There are many tell-tale signs you are married to a nurse. These are just a few of them. God help our poor spouses!
- They're so good at multitasking, they make you look completely incompetent. When they give you a task, you don't complete it as quickly as they could have, or as well as they could have (for that matter). And they let you know it. They totally don't understand that most normal people can't simultaneously prioritize and a do a hundred different things at once, completing any given assignment quickly and efficiently. You pale in comparison.
- You wake up or go to sleep alone. They are either gone or going out the door when you wake up, or they work the night shift and you're left crawling into bed all by yourself. On days that they're working, you never eat breakfast together (if they work the day shift).
- They know you aren't fascinated by gross stories, but they still feel the need to tell you anyway. You make the same face every time they start talking about something weird/gross/disgusting that happened during their shift. You might cover your ears and you probably say "I don't want to know!" But they tell you anyway, every day, knowing it's not going to illicit a different response. It usually relates to a story involving some sort of bodily fluid or something weird and unusual about a patient or a physician. You eventually give up and just pretend like you're interested -- but in reality, you're aren't listening to a single thing they're saying.
- You find OR laps* in your kitchen, hospital-grade cleaner under your sink and you use a straight Mayo for scissors. That's normal, right? Absolutely anything left over from work that they could use around the house, you find around the house! Because nurses are fiscally responsible and stuff. Someone is saving something for them right now. Unused laps from an OR case are now being used to clean your kitchen counter tops. Your daughter is using industrial-strength nail polish remover (for surgery cases ) to remove her Piggy Paint. I'll never forget the look on my husband's face when he picked up a towel that had a tiny hole cut out of the center. He was like "what the hell is this?!?" I ignored him, but in my head I was wondering how I came home with towels pre-cut for circumcisions.
- They want to pop or puncture anything suspicious on your body. It's like some sort of sick fetish...
- You either need to suck it up or you're moments away from knocking on death's door. There is no in-between. You're either a big baby who can't handle a little cold, or you have the swine flu because you went against their wishes and didn't get the flu shot this year.
- They have a love/hate relationship with their coworkers, their patients and management. They love almost every single one of their coworkers. Almost. There's just one that's too aggressive or too bossy or too lazy or too messy or never on time. They love their patients, except when they have one that is too needy when they're understaffed and the waiting room is full. Management is rarely spoken of, but when they are, they're out to get them, or giving them another task or project to complete that was supposed to be finished yesterday.
- You feel like a single parent on the days that they work. Most nurses work 12-hour shifts, which is really like a 14-hour shift (on an easy day). They leave for work before anyone is up and they're home right before everyone goes to bed. You are the one that makes breakfast, you get your kids ready for school and you make dinner, because who likes eating at 9 p.m.? When they get home, they immediately take a shower to wash off any killer germs, so they're really not "available" for another half hour after they get home from work. By then, the kids are (almost) asleep and they're so tired from their day at work that they're ready for bed as well. Hopefully they don't work three days in a row, or else you can kiss that fourth day goodbye, because they're pretty much useless after that.
- Sex is like a box of chocolates. They are tired on the days that they work, and it takes them a few days to recoup. You can probably easily entice them with wine, but then they just fall asleep immediately afterwards. Or they're angry about something that happened at work (don't ask!) and then they're not in the mood. Or they'll full of emotion from loving life because of something that happened at work and they'll want to be really sweet. It's like you never know who you're going to get...
- If you are married to a nurse, one thing is almost guaranteed... you think you are a doctor. It's as if half-listening to every explanation of every disease process qualifies you with some sort of fantasy medical degree. And you don't think you are a nurse. You think you are more qualified than the actual, licensed person you're married to. So you'll constantly try to medically-reason your point-of-view, as if you know more about health-related topics than the nurse you're married to.
*Typically used to wipe up blood in the operating room.
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