Monday, April 6, 2015

Dressing The Wound

It's my job to dress Husb.'s wounds. That expression, "dressing" sounds dainty and tea-cakes, care for a smoking jacket, wound, dear? but it's totally World War I foxhole field nurse.

In medical parlance, "the skin graft in his leg didn't completely take."  It is a color  (organ meat)  and a texture (mangled, weepy, shredded) that I have never seen before in my life.

I wash the area with saline and peroxide, apply ointment, and then wrap it in bandages all the while looking steadily at it for signs of infection.

The first time I was taught to do this my hearing went fuzzy. Then my vision narrowed to a point. I passed out.

I was escort-crawled out to the waiting room by good-looking surgical residents. I put my head on the gross tartan waiting room carpet and shallow-breathed while they continued to talk about how they had shaved off Husb. skin with a sharp tool called a microtome much like the skin of a carrot.

I'm a girl who grew up on character Band-Aids for tiny shallow splinters. The body is a concept, something you lug along that carries your mind.  The body as blood, tissue, and bone? Please. Step aside.

The worst insult I've ever endured to my body was a second degree burn. From making crepes. I was SHOWING OFF to a boy in high school, flipping the thin French pancakes, and I put the pan down on my thigh. Sizzle.

As it healed I remember there was a certain smell. The whole house smells of it now. Baby-like, daffodil-ish, and scabby: the scent of new skin being born.

I believe now I could catch a chicken, break its neck with a deft movement of my wrist, and gut and boil its feathers off.

1 comment:

  1. What we do, because someone needs us to do it, is amazing.

    The call of nurses, I think. (I don't hear it as well as they do)

    Continued strength, my friend.