I have many good qualities, but I am not a good nurse.
Over-anxious people like me, worry incessantly about things that usually never happen, so when (God Forbid) they do, we freefall, go into denial and try to play them down as a coping strategy.
The old man’s recent fractured rib is a good case in point.
Apart from last year’s incident, (when I chucked my guts up at the sight of the old man’s face after he left half of it on our courtyard paving), I am told that I appear quite calm in a crisis.
A little too calm.
‘You’re fine,’ I might have said as he re-entered the apartment this week, (having fallen down several concrete steps and landing on his back), grey in the face, obviously winded and bent over, doubled up with pain.
When the old man subsequently told his work mate that he had fractured a rib, his mate asked him if he is one of very small percentage of men in Australia unfortunate enough to get beaten up by their wives; such is the regularity of his accidents.
We had already considered this possibility – that people might draw this conclusion – and it does seem a tad unfair to me, that I should be branded a husband-beater when the simple reason the old man has suffered so many recent injuries is down to his lack of spatial awareness and coordination on steps in thongs.
This is a man who has played rugby for England (U18s), walked the Great Wall of China and met prime ministers, yet he cannot wear thongs and walk at the same time.
Was it only a year ago that we were sat in the ER after his infamous courtyard
fail fall? Yet too soon we find ourselves here again, with the old man in so much pain that he walks slower than a tortoise on dope and can never seem to switch his ‘whinge’ button off.
He is seriously pissed off too. After three weeks of holiday he was on the cusp of beating his all-time record on the Stairmaster this week and may even have succeeded in losing his 500g weight loss target (of the past two years) if he gave up chocolate and crisps as well.
I’m certain that he doesn’t want to really be in my care, either. My nursing talents are legendary in our family, with diagnosis being a particular speciality.
When serious shit happens there appears to be a mechanism in my brain that reassures me that everything MUST be fine. When NC developed pneumonia I tried to stabilise her with junior Neurofen; when she broke her leg, I wrapped up the trifecta of broken bones in bags of frozen peas. She still blames me for her disfigured pinkie because I refused to believe it was broken.
In spite of the old man’s protestations that he will look like a knob, these are on our shopping list this afternoon because I’ve checked the life insurance and I’m not sure that being an uncoordinated dickhead is covered.