Cirrhosis is not just for the elderly. The rate of alcoholic liver disease is increasing amongst people in their 40s and 30s. A 38 year old man is disabled and near death when he decides to share his experience through writing.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
41- Indignation Incarnate
nurses are already waking me up, and it is still dark
outside. I can't remember the last time I had any sleep
that was worthwhile. I have accumulated enough hours of sleep
deprivation, it should be illegal. I know its not healthy, although they
wake me to check my vitals, and I have to keep riding this
merry-go-round until I don't know when. I am beginning to
wonder if they are ever going to let me out of this place. "You
need to show some improvement before we discuss your discharge",
they keep telling me. Discharge. Bl-eh.
All of my
oompa-loompas are in place, dancing around with their needles, washcloths,
thermometers, and blood pressure cuffs. My entourage's questions
are raining on me simultaneously, while I am trying to handle
my personal cloud, encompassing my brain like a thick morning
fog. At times, it feels like they have performed a lobotomy
while I was out, yet on some occasions I am completely
frustrated, and grouchy, and I am not a nice person to be
around. Or, I could be over thinking, I guess.
of the nurses discovers that I no longer have a catheter.
they took the condom-cat off", the caregiver asks?
technically don't lie, "I don't need one anymore."
then", she shrugs.
nurse approaches my bed and asks,
would like for breakfast, honey?"
I blurt out.
No. You're on a diet. I just remembered."
eggs, toast, coffee..."
I cut her
off, "I don't drink coffee. I have been saying that for two weeks,
or however long I've been here. Can I please have sweet tea this
sweetie. Its alright. We'll bring you some iced tea", she says
as she crosses a word off from side to side.
gotch you, baby."
nurse lays out my itinerary for the day, in no particular order, as if there is
any chance I will remember which scanning, stabbing, sampling, or manipulation
they have planned for me. For every RN, that injects medicine, or
collects blood, there is a student who misses the vein. During that time,
the off target assistant conveniently has a superior over their shoulder
watching, who seems more like the school bully teasing, "Ha, ha. You
ha. That's hilarious", I say sarcastically.
breakfast arrives, my expectations are low, and the food runner places each
item in front of me individually. First, one bowl of grits, that is
clumped into six or seven, asteroid-shaped clusters, all on top of what looks
like fire ant eggs, is presented to me. Then, my plate of yellow eggs,
with white stripes throughout, that look like miniature rubber chickens, and
are about as chewy. Followed by, my cubed, hunter green gelatin with some
kind of fruit floating inside the jiggling nourishment.
accompany my delicious, and exquisite breakfast in bed is my, "Careful,
this is hot", coffee. Damn it. It isn't rational that anything
should upset me, but it does. Besides, this steaming cup of Joe could
pass for a mug that was used as an impromptu ash tray last night.
sorry, but may I please have some sweet tea instead of the coffee", I
sir. I'll run down, and get that for you", she replies.
and some cheese for my grits", I add?
kind of cheese you need?"
know. Shredded cheese. Cheddar, maybe", I suggest.
that look like", she asks?
got white cheese, or orange cheese", she says kindly.
unintentionally smile at her, "Hm. Orange, please."
request comes out of my mouth, the head nurse walks in.
no. He can't have the orange cheese. He can't have salt", she
corrects the assistant.
can I have the white, please", I rasp.
we have reached an agreement, if not an understanding. I question myself
again, because so many bizarre episodes keep occurring, that it has to be me.
cheese lady returns, she has forgotten about the tea, but fulfills my request,
"white, shredded, cheese".
As I look
at it, I pinch some out with my fingers, and sprinkle it back into the ramekin.