Silver Linings (Or: Poly in the Hospital)

This last week has been… trying.

Nomad went into hospital with a kidney stone early last Thursday. I found out from Chesh on Thursday night, and rushed up to Oxford on Friday. Various events transpired, and he ended up having surgery on Sunday night and remaining in hospital until a couple of hours ago – a total of seven nights and almost eight days.

It’s been a scary and exhausting time for all of us, but that’s not what I want to focus on here. I don’t want to trivialise what this has been like, especially for my Love, but here I want to share a couple of the more positive moments.

To begin with, I found myself repeatedly very grateful for polyamory over the course of this week – it meant that neither Chesh nor I had to go through it alone, and that Nomad had two women rushing in to the hospital every day to fuss take care of him and bring him real food and good tea and hold his hand and keep him distracted.

It has to be said, there is nothing like a crisis when it comes to poly family bonding! Sunday night saw Chesh and I squished into a small foldout-bed in the hospital’s relative room (and sleepy babbling about sex toys and dating drama-llamas (not at the same time!) to deal with our stress levels.) The bed was horribly uncomfortable and we hardly got any sleep, but it was worth it to be there when our Beloved woke up after the op, and on call through the night and in the morning.

We are lucky in that Nomad and Chesh live within a mile of some of the best hospitals in the country, so he received the best possible care. Almost all of the nurses were fantastic, and the doctors – though notoriously difficult to get hold of – were excellent when they did show up. As well as looking after our Sweetheart, the staff were also excellent to Chesh and I – they kept the relative’s room free for us, on the first night I was there, I was allowed to stay until after two in the morning, and when things were particularly bad one night, one of the nurses spent time going over the details of the different medications Nomad was being given, so we knew what to expect. Even more surprisingly (to me at least,) they didn’t even question our slightly unusual arrangement, or suggest that only one of us could be his partner. We were both allowed in without question, both separately and together, and free to be affectionate with our shared Love – they hardly batted an eyelash.

Finally, this exchange:

Nurse (to Chesh): Are you his sister?
Chesh: No, I’m his partner.
(Nurse glances at me, who she has previously seen in “partner” role, looking a bit confused, but says nothing.)
Chesh: We’re both his partners. It’s all open, everyone’s fine with it, Jess and I are like sisters.
Nurse (to Nomad): You’re a very lucky man!

Thank you, Awesome Nurse, for your complete acceptance when confronted with a strange and unfamiliar situation. You rock.

That’s all for now. More posts lined up when my energy levels are a little more replenished.

5 thoughts on “Silver Linings (Or: Poly in the Hospital)

  1. Thank you for the positive take on crisis in polyamory. I’ve been in two partnership up until very recently and one was very unhealthy, resulting in a very trying time when things got tough. It’s wonderful to have confirmed what I suspected – that being poly can be an asset in these kinds of situations if the relationships are positive themselves.

  2. That’s amazing of the nurse, I’m so glad the hospital didn’t cause any drama over the top of everything, it’s great how accepting people can be. Give my best to Nomad, I hope he’s ok! xx

  3. Wow, I’m really pleased you had a good experience. When I was in hospital it unfortunately wasn’t the case. Having two boyfriends visiting me, I couldn’t choose to stay ‘in the closet’ about being non-monogamous, and the nurses (and other patients) made a few unhelpful comments at a time when I really didn’t feel up to defending my choices.

  4. nitoda says:

    My experience when being treated for cancer (nearly 3 years ago now) was similar in that there were no raised eyebrows and both my partners were welcomed into discussions over treatment options etc. I was delighted that the NHS hospital staff were so accepting. And yes, my partners were glad of each other in stressful times when I was so ill, and I was glad they had each other too!

  5. Tarqa says:

    Just a note of thanks. Sympathy for having a loved one in hospital, but hearing about Awesome Nurse has brightened my day.

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