When you get married, if you marry young, sickness seems like only for old age, a long way off. The wedding vow of ‘In Sickness and in Health’ seems sweet. When you are young you think ‘sickness and in health’ will never be tested or something that will be easy to do. As we age that vow has new meanings.
Over the Christmas Holidays my husband had pneumonia. He bounced back fairly quickly but I was his nursemaid for about 2 weeks.
Recently my husband had a sebaceous cyst that became infected on his back. A small thing but a bigger deal than either of us anticipated. Hey he just bounced back from pneumonia in 2 weeks so we did not think this would be a problem. The surgeon removed the cyst but because it was so infected he could not close up the wound. He packed it and told me to repack it daily.
Here is where I am being tested in the sickness part of our marriage vows. You see I did not go to medical school. The young surgeon handing the reins to me of my husband’s healing of an open wound is not a small deal to me.
I am not like the character Doc Martin who barfs or faints at the sight of blood but I am not far behind! I have to steel myself to change his gauze and pack new in twice a day. Deep breathes, trying not to make a big deal, is testing my conviction. Skinned knees or scrapes, not a problem for me but an open wound, yikes!
I asked a nurse friend of mine about the care I am doing and expectations of the medical community on spouses. She said people who live alone, or if their spouse can’t help, the patient can go into their doctor’s office or arrange in home care for the patient. Adult children, friends, and neighbors are often solicited for their help.
I am hoping my husband heals quickly!
Are you a good nursemaid? Are you squeamish around health issues like open wounds?