Perspectives of Marriage

The Clueless Caregiver

Open bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol and Ext...
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Nikki Flores (aka CluelessMe) first hit the blogging scene with the Clueless Newlywed blog, which was a fun light-hearted blog, cataloging the unique and clueless adventures surrounding herself and her new husband. Just because the honeymoon is over doesn’t mean the cluelessness had come to a close. Follow the story at cluelessme.com and watch as the two stumble through buying their first home, fighting with neighbors, having their first kid and much more. Perhaps you could give Nikki Flores some advice to help her get a little more clued-in or at the very least, laugh at her expense. Follow CluelessMe on Twitter @nikkiflores.

You know the age-old wedding vow, “In sickness and in health”? Well, when I stood under the chuppah and got married three short years ago, I never really gave much thought to that vow. Unfortunately for my husband’s sake, I really should have.

I had no idea that when my husband placed that wedding band on my finger, it inevitably meant that I would be put into a position where I would get up close and personal with vomit, whining and an overall sense of ickiness without any instructions on how to handle these types of situations whatsoever.

Allow me to introduce myself:  My name is Nikki Flores and I am a clueless caregiver, or so my husband claims.

Let me start off by saying that over the course of the three or four years we dated, my husband never came down with anything. I suppose that’s why I was caught so off-guard the first time I he actually became ill.

There he was, a full-grown 160-pound man with his head in the toilet, heaving just like a cat hacking up a massive hairball. Judging by the obnoxiously sick-sounding noises escaping his throat and the lack of puke in the actual toilet bowl, I was able to draw only one conclusion—He was faking.

So I did what any good-humored wife would do in my situation, I laughed in his face and told my husband the gig was up.

“I know you’re faking.”

I remember saying plainly, as I left my husband alone in the bathroom, hugging the porcelain throne.

We left the hospital exactly 12 hours later, only after his 104 fever had dwindled down to a more manageable 100 degrees, and tucked away in my purse was enough medicine to sedate a small elephant. OK, so maybe that one time I might have misjudged the severity of my husband’s illness, but everyone makes mistakes, right?

The next time I remember my bedside manners coming into question revolved around a “foot injury” that mysteriously afflicted my husband at the exact time we had scheduled to do a lot of outside yard work. As I recall, he milked his self-diagnosed “torn ligament” for a good two weeks, and he once again, (in my humble opinion), put on a good act with his hopping around on one foot because it hurt too much to put pressure on his wounded one.

I barely batted a lash when he started scooting slowly up the and down the stairs on his butt like a toddler whose legs aren’t quite big enough to naturally go up and down steps. And I certainly didn’t hold my breath when he insisted that he couldn’t drive because he needed his “injured foot” to push in on the clutch. The last straw was when he asked me twice in one night to get him some ice for his foot. I lost it and remembered shouting

“What!?!I just got you ice two hours ago!”

Clearly, my husband had blown this whole “torn ligament ailment” out of proportion, as he was literally making me wait on him hand and foot.  I suppose it wasn’t until we left the doctor’s office the next day with my husband hobbling on crutches and wearing an orthopedic shoe on his left foot that I was able to admit that he may have done something substantially more painful than stub his baby toe.

Which brings me to his most recent affliction … A couple of weeks ago, I came home from work, and he was moaning and groaning that he didn’t feel well. I thought for sure that something must have been wrong with the digital thermometer I used to take his temperature because it read 103, and my husband kept saying that he was freezing cold. I knew that my husband was just looking for an excuse to stay in bed and get out of doing the dishes, which he swore the previous day he would do on that day.

It wasn’t until the next day when my husband called up to say the doctor told him he had the flu that I was able to convince myself that CVS really hadn’t sold me a faulty thermometer after all. Apparently, there’s this funny thing with fevers … The person who has one feels cold even though their internal body temperature is boiling hot. Come on … It’s not like everyone knows that’s how fevers work, right?

Clearly, I can’t be labeled a poor caregiver for something that I didn’t know.

So you see … I’m not a really the clueless caregiver my husband claims that I am, it’s just that I was never faced with having to care for a sick husband before, so I simply just lacked a little know-how.

Now that I’ve lived through a couple of bouts of husbandly sickness, I know exactly how to care for him when he gets ill. In fact, I even know for a fact that I can’t give my husband Tylenol when he has a fever because it makes him hallucinate … No wait, that’s Aspirin. I can’t give him Aspirin. Yeah, that’s it. I think…

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16 thoughts on “The Clueless Caregiver

  1. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Men are such WEANIES when it comes to sickness. Do you even think you’d get out of taking care of your two kids and the household stuff if you presented with bubonic plague?

  2. These are personal friends of mine and I love getting to read the stories she tells, after I get both side from each of them too. It makes it that much more hilarious.

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