Doctor Mom is The Worst Worst Patient

“Teachers make the worst students.” “Doctors make the worst patients.” Familiar adages that all carry with them a grain of truth. Working in a school, I am often charged with teaching teachers about some new form of technology or another. I remember once that the school asked me to set up seminars during a conference day to teach groups of educators how to use their brand new SMART boards and projectors. Having once been a teacher myself, I pulled out all the stops. Demonstrations, annotated, color coded diagrams detailing all the hardware involved AND a checklist of items to look for in the event that there was a technical problem.

And it was a complete bust. The ones that did show up to the seminars spent the whole time bullshitting with each other and ignoring me, then later calling the tech office for problems clearly outlined on the forms I made, and the ones that didn’t show up inundated the tech office the next week with calls that should not have been calls. Teaching teachers is impossible.

My experience with doctors is much more limited. Hell, I don’t even go see them myself unless something is wrong (I know, I know, bad boy, AD.) So I don’t have any anecdotal evidence which gives credence to this adage, but I’m sure someone out there will.

By and large though, the worst ‘worst’ patient of all has got to be ‘Doctor Mom.’ Driven by her desire and very being to nurture and care for everyone else, she’s a nightmare to try to care for when she’s ill.
There is a small version of the plague going through our house at the moment. It cracked me out badly most of the weekend, and Mrs. AdequateDad (need new name, that doesn’t work) was smacked with it sometime on Sunday. Mini-me caught it and has suffered a few rough nights. The Narrator…well, he hasn’t got it, nor has he shown any symptoms as yet, which is astounding since he’s usually the first to get ANYTHING.
The thing of it is, I started to come out of it Sunday night. The aches and chills went away and I’ve been left with an obnoxious head cold. Supermom though? Drawn out agony. No sign at all of abatement. My suspicion is that it is because she refuses to take any sort of advice from me. Suggestions as simple as “Go to bed” are met with growls of disapproval as she huddles under blankets on the couch- which is comfortable enough to nap on, but you never get any real rest on it. “Try to eat something” is answered with “I don’t want to eat.” “Go take a hot shower” elicits a mumble that doesn’t actually include any words, but the meaning is clear.

This morning took the cake though. Concerned with lingering symptoms, I recommended that she call the doctor and make an appointment for tomorrow. Her answer: “Why? They won’t do anything.” This happened once before and she ended up with walking pneumonia.

I love my wife beyond what the power of mere mortal words are capable of describing. There is no possible way that there is another living creature out there anywhere that I would rather spend the rest of my life with, and she’s got to be one of the most attentive, capable, and loving mothers that has ever walked the earth.

But she’s one of the single most stubborn individuals that has ever lived. {Exaggeration for the sake of humor ahead} I’ve said for years that if she were on fire and someone told her to “Stop, Drop, and Roll,” she’d refuse simply because someone TOLD her to do it. I seriously think she’d rather burn alive than take an order from someone, or even a strongly worded suggestion.
Kidding aside, she is a hard working individual who cannot bear the idea of feeling ‘useless’ in any way. Being sick is her enemy not only physically, but mentally as well. She can’t bear the idea of not being able to take care of the boys, or myself, or the house. As a result, my suggestions which are designed steer her in the direction of health and wellness but would put her out of commission for a short while, are met with a haughty wave of the hand, and a soldiering on that would make the resiliency of the Black Knight seem a trifle.

“Its just a flesh wound.”

The negative result, of course is a lingering issue that in the long run puts her out out of the game for more time than if she had done it right in the first place. Of course I realize that with my schedule, she doesn’t always have the luxury of complete R and R, but when I CAN give it to her, I need some way for her to take me up on it and just go f* to bed for a few hours.


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