I had kind of a discouraging day yesterday. It was the day to bring Edward to the city for his new medication (he gets it by IV every 8 weeks; with travel, it takes all day), and the traffic was terrible. The drive was also full of the kind of incidents I find demoralizing on a worldwide humankind type of level. For example: There is this road on the route that is very, very busy, and people have just come off the very, very busy highway so they are not in the mood to delay further. Perpendicular to that road is another road, with a stop sign; traffic gets HUGELY backed up there because they can ONLY get out if someone lets them in, and they are JOINING us not crossing us so every car that gets let in DOES delay us. And yet yesterday, people in my lane, people who had been waiting like I had for TWENTY MINUTES at that exit, were voluntarily doing a zipper merge with the people at the stop sign: one of us would let in a stop-sign person and then one of us would go, and then the next one of us would let in another stop-sign person. It made me feel good, the way people would do that. But then I let my person in—and the guy behind that person ran the stop sign and cut in too, so that I had to slam on my brakes. Startled, I honked one single beep of what the heck—and he yelled something with huge intensity and gave me the finger. Don’t tell me to concentrate on all the good people who were letting people in and not let that one person ruin it: I have already told this to myself many times and the only effect it’s had so far is to make me pissed with myself for saying it.
Then, the nurse at the hospital messed up Edward’s IV. This is the sort of normal mistake humans make; I expect it to happen to any nurse from time to time. But then she made a really big, extended deal about Edward’s quiet wincing/gagging reaction to the resulting blood and pain, asking with faux astonishment does he ALWAYS have such a hard time? And NO, he does NOT. He has gotten very chill about needles and blood draws from doing them very regularly for the last SIX YEARS, and he has only had a problem THREE times, and each of those three times it has been because the nurse messed up the IV. And she knows perfectly well that she messed up the IV and that LOTS of people have a negative reaction to a messed-up IV, and yet she tried to make it seem as if he was over-sensitive and weird, and she didn’t bring him a barf bin even though the other nurse (they have a “one and done” policy, so a new nurse came to do the IV) told her there was one in the next room. And then the same nurse who messed up Edward’s IV messed up the IV of the patient we were sharing the room with, and she and the other nurse did their same routine of how this doesn’t usually happen and was there something wrong with the patient’s veins? And it gave me that “humans are bad” feeling again, because this is always how it happens: on all three messed-up-IV occasions Edward has calmly turned white and quietly says he needs a bucket just in case, and on all three occasions the nurse or technician has tried to act as if they did NOT mess up the IV, despite the clear evidence (blood, needing to be redone, KNOWING PERFECTLY WELL THEY MESSED IT UP), and ALSO acted as if Edward is shrieking and crying and throwing a fit and being very unreasonable, when actually he is being super calm and trying to prevent making a mess on their floor. Edward has flaws just like any human being, but “reacting unreasonably to IVs” is not one of them, and now I have my script ready for the next time a nurse tries to cover up her error at his expense.
Then, when I came home, I wanted literally five minutes to starfish on the bed in a dim room and recover from the 9.5 hours of driving/hospital while letting a shot of vodka kick in, and Paul was like no, we can’t do that because Rob is going to have to leave for his piano lesson right after dinner so we can’t delay. And I repeated that I just needed five minutes, and he repeated that it wouldn’t work. And so I went directly into making dinner, feeling super resentful and angry and put-upon: like, I have to give up my very reasonable request for FIVE MINUTES because our child can’t hurry up a little EATING THE DINNER THAT HAS BEEN PREPARED FOR HIM? And later I thought, why didn’t I say in a cheerful, friendly voice, “Okay! So how about you start browning the meat, and I’ll be back in five minutes to take over”? Such a simple solution! I mean, is Paul a cruel, whip-wielding husband who is actively trying to deprive me of five minutes just because he wants me to be miserable? No, he is a husband who sees a scheduling problem and can’t think of a work-around because that is not one of his strengths. In our relationship it is MY job to say things like “It’s okay, I think we have some wiggle room” and “He’ll just eat a little faster” or “Okay, let’s have Rob help out with dinner, then, so it’ll be ready sooner.” But I was a wife whose usual ability to think of workarounds needed recharging with five minutes in a dim room, so I didn’t think of it either, and so then my traffic/humankind/hospital/worry-about-Edward/couldn’t-have-even-five-measly-minutes misery hit a breaking point later on in the evening and everyone ended up getting yelled at and I went to bed early. So now I have my script ready for next time when I know five minutes would prevent a bad evening.