Tonight, as I was lounging about, wearing my plaid robe and smoking my pipe (I’m very classy), thinking of what my next blog post would be about, something exciting happened. Something I will now tell you, without embarrassment.

I was lounging, as I explained, when my father burst out of the rest room, his face pale and gaunt. At first I was worried the zombie apocalypse was finally hitting Montana and not just the east coast as he stumbled to his bed, and here I was with my shotgun out of reach and not even wearing my knickers. However, as he lurched down the hall, clinging to the wall for support and weakly asking me to help him, I realized he was not a zombie but was actually just suffering from a bad flu. This was a reassurance; I could help a victim of influenza. Nurse Greg to the rescue!

Okay, so I probably wouldn’t really look like Stephen Wallem from Nurse Jackie, but I wish I would if I was a male nurse.

After donning my healing frock (+5 to medical knowledge, -10 masculinity) I helped my paternal parent into bed. I then asked him what felt wrong, which took an absurdly long amount of time between his denying anything was wrong (“No, no, I’m fine, I’m… I’m… urggg…”) and out and out delirium (“[unintelligible gargling noises]”).

After hearing his symptoms, which included hot flashes, fatigue, and gross issues, I took his temperature, which also took a very long time because he kept pressing the stop button or refusing to leave it in his mouth. The first time the beep went off to signal that his temperature had been read, it said he was deathly cold. And I don’t mean that in any sort of poetic sense; I mean he was literally the temperature of a recent corpse. And it was because he hadn’t put the thermostat in for a few seconds. Regardless, I triumphed through sternness, and discovered his temperature was normal.

I deduced the best course of action, despite his lack of a fever, was to take him to the local Urgent Care. As you can guess, he weakly flailed his arms in protest — which, due to his lack of strength, was some gentle twitching. “No, I’m fine. I… Is okay..” he stammered. I was onto his tricks though, and lowered my eyebrows to show my most disapproving face. “You will go to the Urgent Care even if I must kill you.” He feebly consented.

Luckily for him, the Urgent Care closes early on Saturday and I didn’t want to drive him the extra distance to the Emergency Room because he wasn’t that sick. I made him some chicken broth and was prepared to make him drink it even if I had to put a funnel into his mouth and pour it all in, but when I returned to him he was asleep.

The secret with caring for a sick Clem is that the most difficult thing to do will always be getting them to actually do anything or accept any kind of help. This is a fact I have come to accept and it was only reaffirmed by my short time as Nurse Greg. Both my father and my grandmother are the kind of people that would say they feel fine between bouts of vomiting. Truthfully, I’m probably the worst of the Clem Clan, as proven by the fact that I insisted on hobbling from the oral surgeon’s office to my mom’s car not 5 minutes after getting my wisdom teeth pulled. If she hadn’t held onto the keys I probably would’ve insisted I was fine to drive.

Nurse Greg is retiring for now. But just remember, if you ever get sick I can glower away your infirmity.