Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Passion to the Third Degree.
Sheesh. This would be a useful week to have mush for brains and just watch TV. Unfortunatelyâ€”and fortunatelyâ€”I donâ€™t have mush for brains. Iâ€™m mentally invigorated and have a million things I want to do. I just feel like crap, thatâ€™s all.
And even worse, Iâ€™m feeling guilty for feeling sick. My colleagues donâ€™t really make that any easier, either. Thereâ€™s the subtle undertones of â€œletting downâ€ my coworkers by not being there, yet unless itâ€™s truly an emergency, my work will be sitting on my desk where I left it on Friday night when I left work late, and no one particularly cared that I left work late.
Historically, doctors and nurses have called me a model patient. I donâ€™t throw bedpans at them, I take my meds, and I make effort to get well again. The only concern Iâ€™ve ever caused was when Aislinn was born and I, at witâ€™s end, checked out of the hospital without her while she stayed in the nursery for extra tests.
They had a little talk with me to make sure I wasnâ€™t abandoning my child. I was incredulous. Because of my crazy roommate in the maternity ward and the fact that the nurses couldnâ€™t handle her and Iâ€™d had no sleep since a few hours pre-delivery that day before, I went home to sleep and then came back that night for my baby when they released her. That woman was so out of control that the nurses avoided her but I was in the bed five feet away and had no choice but to listen to her antics all night.
Somewhere I hope that little Tommy, now 14, is giving his mom the hell she was giving everyone else on the night he was born…throughout the night he was born. Good griefâ€”if you canâ€™t make enough milk to feed your baby, then give the kid a bottle rather starving him for the next 18 hours and for heavenâ€™s sakes, stop wailing all night about how youâ€™re not really a woman if you didnâ€™t give birth â€œnaturally.â€ If Iâ€™d killed the bitch in her sleep, I could have blamed it on hormones and every nurse on the floor would have clapped.
That was the second overnight stay in a hospital for me, the first being when Shannon was born and then Iâ€™d somehow managed a private room. In both cases, though, I felt helpless and dependent on someone else for the most basic of needs, and I didnâ€™t care for it very much. With the exception of my allergies and a tendency to earn myself some repetitive stress injuries, Iâ€™m healthy.
And I know what to do to avoid both, or at least the path each will take. If I push my knees too hard or wear high heels for too long, then theyâ€™re going to hurt. When my allergies hit, itâ€™s a series of symptoms, usually different ones everyday until Iâ€™m done with the gamut, and it usually plays out the same way every time. I know the routine and so does my current doc.
I guess what Iâ€™d really likeâ€”and havenâ€™t had since I was a teenager except where my kids have tried and Iâ€™ve been grateful for thatâ€”is to curl up with a favorite blanket and have someone smooth my hair and just hang out close to me for a little bit while I sleep.
Itâ€™s something most grown women donâ€™t get, even though they may give it quite often. Itâ€™s called â€œbeing babied.â€