So here’s a great example of the difference between my black-and-white thinking, and my husband’s grey thinking.
Several years ago my husband had kidney stones. After a week on meds to see if they would pass, he went back to the clinic in a ton of pain, and they sent him via ambulance to the ER because he had a dangerously high heartbeat. After my mom drove the 90 miles to our house to stay with the kids, I met him in the ER.
They were just getting ready to move him to a room, as his heart rate was still too high, and they had learned that he also had pneumonia! He was telling the nurse that he had taken some Dayquil in the morning because he had felt a little congested. The nurses response was, “Don’t ever take Dayquil or Nyquil, or anything else like those ever again. That is probably what has caused this rapid heartbeat.”
I went home that evening and threw out the offending medications. I had tried Nyquil once years before and had felt like my mind and body were buzzing all night while I was asleep. I woke up more tired and agitated than if I had just coughed and wheezed all night. So I didn’t mind seeing the stuff go.
After several days in the hospital my husband’s heartbeat returned to normal. The doctors never could find a cause for the tachycardia beyond the Dayquil. He recovered from the pneumonia and passed the kidney stones, and is just fine now.
Fast forward to a week ago. He was fighting some early spring cold, and went in search of some bedtime relief. “Do we have any Nyquil,” came floating out of the bathroom.
I had to work really hard to not scream, “You have got to be kidding me! You want to take the stuff that nearly killed you? Do you not remember anything?!” Instead I said something like, “Don’t you remember, the doctor said that you weren’t ever supposed to have that again.” I tried really hard not to sound annoyed or condescending.
His response went something along these lines. “I don’t remember that. Oh, wait, I remember hearing something like that, but I didn’t think it meant forever. I just thought it meant for that situation… I suppose maybe they did mean that…. Ok, thanks, good night.”
All I could do was shake my head in wonderment.