Friday, January 20, 2012

Get a Stomach and Hardened Heart ...or Learn to Compartmentalize Like a Man


First, I must chronicle an incredibly rare occurrence in our home. Last night, I got home from a meeting at 10pm...late, but not that late. The house was quite, but the lights were still on. I was just shocked to go upstairs to my room to find DOC H ALREADY IN BED! Before me! Trust me, this NEVER HAPPENS!

Last night the roles were reversed. I was the one walking into a dark bedroom, stumbling around trying to make it to the bathroom with only the illumination of the TV lightly filtering the room. 
After kicking off the heels, washing up and becoming one with my jammies (is there anything better than life in jammies?) I slid my weary self in between the cool sheets and I think I may have even smiled a bit as my head hit the pillow and I shut my eyes. 
My husband was watching a comedy on TV. No problem. Normally, I go to bed with the TV on and he’ll come in after I’ve already fallen asleep, and turn it off. “So, how was your meeting?” he asks as he chuckles at the TV.

Me, extremely fatigued, “Huh?”

“How did it go?”

“Well.”

“What do you think?” Chuckle. Chuckle.

“Interesting. Great program. It will be great,” I mumble. Realizing he was wide awake, I deflected the conversation. I just couldn’t muster the energy to properly enunciate words. “How was your day?”

Chuckle. Chuckle. Serious voice (probably a serious look too, but my eyes were closed. I was already standing on the porch of the Sandman's house). “Remember the pneumonia patient I told you about?” My eyes fly open. Young lady, Professional. Recently married. Pneumonia. Just pneumonia.  “I had a conversation with her tonight. So sad. She went septic and is going to need some amputations. She said she didn’t want to live anymore.”

“Well, what did you tell her?” I’m full alert and awake now!

“I tried to re-assure her that she would be able to walk and get her to see a bigger picture.”

Can you imagine?!!!! Pneumonia! Just pneumonia! Amputations over pneumonia! No computer, no phone. no texting. Needing someone to help you with the most basic necessities? Yes, I’m talking the 3 P’s...pee, poop, and period! Oh, this poor, poor, young lady!!!! Not being able to brush or braid your child's hair? I feel a churning in my stomach. Doc H turns off the TV and rolls over onto his side.
There I lay, wide awake, in the pure, quiet darkness with the ghastly image of surgical amputations on my brain. I worry for her. Her new husband. I pray he has the fortitude to adapt to this unforeseen version of their life together. Flat on my back, now staring at the ceiling, I am completely grief stricken and horrified for a complete stranger. This is going to haunt me all night.

Coming from my immediate right, I hear a soft snore. I need to learn how to do that.  *SIGH*

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