Thursday, 30 December 2010

curb your laundry

Just back from hospital again.  Glass of wine.  Honestly, it's becoming a routine.  I feel so typical here, part of a demographic stereotype.   The Jersey Shore types may have their Gym Tan Laundry routine -- for me and my group it would be, what: hospital, liquor store, home office?  (Sidebar -- definition of a successful piece of art is one you can reference with minimal exposure.  I have seen a total of ten minutes of Jersey Shore.  Ed inexplicably fascinated.  More on that later.)  
Not so funny moment in hospital today.  Or maybe it was.  Larry David rather than Jersey Shore, though. Here's what happened.  Mir's mom was in for a series of tests (she's one of the parents in trouble I talked about last time) and I was chatting in the room with her while Mir went to the atrium for coffee.  (Isn't that funny -- I was going to say lobby.  Hospitals don't have lobbies, but I have spent so much time there that the place is starting to feel like a hotel.)  Anyway, the lady in the next bed caught my eye and asked if I would get her a glass of water.  She's a quiet nervous type who doesn't seem to have many visitors.  I helped her to a drink and she thanked me with a nice smile.  The air is so dry in here, she said, slurping greedily through her straw.  I nodded, and then felt my own smile fall off my face and land on the floor with a crash.  Over the lady's bed was a sign that said:  DO NOT GIVE THIS PATIENT WATER EVEN IF SHE ASKS FOR IT. 
Like I said, Larry David.  I have seldom been more horrified.  I snatched at the styrofoam cup, but it was already empty. What had I done?  I stood there frozen, honestly expecting her to start frothing at the mouth or something.  
Hey, I said, finally, you aren't supposed to have any water!
I pointed at the sign.  The lady dismissed it with a gesture.  
Phhht, she said, or something like that, and turned over.
Now what?  I am no great believed in rules for the sake of rules, but this was a hospital.  Not a hotel.  Lives were on the line here.  The no water rule might be important.  I couldn't just walk away, could I?  Could I?  
I decided -- I know how dumb this sounds -- to compromise.  I asked the lady if she could get out of bed.  She rolled back over to stare at me.  
What? she asked.
Can you walk? I asked.
Of course I can walk.  Do you think I'm a cripple?  she said.
Still no frothing.  I smiled inanely.  Okay, I thought.  So she was capable of getting her own water.  So the drink didn't have to have been my fault.  And she seemed fine.  A little tetchier than before, but that probably wasn't because of the water.  That was me.
I went back to Mir's mom.  But for the rest of the visit I kept checking across the room. Mir commented on my nervousness.  
Maybe we ought to take you off coffee, she said.  


Anonymous said...

Don't panic--you were misled. By the sign. The old lady sounds like fun. You've got to wonder why she doesn't rewrite the sign?

Your inane smile makes me laugh. Looks like you're flirting. I don't want to say it looks like you are passing gas...Mir will tell you.

Hoping the best for her mom.


Anonymous said...

And, it is nine books you have written for children, not seven. Which means you can count the total books you have written on... three hands.

Plz fix.



Richard Scrimger said...

Actually, inane is one of my best looks. When I try for flirty, I look shocked and appalled ...

Marilyn said...

It would be weird to have a sign like that over your head. I, too, wonder why she didn't remove it or something. And doesn't everyone need water? She must get some at some point. Strange, but I can relate to the horror you felt. It's like being in the most serious trouble, but you don't know what's going to happen.

Hope you got the smile back on.

Richard Scrimger said...

Yup. Waiting for the other shoe to come crashing through the ceiling into your bedroom ...

Anonymous said...

Probably she didn't tinker with the sign for fear of reprisal from hospital staff, who can be overly sure of themselves. All patients are in a tricky situation. So it was good of you to check. Despite her pffft, I'm sure she noticed and was secretly pleased.
Maybe bring a flask of tea on your next visit--though I hope there's no further need for hospital trips. I mean bring the tea for you, but i'm sure your new friend will hope for a nip from it.

danial said...

danian.blogg. no

Anonymous said...

Isn't that something straight out of that juvey horror flick -- Gremlins...don't get them wet.

Maybe you were secretly being punked by hospital orderlies or Med Psy graduate students.