “!#%@ can’t you see what you’re doing?”
Today, when I tried to help him dry his feet after he showered, I accidently bumped his knee with my elbow. Instead of !#%@, he simply said, “Thank goodness you never wanted to be a nurse.”