Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Lesson

On Sunday afternoon, my mom drove me to the ER. I was having severe back pain, so much so that I couldn't sit, couldn't stand, couldn't lay down...I could just get down on my hands and knees and cry. It was hard to breathe, and I could barely tell her how I was feeling. The pain eased up just enough for me to make the trip to the hospital. After several tests, I was diagnosed with pancreatitis, and a ultrasound the next day revealed that I had gall stones. I was there for two days as an inpatient.

Not a pleasant experience...except for the sweet nurses and excellent care I received at PCRMC.

By Monday afternoon, I was feeling a bit better. I was in the room without a roommate the first night, but by the next day, a female patient was in bed 1. Since I wasn't as bad as the day before, I was more cohearent and could tell how horrible she was feeling...and I felt bad for her. She came in for ulcers, but eventually her migraines started to really get to her. She would cry, throw up, and cry more. She wasn't loud or anything, but I could just hear that she was hurting.

Josh was with me one of the times when her husband came to be with her. Right from the start I became irritated with my roommate's husband, and I know I shouldn't be that way, but I couldn't help it. She would cry or hyperventilate, and he would say, "You just have to calm down, Debbie. I can't do anything for you, and they can't do anything for you if you don't calm down." He just kept telling her to calm down. SHE WAS IN PAIN FOR GOODNESS SAKE. I looked over at Josh and said, "Honey...if I'm not feeling good...don't tell me to calm down, ok?"

As if to play along, he didn't say anything...just nodded. :)

She occasionally would snap at him, probably because he wasn't being very sensitive, and then he would say, "Don't bite my head's not my fault you're in here."


So after both Josh and I got to hear all of this, I knew that it would be a lesson for both of us.

I was discharged on Tuesday at 11:30, and I was ok for a bit. Then my nausea began to set back in, a symptom I got to control while in the hospital because they could quickly put Zofran in my IV! I keep a hospital throw-up container with me (I don't know the technical term for those!) and just vegged on the couch...feeling miserable.

When I rushed off to the bathroom to puke, Josh calmly followed me. "What can I get for you, Chrissy?" he said sweetly. "Just...a...cold...wash...cloth," I tried to say between heaving (sorry for the details). He rinsed cold water on a wash cloth for me, and put it in my hand. He put his hand on my back and gently started to rub. He did not say anything, just stayed by my side...even though I was crying at this point more than puking. When I knew I was ok, I had to pee. I turned around and sat on the toilet, and just rested my head on his hip...still crying. He kept rubbing my back, not saying anything. He didn't tell me to calm down. He didn't say I'd be fine or any of the cliche things he could have said. He knows I don't like that, and after the lesson in the hospital, I think he heard what it sounds like when someone says that to someone who is sick.

I am sometimes a baby when I'm sick. I'm glad I have someone to take care of me...who knows what not to say.


Bethany said...

I am sad for marriages like the one you described, but they do help me to realize what kind of partner I want to be.

Once I was working at Ruby Tuesday's and a grouchy old couple came in. The wife wanted to look at the menu but the husband barked at me: She'll have the salad bar. Get me a Coke, too.

I am very sensitive now about how I treat others in public places and make sure to not steal their choices.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

What a great nurse you have there! Clone him and share with friends :)

Andrea said...

My hubby, who is normally very caring and sensitive, actually had the nerve to tell me that a lot of this "morning sickness" stuff is mental.

As if to say I could *stop* being sick if I just put my mind to it.

I'm not widowed yet...yet...

thechattymommy said...

I am so sorry to hear of you having gall stones. I finally just got my gall bladder out after 8 years of having a giant stone in it. It was somewhat difficult being pregnant with my last baby.
I hear sticking to the foods they tell you helps, but I was never good at that.
Praying you feel better fast.

Jennifer said...

Knowing what not to say is just as important as knowing what to say.

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