Thursday, February 12, 2009

Last Night

I spent all yesterday evening in the hospital with an elderly friend of mine. She has high blood pressure and had gotten the flu; around nine o'clock she called and said she probably would have to go in. Her daughter was down with the flu as well.

I always make incorrect assumptions, like "I'm a patient person." As though this were on the list of things to achieve and I could check it off my box. But no, not so much. Sitting in the semi-dark, watching TV with no sound, listening to the excruciatingly slow drip of the medicine from the bag into her wrist let me know that I was not as patient as I'd thought. This was around one in the morning.

She wasn't dehydrated, but they gave her an IV anyway, which caused her a lot of pain because it's hard to find her wrists and she told them that. She used to be a nurse. She told them exactly what kind of needle to use. But no. They used the wrong size.

It took over an hour for her to get the fluid and then instead of giving her the medicine in pill form, they had to attach another bag. She could have simply swallowed the pills in two minutes, with a nice glass of water and then I could have taken her home to her own bed. Her blood pressure had long ago dropped back down.

Instead, I watched a mute Jean-Claude Van Dame take down all the bad guys and she tried to sleep on the hospital bed, with her feet dangling off, until all the medicine went in.

It was fascinating to sit behind the curtain and hear the small talk of the staff at the nurse's station right across from me. Their desultory conversation was of The Melting Pot vs other restaurants and then how one lady nearly died due to internal bleeding on the operating table. One nurse announced to the world she as passing a kidney stone, right now.

I didn't get home until past two in the morning, so I don't anticipate being very productive today.

I can't write the second chapter of that story, I found out, after I wrote the first. Even though I checked in with Keith about him being ok with me talking about past relationships and even though it happened over seven years ago, somehow, it just feels too disloyal.

I've thought about it a lot, why this should be and it doesn't make sense, it's just a feeling. The writer in me is annoyed, because that story is imminently writable and as I was writing, I could see all the way down to the end.

So, I am sorry to leave you all hanging, but there it is. My writing is just too vivid; everything comes alive and it feels wrong to be talking about, even in the past, loving someone else. I'll have to save that story for another time.

And now I must go upstairs for some coffee; strong coffee!

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