I am generally VERY impatient.
This very ugly part of my personality shows up at least once a day. My son is an ADHDer and although I really try not to lose it with him, I am sometimes unsuccessful. I am a recovering shouter and have had to find other ways to channel this ugly bit of my personality.
Mostly this would mean choosing my battles and this is something that I do well. So, most of the time I am able to walk away or look away or pretend that I don’t see something. Not always the ideal way to deal with a situation but for the moment it is working for me and helps me to maintain my sanity AND my recovering shouter status.
The one thing that I absolutely CANNOT handle, in other words the one thing that causes me to lose my nuts, is when my DH is sick. I cannot deal with a sick adult male. The little patience that I do have is severely tested and I seem to lose the one ounce of compassion that I have.
I have no problem dealing with my kids when they are sick. I think it’s because they are somehow easier to deal with in that they WANT to get better so they can play and watch TV and do all their favourite things (in my house if you are sick then you MUST be in bed ALL THE TIME because sick people can’t play or watch TV or be on the computer) and they generally do exactly what I tell them to do i.e. eat soup, take medicine and SLEEP A LOT. The nurturer in me LOVES to take care of them.
However, the nurturer in me wants to pack my bags and move out when I have to deal with a sick DH. He whines ALL THE TIME. Nothing is good enough. From the tea that is first too hot and then too cold. To the medicine that tastes so bitter. To the food that tastes like metal. To the blanket that suddenly makes him itch. To the fact that he is too hot. Then too cold. Then so hungry. Then so thirsty. Then so tired. Eish. I could go on and on.
A few years ago my DH was hospitalised with pneumonia. He was discharged after a couple of days and let me tell you I was ready to move out. Seriously. I could not handle it. That experience scarred me for life.
About 2 years ago he had an ENT-type operation (btw…I know a fabulous, VERY SEXY ENT Dr if you are interested. Thanks to him my DH no longer snores). When I heard about what the ENT was going to do and the recovery period involved I asked him (very nicely) to move to my MIL for 2 weeks or so. I promised him that I would visit him every night. I would even bring him flowers and chocolates. I told him that I would give him WHATEVER he wanted just as long as I didn’t have to look after him during that recovery period. I told him that I could not possibly go through what we went through with the pneumonia incident because it would probably be the end of our relationship.
Shame. He felt really bad. And when he came out of hospital he really tried and ended up being a model patient. I think it helped that I went to work during the day and I had tons of sympathy by the time I arrived home in the evenings. I think it also helped that he followed the ENT Dr’s recovery instructions to the letter.
I still panic when he gets sick because I am reminded of that dreadful pneumonia incident. And I always give the option of recovering at his Mother’s house when he starts to get sick. I think that this serves as a kind of reminder that he needs to do whatever it takes to recover ASAP (otherwise I will lose it) and it does help keep him in check just in case he whines too much.
This past weekend he was VERY sick. As in he could not even handle noise. I had loads of things to do, much of which was not child-friendly and I had to cancel most of my plans as I couldn’t find a babysitter on such short notice. It did help that the kids and I were away from home for most of the day – I may have been on the verge of losing it on Saturday night. But, I didn’t.
I think he is finally understanding and accepting that I am simply not a good Florence Nightingale. And I think that I have finally accepted that this is who I am. I don’t do sick adult males.
And yet, he takes SUCH good care of me when I am sick. I actually feel VERY bad when I think of how different we are towards one another in times of sickness. He takes that “in sickness and in health” bit very seriously. I just want to run a mile!
He is an EXCELLENT Florence and I sometimes think that he may have missed his calling. He is better than me when dealing with our sick kids (they prefer him because he lets them watch movies if they are sick) and doesn’t mind driving to ER at any time of the night. He has no issues with body fluids (actually neither do I but he is just so much better at it) and he once even bathed me AND moisturised me AND dressed me when I was VERY SICK.
Are you a good Florence when your partner/spouse is ill? Would you make Mother Teresa proud? Do you dote on your patient? DO you want to run a mile? Do you lose your humour and your sympathy?
Or, as Marcia would say, what’s your nursing style?