With federal election voting well underway on November 8, John, my hero, emerged from surgery about 3:00 PM with a new right hip solidly in place and I, optimistically and lovingly, at the ready to nurse him back onto his feet. While he was in the OR, I camped in the waiting room passing the time reading the self-reinforcing media that, according to the poles, said the Democrats, although with a narrowing margin, would win the White House with a good chance of taking back the Senate. This perspective proved to be what I call the reverse ‘Chicken Little’ effect.
It was clear that evening sitting together in his hospital room that Chicken Little was no where to be found, and, not only did the sky fall, but there was no one savvy enough to look up to see if it might possibly fall. The media, ourselves and our Democrat friends were caught with our pantsuits down. I didn’t react because I had to get John home to support his first week of recovery. This gave me time to think through what I thought of it all, instead of erupting on social media with hate and anger. My conclusion after four days of reading and analysis, quite frankly, was that instead of blaming others, we Democrats, Hillary and the party need to look at our own beliefs, words and actions. It was our election to lose and, despite taking the popular vote, lose we did.
In other news, my hero is growing tired of my limited empathetic nursing. I’ve become Nurse Ratched, tired of his groans about the pain, even if there is good reason for it all. The root cause of our joint frustrations is two fold. When he’s not feeling well, he goes into what I call ‘mole mode’, grunting with seldom a smile, please or thank-you despite the fact that I spring into action to fill his every request. Add to this an occasional wave of worried hypochondria (I’ve never seen a grown man worry about his temperature so much) and I’m ready to bonk him on the head as I fetch his computer or mobile, dole out his drugs, wrap his ice packs, cook his food, raise his feet, help him get ready for bed, fluff his pillows, assist him after his shower, massage the stretched thigh muscles, and encourage him to drink more liquids because his pee should not be a burnt orange color, but rather a pale lemon yellow.
TMI? I’m sorry to say that at our age, there is nothing to be shy about any more.
The good news is that he’s actually very strong and on the mend, walking, exercising while limiting his drug use. Today, his physical therapist took him through a new set of exercises and a hike down the hall with a short sprint on the stairs. However, after four days shuffling about the apartment, the walls are closing in around him. He needed his first outing, a visit to the urologist to get the damn catheter removed. Greatly relieved, he was enthusiastic to extend his outing by accompanying me to the grocery store. You gotta love a guy who dresses unashamedly in colorful flannel jammie bottoms and old gray sweatshirt, shuffles in his black walking shoes, grinning from ear to ear as he pushes the grocery cart instead of his walker following me down the aisles. Nurse Ratched kindly asked, “Are you sure you’re not over doing it?” “No,” he said emphatically, “It’s good to get out of the apartment for a bit.”
However, Nurse Ratched, bless her soul, was right. Right after dinner, our hero took, not one, but two Oxycodone tablets, collapsed on the bed, and shoved three ice packs around his thigh just before he passed out, flat on his back (with feet elevated). Tomorrow, it’s back to quiet time.
This relapse was temporary. Nurse Ratched calculated that by the end of the week, his thigh muscle swelling should start to reduce, thus reducing the achy pain, and he’ll shed the walker for a cane. My hero will smile again, say please and thank-you, look at his wife kindly just like his real self, the guy she’s hung around with for 25 years. Nurse Ratched will retire back to her fantasy world. However, tonight she ended her day with a bowl of salted caramel gelato and a peevish smile on her face.