WAITING FOR BARLEY SOUP

 

D. H. CLAIR

 

New Port Richey, FL

 

 

It’s a sad state of affairs when the highlight of your day is focused on the lunch menu.  While there’s nothing joyful about a hospital stay, enduring a myriad of tests, punctures, middle of the night awakenings to test your blood—wouldn’t it still be there in the morning? It seems absolutely vampirical at 3:00 a.m. to have a phlebotomist appear in the middle of a pleasant dream to gouge your arm yet again.

I found myself watching the clock every few minutes – is it lunch time yet? That barley soup held an appeal you simply can’t imagine. God forgive me, better than good sex.

I think the worst thing I endured, was not the tests, but the dual bathroom. Have you ever shared a bathroom with four females and two with obvious bladder (or worse) problems? There’s nothing worse than a locked door to keep you out when Mother Nature insists upon calling. Most of the time it was because they forgot to unlock the door. I believe I uttered a few unladylike words in the heat of passion.

The nurses were very kind, especially when I was boohooing and bemoaning my fate. Just a little bit of depression. I kept finding out things I really didn’t want to know.  They had me in three different rooms, but I can’t really complain about that. At least I always got the window. It was a grand view of the building wall and A/C runoff.

Three beds in one room meant for two. That’s three TVs in close proximity with each patient watching a different channel. I finally gave up trying to listen to NCIS while my neighbor watched a college football game.

Someone asked me if I had any cute doctors. Why yes. Almost all of them. Even my daughter thought my PCP (not the gasoline additive) was “hot.” And, I’m not averse to telling them how cute they are. I’m old and bold and say what I think. I find that people excuse old people for their frankness. After all, I’m not on the make and they know it.

Although my problems now have a name, they are not resolved. The pain is forever with me and I will have to endure another and different type of treatment. RFA. Radio frequency ablation. Non-invasive, but they destroy the nerves delivering the pain. It should last for six months if they choose the right ones.

The soup did not disappoint, only I wished I’d had more. That’s me, biting the hand that fed me. As hospital stays go, it wasn’t the worst—and—I sold two books. However, I worried about the zine. There was no way to get it published before I left. It’s done now and I hope my readers waited. We’ll have to find another system to cover these contingencies in the future.

 

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