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By: Audrey Lintner

I have learned many things over the course of the past several months. It is possible to juggle night shift, day care, and chemotherapy. The world does not end if your kid eats crackers two meals running because you can’t find time to get to the grocery store. Sleep is overrated. Of all these and more, the biggest lesson was this:

My husband is a lousy patient.

Speaking as one who endured twenty-four hours of labor and an emergency C-section, I have difficulty believing Larry when he announces that the entry point of his IV drip is “the most intense pain ever”, and that he is suffering indescribable torment at the hands of his nurses.

Said nurses listened to him grouse for ten minutes, and then cheerfully denounced him as a weenie.

I snorted into my coffee.

Perhaps I am not the most sympathetic individual when it comes to nurturing the sick. That said, when Larry turned down an extra blanket after performing his fifteen-minute extended dance mix of “It’s Chilly In Here”, I felt perfectly justified in swatting him with a pillow. I also considered it my duty as a devoted spouse to threaten him with a knitting needle enema if he so much as looked at the attic ladder on the day after his hernia surgery.

For real, people. He thought he was going to climb up in a filthy-dusty attic to check the furnace filter THE DAY AFTER his hernia surgery. I displayed the needles. He stayed on the couch.

And so it has gone over the course of seven chemo treatments and three surgeries. He complains about too much soup in his chicken noodle soup, too much doctoring during his doctor visits, and too many days of sitting around during recovery time.

It’s a good thing he’s on the mend, or I might have to borrow his blood pressure pills.