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Thursday, September 20, 2018

WAITING IS FOREVER


Here I am sitting in my daughter’s hospital room for the third day. It starts very early in the morning and goes on into the early evening. You become numb from the hours that pass you by, watching people walking their Intravenous trees as they slowly pass the room. Some intravenous tubes trees need more walking than others.

I have learned when long periods of time consume your days you need a plan, mine is the daily newspaper, my laptop, and I-pad along with my phone and always and I mean ALWAYS, pack a lunch, the high point of your day. I was going to the cafeteria but gave that up when they charged me $8.00 for a bottle of water and a grilled cheese sandwich, which I swear someone sat on. No, it wasn’t the shape, it was the smell. The view from my daughter's room window is spectacular as you can see traffic and a parking lot along with the steady tweet of the IV and the hum of the AccuMax Complete, a contraption that allows the bed to be an air mattress to prevent skin sores.

What a view!
If you listen not too carefully, you can hear the distant sound of the arriving ambulances, as more Intravenous trees are ready for the arrivals of the new guests. The roaring urgency of the siren just casts you into a romantic mood of knowing more people will soon be walking around with their ass hanging out and those stupid socks they will be forced to wear pushing those trees, waiting for the next meal to avoid.

Some of the most mediocre cooks are not here serving up the wonderfully coordinated banquets of strained peas, chopped beef and thickened coffee, no they have a lottery system in maintenance, whoever shows up last gets to cook the meals. This includes first time workers.


The great thing about America is the hospital system. The doctors all come over and explain to me what they plan to do and when. The trouble is I have no idea what it is they are saying since their accents are so heavy. Four doctors enter the room and one is born here and the others from either Pakistan or India, all very pleasant and I’m sure professional, but when they leave I often wonder: “What did they say?”

 One must never forget the solitude of a hospital room, the smiling nurses who attack the bed for height and elevation while at the same time sticking you with a needle and giving a response to a question that was shouted out from the deep halls of the hospital, all while the patient tries to sleep.

Then the housecleaning shows up. It is important that they bring their metal scoop with a broom to bang and bounce, then take the mop and start to check the whole room for sound, seeking information under the bed, against the bed and even in the garbage pails.

As you sit there and now that the patient can’t get out of bed, you look longingly at the toilet that goes unoccupied and the thought that you have to go down three floors to find a toilet and watch as some old guy in a T-shirt and shorts, topped off with a baseball cap gets in before you can, and will take up to a half-hour to remember why he is even in the toilet!

The nursing staff if anything is a wonderful group of mostly women who are cheerful, happy, greeting you like an old friend, unless of course, they catch you coming out of the toilet in the patient’s room. I have developed a remedy for that, I reserve some applesauce that comes with every meal and a spoon that I carry with me into the toilet, if I am caught coming out, I show them the spoon and tell them I was washing it.

Tomorrow is the big day. Tomorrow is the operation for a hip replacement of the ball and maybe the socket. That along with the metal in my daughter’s right leg will make her eligible for Miss Magnetic, an honor she wasn’t seeking.

Pray for me.

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