Hospital Musings

Even in hospitals Sundays are quiet days. No one came in to take me for tests or to do blood work, and even the deluge of nurses that typically descends each hour to check vitals or administer meds slowed to a trickle yesterday. I was thankful for it at first, but last night it was just eerily quiet and very lonely.

The incessant beeping and whirring of the heart monitor and the myriad other machines was on course to drive me insane. But worse than all that? They put me on a new medication whose side effect is like fucking Chinese torture: it makes me itch. I’m talking full-on-I want-to-scratch-each-layer-of-skin-off-my-body itching. Scratching doesn’t help because the itch isn’t a surface itch; rather, it originates from somewhere deep within and I can’t get any relief from it. I try desperately not to bitch to the nurses because they’ve already got the toughest job in the world without listening to my sorry ass complain about being itchy. However I did gently suggest to my night nurse that if I didn’t get some relief from the itching soon there was a good chance I was going to break a window and use the shards of glass to go all Hannibal Lector on myself. After a brief silence and a look that told me she was seriously considering a psych consult, she brought in the longest needle I’ve ever seen and shot me up with something that is supposed to counteract whatever ingredient it is in the first drug that makes you itch. Thank fuck.

Yesterday was just one of those days. A friend came for a visit in the morning, which was lovely. But the rest of the day I mostly just stared at the ceiling. I couldn’t concentrate enough to write. I wasn’t feeling well enough to read. It was one of those days where I just wanted to crawl out of my own skin. I considered arguing to be released so I could at least be home, but I thought better of it. I’ve left the hospital twice now on my own terms and both times I’ve ended up back here with unpleasant consequences. Besides, they’re controlling my pain well enough here and if I were home and left to my own devices, well, that probably wouldn’t go as well. I don’t trust myself right now.

So last night around 12:30 I sort of gave up on trying to sleep. I tried not to lose myself in the desolation and desperation of this place.

The good news is the itch-inducing medication has managed to bring my fever down from a combustible 104 to a more tolerable 101. Seriously? I thought my brain was going to boil the last couple days. So I’m certainly a bit more comfortable. Also? I managed to consume some jello yesterday afternoon. Green jello, but still…at least it was solid(ish) food. I may try for a saltine at some point today.

I was at a friend’s wake when this happened. I missed the funeral. The finality of a funeral is so much harder than a wake, but I’m really sad to have missed it. I will miss him very much.

I’m getting all melancholy again. I have to focus on something positive. Hmmm. Oh, here’s something: I’m thankful that BlackBerry phones come with the game Brick breaker pre-installed because that has provided me with hours of distraction today. (Sense the sarcasm.)

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