It is interesting when you get to experience a situation from the other side of the fence. It is shocking when you discover that you were better off where you were.
Recently (and for the very first time), I spent a whole week (give or take) in hospital. Not as a patient, but as the supportive loved one.
That gig is bloody hard. Much harder than being the patient!
It did however teach me a few things. Apparently, I can run after all.
When I got a text, telling me Damion was in hospital and it could be “serious”, I fled from the office at a speed that even surprised me. You would have thought I was off to save him from a fire, and not just, because the sheer effort left me sweating like mad.
It was all completely pointless of course, once I finished running I still had to wait 10 minutes for a taxi.
I have made the hurried journey to hospital many times. More times than I would like to recall. However, usually, those excursions were for me.
I knew exactly what to do then; make lots of noise, be in pain and occasionally vomit, bleed, or, you get the idea.
Once there, I knew my role was to submit to poking and prodding and answer the same set of questions repeatedly.
But what was my role as a bedside spectator? I had no idea.
I was so confused that more than once I had to stop myself from offering the nurse my arm when she came to do Damion’s hourly obs. I wish I were joking.
As it turns out, I suck at being the brave one when I am not the patient and that surprised me. I always imagined that I would be like the wives in old movies who calmly hold their lovers hand or mopped their sweaty forehead while gazing down at them reassuringly.
Nope, I totally lost the plot.
This should not be a surprise. Once, as I got into the lift of my apartment building, I got the fright of my life when I saw someone passed out on the floor. I could not think what to do, so I called Dad screaming at him to come quickly but not telling him why. Luckily, the lack of immediate treatment did not harm the person at all. Only because they turned out to be a mop and bucket that had fallen over not a human being.
Some of this mistake can be explained by my vision impairment, but clearly, I am not good in a crisis.
The whole ordeal (which still has a way to go) has left me feeling useless. I always knew that is something happened to Damion (or anyone really), there would be little help that I could offer physically. However, the most annoying thing is that I am no good for emotional support either without the help of a sedative.
I have not had this feeling for quite some time, but as a person who needs to be needed. I thrive on having a purpose. Right now, I feel like a fifth wheel, and a wonky one at that.
Good news is, I still know how to make it all about me, so that is something.