Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hospital II

There you are, sitting bedside, after having been through it. And what do you feel? When the fear and panic have passed, when the battles have been fought and apparently won, when you are on the walk home to health and your routine, you sit there, bedside and you feel one thing so crushingly and immediate you cannot fathom how you will be able to stand it: boredom. You are bored to fits.

All the articles have been read in the magazines, you already made your fifth walk of the day to the cafeteria for coffee, you have no more questions to ask of doctors or nurses, your minutes are gone.

I have to come up with something for these times. Something in advance. Because when you are there you are too exhausted, too out of your element, too pale for thinking. Crosswords require the alarms to not sound on the monitor, writing requires leaving her alone in the room, television requires no commercials because I cannot stand the frantic pace of TV in the hushed world of the hospital room.

I don’t sew. I don’t do mathematical equations for fun. I don’t know how to manicure my nails. I wish I could have the presence of mind to listen to language tapes, learn Mayan history, memorize the calls of the North American Songbirds. Cause you have all this time...

But I find myself buying M&M’s from the vending machine, going to the bathroom, again, making a phone call to my husband with absolutely nothing at all whatsoever to say. I reread Us Weekly looking for clues in paparazzi photos that may tell me something larger about our world. I find nothing, I’m getting fat on M&M’s, I’m bored with a shockingly empty bladder. Time to go get some more coffee.

1 comment:

Claudia said...

I ran across your link in the motherlode blog from the NY Times. I just wanted to let you know that I feel for you. I gained fifteen pounds on M&Ms and expensive coffee when my son was hospitalized. I don't know what it's like to be in your shoes exactly, but I do know what it is to pace, worry, feel out of control, wonder what "normal" means, etc. Take care.