It took me nearly 10 years to finish up my Bachelor’s degree. The excessive time frame was due to my indecisiveness and my incredibly fertile womb, the latter lead to three+ years out of school while I bred wee beings in my baby maker. I ended up with a Bachelor’s and two minor’s, none of them overly useful. The one thing I had really wanted to do, and was accepted into, was attend nursing school, a pursuit that would have made my degree much more applicable. But as fate would have it I opted not to go. C’est la vie.
I have regretted that choice, off and on, sometimes with more passion than others. Lately I have wished something fierce that I had that nursing degree. I wish I had more confidence and concrete knowledge in the medical arena, instead of just the running family joke whenever somebody is scraped or bumped, “Well, ask Heather, She was almost a nurse, you know.” While this approach has usually gotten Devon to take his medicine or tolerate a band aid, in our current situation I find it fairly worthless.
This morning I awoke about 45 minutes before my alarm to find Matt violently shivering next to me in the bed. We live in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, it’s cold; we have two comforters on our bed, one regular and one down. Our room chills at night but we use a wall heater to warm it a bit. With the thick covers we are usually good. In fact, this morning when I woke I was sweating under it all.
Matt’s shivering is never a good sign. I associate it with those 10 days he spent in the hospital last year when Loren and I were so frequently fetching him heated blankets that the nurses gave us free reign of the blanket heater. Last month when I took Matt into the ER it was after a day of intense shivering he spent on the couch with a 103 degree temperature. So the shivers? They scare the crap out of me. This morning as I snuggled up to him and asked how long he had been awake, how he was feeling, what symptoms he was experiencing the familiar feeling of helplessness washed over me. Why do his messed up arteries and damaged nerve endings cause him to have no tolerance of cold? Why can he sometimes be fine with a certain temperature while another day he can’t move due to it? Why do his ankles swell? Why do his joints ache? Will he ever be able to stay awake past 8 pm? So many questions and no clue whatsoever as to the answers.
Had I gone to nursing school would I know the answers to all these mysteries? Not too likely. Would I feel more confident and not so afraid of this disease that has so many moods and whims? I fancy I might. The truth is that I would likely be as useless in it all as I am now. Helpless to this damn disease that has knocked Matt on his ass and put the fear in the rest of us. I hate it and wish his arteries were free of debris, that his kidneys were robust. It’s beginning to dawn on me that this disease isn’t going away and sometimes the fantasy of being an RN and knowing what do is what gets me through the day. I suppose it’s better than hiding my head and watching Netflix or chain smoking to get through the hours.