61. Level the Playing Field

61. Level the Playing Field

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Happily Ever After

Level the Playing Field

Kindness is the greatest wisdom.

~Author Unknown

My husband, Terry, had performed the 6:00 A.M. and midnight wet-to-dry dressings on my abdomen and chest for several months. I battled post-operative gangrene following mastectomies and reconstruction surgery six months earlier. What was supposed to be an eight-day hospital stay and single surgery had turned into four surgeries, three months in the hospital, and then a nursing home because of aggressive infections and related complications. Now, visiting nurses came to our home twice each day while Terry was at work.

I knew living with me had not been a picnic. My pain and immobility kept me housebound and frustrated. I’m sure Terry wondered why he pulled so many strings to get me out of the nursing home early.

One night, we had an argument. It wasn’t over anything significant, but it was the first since the surgeries. By bedtime, we had yet to make up. Terry still had the complicated dressing changes to complete. He had no medical training, but the nurses had taught him how to clean and dress the wounds that covered my front from hip to armpit.

Terry helped me roll onto my side. I sensed the tension in the air and still felt hurt from our disagreement. I didn’t know how he felt, because he is quiet when upset. That night was no different.

I looked up at him and said, “This isn’t fair. I feel too vulnerable here with nothing on while you take care of my wounds when you’re still mad at me.”

He walked away. A few minutes later he returned and stood in front of me, still silent with a half-smile on his face. He was stark naked.

“Terry, what are you doing?” I shrieked with laughter.

“Just leveling the playing field,” he smirked — then tenderly changed my dressing.


~Linda S. Lee
Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul

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