Bandage possibilities overwhelm via variety

Recently, I told a friend of mine that my daughter will be going this summer with several other Rotary Interact members on a trip to the Dominican Republic.

“Oh my, I can’t believe you are going to let that girl out of your sight after all she has been through medically over the past year,” she said. “If it were my daughter, I wouldn’t sleep or eat the whole time she is gone.” Like that ever might happen with me.

She was not the only person to make a similar comment. People pretty much seem to think/assume I should never let my daughter out of my sight since she had a critical illness.

“How many times each night do you go into her room just to watch her sleep?” the same person asked. “I would be in there every 10 minutes, taking her pulse, just to make sure she was still alive.

“Zero times,” was my answer.

While I probably shouldn’t openly confess this, especially so close around Mother’s Day, I have NEVER walked into my daughter’s room to monitor her breathing or heart rate: not before, during or after her stroke and heart surgery. That’s just not how I roll. I have no overriding urge to monitor her vital signs. I simply don’t keep those kind of close tabs on anyone or on anything. Plus, God’s got it. No need to keep re-checking His work.

“Hey, Kate,” I facetiously asked in my best Romper Room host voice, “How would you feel about me showing up at your room, night after night, asking you how you were feeling and checking your vital signs?”

Kate raised a “you’ve got to be kidding me!” eyebrow in my direction. “Creepy, that’s what it sounds like. I would say to quit interrupting my sleep,” she said, adding, in a lowered voice, “but if you did, I would worry that something really bad must be going on,” she said. “Otherwise, why would you suddenly start monitoring me? You just aren’t that kind of mom.”

Not exactly a Hallmark mother and daughter moment. Maybe in my next life I will be a better, more soothing Clara Barton character to my kids. But circumstances this round have made me more of a Larry the Cable Guy kind of mom: git ‘er done and get back in the game!

Case in point: two nights ago my daughter came and showed me an arm itch she had been scratching during her sleep. She wanted it bandaged and had already contacted one of her Young Marines officers about it and learned the most frugal solution was to go to the Tractor Supply store to buy the necessary farm animal bandaging at a fraction of the price.

I pounced on the $1.99 roll of arm wrap in her favorite color (black). We had just received world class healthcare Monday at the University of Michigan Hospital, but it was now Tuesday and this second-class mom was out purchasing veterinary supplies as her personal choice of healing materials.

To affirm the practicality of the purchase, I went to the medical products section of a large department store, where I was instantly overwhelmed by the ridiculous breadth of bandaging materials. Choices included sheer, flexible, waterproof, breathable, antibiotic-saturated, blister-targeting, and/or superior-cushioned, sports-strength sterile strips, which translate to, “cushioned foam protection that moves with you when you are active.” Add patented “Quiltven Pad” for superior breathability! Holy head-spinning options.

And to think we only wanted to keep a wound clean and dry! Why, we could also sign on for Latex-free and gel-guard Band-Aids, too, whatever the heck difference that makes. Even among the more basic bandages, there’s no longer a standard model. Many were kid-targeted, from Star Wars themes to The Avengers. Neon and dazzle colors and prints. Who wants a Plain Jane adhesive strip?!

Some products had surprisingly wimpy names, i.e. “Tender Tape” and “Hurt-Free Wrap”. What a bunch of wound wussies we’ve become! If it’s going to be in my medicine cabinet, it needs to be “Tough as Nails Tape” and “Tighter than Heck Wrap”: For people who haven’t got time to nurse wounds because they have to move on with real life.

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