Thursday, November 5, 2009

The English Speaking American Male Patient

We have established that I am a stupid biatch, so of course I don't need much more than in invitation to spend my hard-earned vacation time EAST of here, "nursing" a 36 year old tonsillectomy victim. I didn't need one but I was invited, thank you very much. Yes, my dear sweet Heracles needed some down home care because while it is an outpatient procedure, you do need someone around who will be LEGALLY responsible for you for 48 whole hours after the surgery, ok? ok! And yes, that individual was me. If Heracles had robbed a bank with that big old bottle of oxycodoneahydrophyllstuff it would have been all on MH! I could have gone up for 15 years because that's a federal offense! Well thank God he was way too full of oxycodone and otherwise hurt because I don't need a federal offense on my record that's for sure. Point is, it was a huge responsibility, get me? Like being a guardian. If you want to put it like that, it's like being a parent. A mother! sigh!

As it turned out, Heracles needed someone. His mom is in her seventies. Does she need that mess when she's trying to unload a house full of Heracles' childhood memories that nobody seems to care about? Hells no. Poor lady all she wants to do is shop and live like a single woman about town who has paid her debt. But she had too many kids over too many years, her husband had the bad manners to die and both of them didn't teach their youngest how to man up. Heracles actually considered letting her come over to that freezing, garbage-ridden city to take care of him. She can't see well enough to learn the fine art of texting, so how is she going to drive a Chrysler around on streets the size of sidewalks? When she is saddled with two expensive homes to maintain and an aging brother with a terminal illness? The woman raised a fine son, like she did with her older children. But somehow Heracles forgot that boys grow into men. He's still the baby of the family, I guess. I'm the baby too, I know how it is. But damn, even I had to grow up.

Well anyhow I couldn't see putting an older woman through that and besides I have cooked less than 6 meals in the last 4 years so nesting a little bit on the shady side of my thirties seemed to be a bittersweet departure from using the microwave for warming my nightly pore-opening steam towel. With that in mind, it was a pleasure to use a microwave to cook. And I don't even EAT Jello! See what a nester I was?

I nursed that little Heracles for days! It was heavenly. I thought about how much fun it would be to take care of him all the time. I started to use little pet names for him and talked baby to him. He liked it. Mom wasn't around, but he could pretend right?

It was glorious. I pounded cubes of ice into shards of ice that barely passed as "shaved." I made three kinds of wholesome soup and froze it all. I made gatorice cubes for times when someone might need his "electrolytes" replaced. I made Jello for the first time and second time and third time, then added some choco-protein powder to another and another batch for my little patient. I rinsed, wiped, cleaned, took out garbage and recycle, plucked bloody q tips out of the sink, slept with the bathroom light on so Heracles could make regular hourly visits there throughout the night, and rejoiced when he decided he might be able to stomach some cold Campbell's chicken noodle soup.

I giggled at all of my patient's little complaints about his throat, his nose, his head and the bruises from getting stuck and missed several times by a nurse in training. I told Heracles that he is so CRAZY since he wants more than anything to be crazy. Well, he also wants to be funny, so I laugh at him all the time. Makes us both smile. Plus we had one nice afternoon at an indoors botanical garden. It was a nice time, I have to say.

Then I started to miss my Minchie and Kitty. I wondered about my fountain grass. Had it grown in the last five days? How about Minchie's wading pool? Was it still safe next to the coiled up hose and serpentined soaker? And that slow leak in my front driver's side tire that I have been ignoring, did it finally cause a flat, rendering me immobile?

Boy, was I glad to get home. I collected my dog, collapsed on the love sac and snuggled under a for a few hours, thinking about the last week's worth of experience and what I have learned from it.

I don't care what Heracles says. He's missing out, and I don't miss taking care of a man for a living for nothing but a sniffed thanks and an offer of cash to offset the groceries. Yeah, I missed it before, but that was because I had forgotten that men aren't grateful for shit. We don't need to make them soup! They don't want or need us for anything aside from clean shaven, issue-free sex.

FYI, this MH didn't accept any money from the patient.

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