NOT UGLY

Doctor, can you please tell her? She won’t let me change her dressings, and her skin is oozing and weeping from the radiation. It’s really burnt up and now it got infected. And the gauze sticks to it and she gets rough when she pulls it off because she just hates it all so much. But she’s hurting herself, and I could be more tender and patient, if only she would let me. I could use water to loosen it or whatever you tell me. The approved ointments for radiation, anything. I’ll do whatever you say to change the gauze with the least skin damage and the least pain. And use gloves to protect her. I don’t mind at all. How could I? I’m her husband!

But she won’t let me change them! No, she doesn’t want me to, because she says it’s so ugly. Can you tell her, it’s not ugly? She says I just think that because I haven’t seen it yet!

You’re the doctor. And I know you’ve seen a lot of these mastect- whatever they’re called. You know, where you have to – take off the breast and that. You’ve seen so many patients, doctor. And I’m sure some of the others have gotten embarrassed too, and felt bad about the scars, and then the radiation burns. I mean, natural modesty. I get it. But it tears me apart to have her lock herself in the bathroom and try to change her own gauze. She’s crying inside the bathroom and I’m crying outside the bathroom. But she won’t let me in. It breaks my heart. She’s so down now, and hopeless, and talks about dying…

No, seriously, baby – listen to the doctor! The doctor knows!

That’s great, doctor, that you can tell her you know how she feels and all. That’s really great. But can you please just tell her that she HAS to let me help her? She’ll listen to you. Even if it’s embarrassing at first, I don’t care. Like I told her, nothing about her can ever be ugly. Not to me. She has dedicated her life to me and the kids, and I just want to take care of her! If you make her let me, and she sees that I can handle it, maybe she won’t feel ugly any more, and then she will want to live…