[Typos are my iPad’s fault – with a helping hand from the WordPress app]
After four days on a floor in the hospital that didn’t specialize in me, my confidence was rocked. Every other nurse I encountered seemed to be plotting how they would inject Draino or some other deadly chemical into my IV while I slept, waiting by my bedside to see my waking face, choking, as they took no action to save me, only smiling at my distress with my last image their middle finger.
Yes, not everyone likes me. Especially nurses who didn’t take studying seriously when they were in nursing school. But now that I am back on the Panda floor with my own kind, I’m living the life of a hermit and pissing off no one with RN in their title. Smooth sailing for the worse patient ever one floor down. But here I’m exotic and treasured. My quirks, not such a surprise. My needs, not so needy. And my fuzzy, furry charm, charming.
My room sounds like a spaceship. This is the white noise of space, a drone, and my room has it. At any minute I’ll be called to board the shuttle to the planet below to discover some life form that springs from an egg and clamps to my face. Yes, my room sounds just like the Nostromo and its constant hum of space ventilation.
And then there’s the pumping of the IV machine like a fast moving clock that skips a beat, but with a grinding of gears quality to it. And I’m leashed to it like a dog to its owner, the line of my port running up out of my collar.
Pieces of Pop Tarts, discarded pill wrappers, and empty hypertonic saline nebs litter my room. It’s a sty. The maid hasn’t shown up since I moved to this room, perhaps fearful, though it’s nothing like the documentary I watched last night, Wasteland, about people who work in a garbage dump in Brazil and the artist who makes them and their recyclables art. Now every time I toss a water bottle in the trash, or any trash, I feel guiltier than I did before.
I haven’t taken a shower in almost a week and I haven’t peed in a toilet either. I have developed the amazing talent of being able to guess exactly how much I will fill the plastic jug. 200, 250, and 300cc are the most common amounts. And there’s always the impressive larger amount that seems to come when the bottle is near full and reminds me of a hot summer day and pouring a Coke in a glass and wondering if the foam will push it over the edge and spill onto the table.
I’ve been walking every day for an hour, up and down the hills, huffing and puffing and having not the wind to blow down any house. But up I go, down I come. There were staff, students and others on the sidewalks today. On weekends, it’s a ghost town and I its lone explorer walking, breathing, breathing, breathing – grateful.