|Life with a Nurse
Ah, such mysterious, wondrous creatures are nurses. What treasures lurk beneath those crisp, white uniforms....
What young man doesn't have fantasies of discovering those secrets for himself?
I've been married to a nurse for a quarter of a century, and let me tell you, nurses are not what you expect (and I don't even care what you expect, because you are wrong!) Let's begin by tearing down some of the more famous assumptions about nurses right off the top:
The Nurse as Sex Kitten:
Any man who lived through the early seventies or has made it a point to rent such famous videos as "Night Duty Nurses" or "Student Nurses" or "Night Duty Student Nurses" or any one of several dozen nurse-centric skin flicks will immediately believe that all nurses have heaving bosoms, just millimetres away from popping out of skin tight white uniforms.
You will also believe that nurses always wear white garters, fish-net hose, and stilettos. This, of course, is a handy dress code because movie nurses spend *a lot* of time hopping in and out of patient's beds.
The reality is that most nurses wear scrubs - shapeless, draping hunks of cotton that could cause you to breeze past Pamela Anderson without a second look. Shoes are white and chunky with blobs of things on them better left unexplored. Socks replace white hose and garters, and when is the last time anyone saw a nursing cap?
The Nurse as an Angel:
If you want to hear the latest gross jokes, just find a nurse. Some uninformed males seem to think of nurses as angelic creatures: demure and loving, a cross between a nun and their mom. Well, hate to bust your bubble, guy, but as a group, nurses are some of the rawest folks you'll ever run into. I don't care how sweet and demure they may look on the outside; inside is someone who has seen things that would gag a maggot, break your heart, or drive a normal person nuts.
So most nurses develop a very wicked sense of humour squarely lodged in the black-to-sick side of the scale.
Also, in case you are looking for angelic sympathy for the little boo-boo you had in the shop, forget it! Let's say as a typical male klutz, you manage to saw your finger off. You go running to your nurse wife who is on the phone with a nurse friend of hers. As she continues to talk to her friend, she gives the stub a good eyeballing, slaps a towel on it, takes out a baggie to put the severed digit in, and tells you to get some ice while she is explaining to her friend that her dummy husband just sawed his finger off. As you stand there bleeding profusely for 15 minutes she calmly finishes her conversation as though nothing is going on until finally she says, "well I guess I better get him to the hospital."
She hangs up the phone, looks at you, sighs and calmly says, "let's go." You have just learned an important lesson. On the nurse scale of emergencies, yours is about a minus 9!
As my wife has told me, "when you are on a ventilator, with six drips running, your head down and your feet up, then you're sick. Anything less than that isn't worth getting excited over!"
The Nurses Mutual Benefit Network:
As a male either dating or married to a nurse, you should realize one important thing. There are nurses everywhere. That, in itself, is no big deal. The fact is, every nurse knows other nurses who know more nurses, so that by the time you are finished, a nurse on the Island Nation of Chuuk who observes you doing something you shouldn't has the immediate capability of getting word to your wife.
This system is way more reliable and efficient than the Internet and has existed for a much longer time. Take it for granted that your nurse wife will know about anything you have done, good or bad, before you get home!
Your Social Life with Nurses:
Nurses hang out with other nurses and soon you may find that all your friends are married to nurses. The reason this happens is because in situations where nurses mingle with nonmedical folks things can get ugly. For example, you are out to dinner with your nurse wife, another nurse couple, and two civilian couples. The nurses sit and chat, discussing fun
things like bleeding bowels, open sores, how much fat was sucked out of some patient, projectile vomiting, traumatic amputations, etc., all over a nice pasta dinner.
The nurses carry on talking as the civilian couples turn funny colors, make faces and suppress their gag reflexes (and this is if the nurses don't have any really gross things to share like the homeless guy with maggots in his bleeding sores!)
After several dinners and gatherings like this, you will soon find your circle of friends has shrunk significantly. The key to avoiding this is to do the following: Never go out in mixed groups with more than one nurse.
A lone nurse is ok. The trouble starts when you have more than one, and when that happens, keep the regular folks away.
Also get used to the idea that some friends and neighbors will take advantage of the fact that your wife is a nurse by calling at all hours of the day and night for advice. This may include male friends "dropping by" to show your sweetie his rash. The best advice I can give is to just deal with it and hope it isn't contagious.
The Health Ramifications of being with a Nurse:
Most nurses have been described as having the constitution of horses, which isn't true because I've been around horses and they get sick more often. The reason for this is pretty simple. After about 3-5 years on the job, nurses have been exposed to so many bugs that they either end up dead or full of every antibody known to mankind. (If you want the ultimate booster shot, just get a blood transfusion from a nurse who's worked in a hospital for 20 years!)
You don't have all these antibodies, though, so when she does come home with mild sniffles, a week later you're flat on your back with the worst case of the flu of your life!! Oh, and if you are the least bit squeamish, don't even think about the bugs she brings home on her clothes. It will mess with your mind as she talks about her Resistant TB patient, the patient full of body lice, or the one with poison ivy in his mouth! So don't ask.
Ah such mysterious, wondrous creatures are nurses. You know, they really are, and I thank God every day for my nurse!