Tuesday, June 12, 2012

38- The Long Chat Part- 1

Autumn 2011

I am caught red handed.  I am trying to get out of the bed on my own.  I am not supposed to do that, but damn I have to pee.  With luck, it is my personal Nightingale that catches me with my left, big toe on the tile.  She gives me a "What are you doing look?"

"I'm sorry", I say.  "I am going to have to do this by myself at some point."
"I understand that, but you could fall, and I would be in serious trouble."
"You're right", I concede.  "Can you help me then?  I've made it this far."
"OK.  Hold on a second", she says, as she rolls over my coat rack of IVs. "This has to come with you."
"Gotcha", finally.

I slide down the side of the bed, and my hospital gown is in the way, as usual.  It slides up quickly, as if it is wired to the ceiling.  Here I am, again.  Take a gander, and feel sorry for me.  I don't care.  
When I get upright, and on my feet, I am a solid foot taller than the nurse.  She looks up at me, and says, "Wow, you're tall".
"No, you are short, and so is that bed.  Man, I need a longer bed."

In actuality, I'm not that tall, I'm six, one.  I think that's pretty average, and she is probably five, two.  I am not using the walker, but I am holding on to Florence, and occasionally grabbing a hold of the sink with my right hand.  It would normally take me about 4 steps, but this takes around 16.

The IV tubes are long enough, so I can leave the medicine tree in the room while I do my business.  I don't think twice about it, and sit down hard on the seat.  That hurts.  I have used every bit of fat, and muscle in my body.  With that, it is bone against plastic. 

When I finish up, I realize I need something to hold on to, so I can get back up.  Oh yeah.  Handicap rails in the restroom.  There a lot of them, coming from every angle.

We move back to my bed without any issues.  I actually look forward to the next time my physical therapist visits.  I am far from healthy or mobile, but I have to be a little better than the last few times.

After that, my partner in crime just takes a seat by the bed, and we chat.  I ask questions about her. 
Where is she from? 
Why Charleston? 
Do you like it? 
Oh, I haven't been there. 
Yeah, Charleston sure is beautiful. 
Yep, I knew you would say that. 
Everyone loves Charleston.
She asks me about college.  Where did I go, et cetera?

I tell her about my beginnings of College.  I graduated High School, took the summer off, and started at College of Charleston in the fall.  I don't tell her what year that was , and she doesn't ask.  That's good.
I describe how after only one semester at CofC, I was ready to go.  It was too close to home, and a lot of the people that were in my classes, were in my high school classes.  However, it was more that. I was still living with my parents.  I was eighteen, an adult, and ready to go Clemson University.  It was the furthest away in-state, and on Saturdays, there was football.  A great way to choose a school.

I don't tell her that I was required to have thirty hours at CofC before I transferred.  That I wormed my way through the system, and got what I wanted.  All I had to do was address five postcards to Clemson, and give them to my teachers during my finals.  They would mail my grades to them.

I didn't tell her that was because we didn't have The Internet readily available back then.  With that, when I moved in one of the dorms, I had to wait in actual, physical lines of people to sign up for classes during late registration.  One class, one line, and you hope they have the section you want.

Which leads to my major at Clemson.  I was a nursing major for two and a half years.  My heart was never truly in it, but I didn't know anything at the time.  My grandparents didn't go to college, and my parents didn't, either. So, after about five semesters, I was booted.  My grades were terrible.  That's why I am the patient, and not the nurse.

My guess is that's about when the drinking started to turn up a notch.

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Photo:  Sunlight Reflected

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