"I May Be Crazy But I'm Not Stupid"
Did you hear the one about the mental patient being transferred from one facility to another, when the lug nuts from one of the tires on the van in which he was traveling, loosened up and fell off? The van nosed into the curb, rendering it incapacitated, with a spare tire but no lug nuts.
Watching the driver and the doctor confer, seemingly baffled as to what the next step should be, the mental patient spoke up, “Why don’t you take one lug nut off of each of the other three tires, and use them to put the fourth tire back on? Then you can at least get to a garage where they can hook you up with the rest?”
Plainly surprised, the driver exclaimed, “Why, that’s brilliant, especially coming from, well, you know, a mental patient.”
“Listen,” the exasperated patient observed, “I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid.”
It’s a bit of a stretch, but I feel the same way when it comes to hospitals and waiting rooms in general. Though the objective side of me sees the big picture, and recognizes how challenging the entire medical world is, the subjective side of me struggles in a huge way.
Hospitals are places where miracles occur and health can be magically restored. All three of my overnight hospital stays involved surgery and successful outcomes, so I have not had any nightmarish tales of woe to report.
Nonetheless, it has become apparent that I am not a person who can be counted on, to remain fully functional in a hospital setting. If nothing else, the confined spaces intimidate me because I simply hate being in tiny rooms. I struggle with things over which I have no control; others’ cell phones are at the top of my list.
It’s not even that it is a pet peeve of mine, that it is rude to conduct telephone conversations that intrude on others’ existence, it’s that the nature of so many of these conversations, defies belief. Abusive language, way too much information, and a lack of control over the situation, all combine to make it unbearable for me.
Were it not for headphones, I would just douse myself with a highly flammable substance, and get it over right there in the waiting room. Happily.
Wearing headphones, however, also cuts me off from any attempt to convey information that I might need, so I have to be selective about when I employ them.
Being in a patient’s room itself, can also be hard because of how intrusive the whole process is. Don’t confuse me with facts about why all of these components must be in place, but there is a continuous flow of official hospital personnel, who drift into and then out of, all of the patients’ rooms.
They have questionnaires to fill out; they have documents to be signed; they even have religion available, should you feel so compelled. They take your temperature, they take your pulse, and they rob you of your dignity, without you even realizing it.
They wake you up in the middle of the night to check your blood pressure, and they wake you up later, to find out if you are having any trouble sleeping. OK, I made the last up, but it just seems that way.
I mention all of this in passing, because I am mortified that I cannot provide for Gluten-Free Mama, the support in this setting that she deserves. I want to be there, I have been so in the past, but it has become apparent that what I bring to the table, ends up spilling all over it and making a mess.
When I need supervision to keep me from going, well, bipolar, then it becomes patently obvious that I am more of a hindrance than a help. When it means that GF Mama has to worry more about me, than about herself, then I am part of the problem and not part of the solution.
Time and again it has been proven that I am better able to contribute by remaining at home and spit-shining the house. Two or three times, if necessary. I’m good at it because it comes under the category of, “I’m helping! I’m helping!” And that’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, which is often enough what my presence translates into.
I’m not a bad guy because of all of this, even if I want to make myself out to be. Better to think myself a bad guy, and not be, than to think myself a good guy, and be a dick.
Those sage words are bound to have been spoken before, so I won’t claim credit. I’ll just try to follow good advice.
|I can also grow pretty flowers.|