Sep 14, 2009

Florence Nightingale he ain't

I barged in on my husband while he was in his study yesterday. He jumped in surprise, swung around from his computer and said “What?”. His face was red, so right away I figured he was up to something. Turns out he was reading my blog.

Now, normally it is a matter of pride for him that he doesn’t read my blog. I don’t take it too personally. He is more of a facts and figures kind of guy. My blog isn’t really his kind of thing. He also likes to point out that he hears me go on and on every day, he certainly doesn’t need to read it too. I understand, there’s only so much of me one person can take.

ME:     Why are you reading my blog? Have you been reading it secretly?
HIM:    No. I was just wondering if you blogged about the duct tape.
ME:     No, I didn’t. I think I’m a little too embarrassed on your behalf to do a blog about it.
HIM:    Oh.
ME:     I'll blog about it if I have your permission.
HIM:   (Silence)

Well, everybody knows that silence in response to a request for permission equals permission. So here goes the duct tape story.

First a little background to let you understand my husband’s attitude about what constitutes first aid treatment. He was a roofer and re-modeler for the first 18 years of our marriage. Sometimes the need to get a roof covered before a storm comes through overrides everything else…. including trips to the emergency room. He has…
  • Pulled a nail out of his thigh that he got from resting a nail gun on his thigh with a heavy leather glove on. Apparently the glove triggered the gun on its own. I think he may have visited the doctor a few days later for a tetanus shot.. but only because I insisted.
  • Sewed up a cut on his forearm himself. He said he needed to cover the roof and the blood was getting in his way.
  • Closed numerous cuts and wrapped smashed fingers with duct tape in order to keep working.
His need to keep the job rolling (along with being a cheapskate) has driven him to extreme measures. He deems duct tape to be an acceptable alternative to proper bandaging.

Enter the dog… Chance. He has been scratching lately. Took him to the vet a few weeks ago.  The vet couldn’t find an explanation (think we need a new vet). Over the Labor Day weekend the stupid dog scratched a raw spot on his shoulder (or are they called flanks in a dog?).

The vet was closed and I had to travel to California on Tuesday, bright and early.  I left my husband in charge of making an appt. for the dog… right away. I distinctly remember saying those words.

I call Tuesday night to see how the dog is doing and find out that the vet is out of the office until Thursday. He set the appt. for early Thursday evening. I expressed concern about waiting so long and got my husband to promise to watch the dog carefully, keep cleaning the hot spot and put powder on it. I NEVER UTTERED THE WORDS DUCT TAPE.

Late Wednesday I get a picture from my daughter by cell phone. Apparently, my husband thought it would be a good idea to give the dog a duct tape yoke to keep him from scratching. I kid you not. He put some medicated powder on the sore, covered it with some paper towel and duct taped the whole thing up.  He was very upset with my daughter for sending me the picture.

Not having the benefit of being there in person to give him the evil eye, my pleas to remove the tape went unheeded. I rushed home Thursday from the airport to find my poor dejected dog begging me with his eyes to undo the horrific, gooey bandage my husband had put on him. It was not a pretty process. I had to cut his fur in some spots to get it off. Plus he had sweated underneath the duct tape and stank to high heaven.

Dogs don’t talk, but Chance looked at me with his sweet, brown doggy eyes, thanking me for rescuing him and pleading with me never to be left alone with the madman again. I of course called the husband up on his cell to give him a piece of my mind, (not peace).  He reported to me later that he had been in a room full of people who heard me yelling through the phone, word for word.

Chance, you ask. Well, he is doing fine. He has a cone on his head, a laundry list of medications and a sock on his foot to keep him from scratching.  He will recover and his fur will grow back.

My husband's defense …. “I duct tape myself all the time.”


  1. Oh my Lord, that is at the same time funny and sad! Your poor dog! LOL! :) Well, glad he's doing well and all properly taken care of now.

  2. Whoops, I'm still logged in under Iwanski. This is Miss Healthypants, by the way. :)

  3. Sorry,but the band-aid hasn't been made that can stand up to a beating like duct tape and a paper towel!
    Besides,it's all my health insurance will cover.

  4. Maybe your husband could consult with congress about a new health plan reform bill.

  5. In As I Lay Dying, a father makes a cast of concrete for his son's broken leg. This did not end well. DIY medicine only goes so far.

    I have heard, however, that duct tape will help remove warts.

  6. MHP - Yeah, it wasn't pretty.

    Sling - Only to avoid vindication for my husband, I didn't post the picture of the Duct Tape Bandages that are currently available on the market.

    Mom - Duct tape is inexpensive.

    BA - I hope he doesn't read your comment and get any ideas about setting broken bones in the future. I'm a little worried about leaving him with our future grandchildren.

  7. I feel bad for laughing (your poor dog!) but you have to admit after the fact that it's a funny story. Next time tell hubbie to SHAVE the dog first, because once a man starts using duct tape to fix everything there's no changing him!! -kate

  8. Are you sure he's not Australian???Sounds what the men in our family would do (not the weakling brother's in law but the blood rellos and don - I am sure my sisters are devolving the family DNA in their choices of partners - garrrgh

  9. Kate - sound advice. I think it's generally hard to get a man to do anything.

    MC - He's not Australian but he has a fair amount of Irish in him. Maybe that's where it comes from. All I know is he gets an idea in that head of his and there's no stopping him.

  10. I say it MacGyver's fault...:)

  11. Grish - Guess I should be happy then that the dog didn't blow up.

  12. This is even funnier when read to the chicken dance music.

  13. Rosemary - You're right. I may load the chicken dance music into my i-pod as a mood lifter. I just have to remember not to shake my tail feathers.