Wednesday, January 25, 2012

to the hospital with a friend (lyn)

It’s still dark out when Gail picks me up.  She is having out-patient surgery and is the first one on the doctor’s schedule.  I pack up enough stuff to keep myself occupied for three days:  the new book I’m reading (The Accident by Linwood Barclay), two newspapers (I never got to yesterday’s), my iPhone (with Scrabble if I feel like playing), ear buds (in case I tire of reading), a large thermos of coffee, and a porcelain cup (coffee tastes so much better in porcelain than paper).  We're at the hospital by six.

Gail checks in and within minutes, we are whisked away to a small curtained off room.  Three different sets of nurses come by to ask the exact same set of questions.  They do this as a precaution to insure they get the right patient.  This proves to be a good idea since they mistake the dark-haired-Spanish-speaking woman in the cubicle next to Gail for Gail (who is tall, blond, and Nordic-looking).

Gail is taken off to surgery, and I go downstairs to get something to eat.  While she is enjoying the benefits of conscious sedation, I am paralyzed by the calories next to each bakery item at Au Bon Pain.  Everything I want is 440-660 calories.  As I am developing a rationale for why a 660-calorie croissant filled with raspberry may be okay, I spot a plain croissant listed at 180 calories.  I don’t know why a little jam would be 480 calories, but I don’t want to question it either.  I imagine one of the workers saying, “Oh gosh (though of course they’d never say oh gosh), that croissant is mis-marked; it should be 500 calories.”  And then what would I do?  A woman near me senses my anxiety, and apropos of nothing says, “Eat what you want.  You’re probably stressed enough just being here.”   I heed her advice and buy the plain croissant.

I‘m barely through two papers when I get a call that Gail is ready.  I go upstairs to meet her. Her hair looks great, her skin is glowing, and she looks well rested. The last time Gail was consciously sedated, she came out of it all happy and giddy and repeating the words, “Whee.  Whee.”  This time she only smiles, but a smile is good enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment