I am an obsessive planner for the inevitable. For a spur of the moment six week trip to Central American, I can be packed and on the road in 30 minutes.
However, packing for a hospital stay; however brief, where words like gamma rays, staples, novacaine and my favorite “some discomfort” send me into a weeping frenzy. Once it is over,it is pretty funny. However in all of these years, I have never once found someone who wants to be in the same house with me while it is happening.
– I refuse to wear the hospital gowns so I have three pretty ones that I have opened BOTH sleeves and sewed on snaps. I am ready to do battle with ANY nurse who tries to talk me out of this. It is non negotiable.
– I hates hospital gowns. I hates that they don’t fit and I hates how my ass hangs out. Were I to have a 19 year old ass, maybe I would feel better about it. But those day are long gone and in my war with ass gravity, gravity has won. I can deal with the no bra look, but the dragging ass look is not a fight I am going to give in on.
I do not like slippers, so I wear socks and pathetically wander the halls, dragging my IV pole.
– Trying to find a pair of jeans that fit AND have pockets. Fitting is an odd concept. They need to be loose enough to be comfortable on a long (4 hour) drive, during which I will most probably be hysterical. (Hysteria for me is just tears streaming down my face. no sobbing. no noise).
– Begin hunt for a second pair, since I will most likely dump something in my lap. Pause briefly to berate self for not being the sort of person who wears jeans which actually fit so I am then accustomed to being uncomfortable.
– Find two pair of jeans. One fits me and the black dog at the same time. Maybe not the best choice. Ask husband if I can wear the dog and me jeans in the car and then change when we get there. He thinks this is one of the dumber ideas I have had, Obviously, I have not shared enough of my ideas with him. The other pair does not have pockets BUT they do look nice. But where I am going, who cares?
-Puruse both my carryon and my handbag. I don’t want to look like a bag lady.
Perhaps I need a new handbag! Scap that idea. I will take my stuff in this nice looking red overnighter that belongs to my daughter. The leather one I usually drag around I got in Mexico about 23 years ago and looks it…and not in a good way. Remind myself that the first thing I need to do is get a good looking overnighter when I am done with this. Roomy with pockets. Leather. Wheels. Fits on a plane. This will require some research, which I may or may not do. haven’t decided.
– Briefly think that the first thing I need to do when I come back is buy at least two pair of jeans that fit and have pockets.
– Try both jeans on and realize that I will need to wear nylons with these, not socks. Socks in the car make my feet to hot and I take off my shoes and lose them, causing hysteria at destination
– While digging through dresser, locate 23 pairs of ratty underpants that nobody would ever wear and try briefly to understand why anyone would keep these underpants. Toss out said underpants, leave a nearly empty drawer. Briefly think that this is the first thing I need to do when I come back.
– Locate 12 pair of previously buried nylons (the knee high kind). None are the same color. Briefly think that this is the first thing I need to do when I come back…buy a dozen pair of knee highs in the same color.
– Curse. Frighten the dogs.
– Look for a two clean sweaters and two clean t-shirts. (I get hot in the car.)
– Look for sweatshirt. I get cold at rest stops. Choose the Fort Myers one. It is grey and white. Not my colors. Make me look sick. Contemplate. I AM SICK.
– Take deep breath, wonder if anyone else has this much trouble getting dressed.
– Pack. Remember to take moisturizer and cleanser. Take photos of kids, just in case.
– Find my lacy bra from Fanny Wrappers. Even if I don’t know who I am, at least I will look nice. Find matching underpants. Decide to wear them, even though they itch.
But not in the car. I will change when I get to the hospital parking lot. HUsband asks me exactly WHERE I plan to change. Hell, it is San Fransisco. If me changing my jeans and underpants call out the 5 o’clock news, it must be a slow news day. Celebrate.
– Decide to wash and roll my hair, so I look like I take care of myself.
_ Worry that they are going to shave my head and what would be the point.
– Decide that is a stupid thing to worry about.
– Decide that the medical barbers can feel bad about that because I don’t care.
– Pack medical info, medical card and a flash light. I might wake up in the dark.
– Pack map to hospital, just in case.
– Pack photos of dogs, just in case I forget them, too.
– Worry needlessly, because I am #2 on the list. Remember I didn’t worry when I didn’t KNOW there was a list.
– Wonder briefly if the medical people at UCSF’s idea of comfortable is the same as mine. Mine is a coma. Pack my own drugs, just in case. They have guys who regulate the anesthesia. They can handle this. And if they can’t, well, they can feel bad. I don’t care. I am not going to be awake for this. (When I had the angiogram, I did the same thing. I am not listening to nor watching any of that bodily fluid stuff.
– Decide to shave legs. Very important
– Decide to strip and wash the bed. Just in case.
– Decide to vacuum and scrub the bathroom. just in case.
– Pack some books to read. I might have time.
– Pack my knitting. I might magically remember how to do this. Gamma rays and all. Who knows? Not me, That’s for sure. Carl is as sharp as a whip and i=his imploded in the Ukraine, (Go back to hotel. You vill die there.Too bad; you seem like nice American boy.”))
– Pack photo of my Da. Just in case I can’t remember him. Pack a photo of Marni,just in case.
– Punctuate all of this with crying…not sobbing and not hysteria. Just crying.
_Look for picture of Skipper. I want to recognize him he if he comes to get me at the the Rainbow Bridge. Write a note to my dogs.
-Write a note to my kids. Just in case.
-Cry some more. Feel pitiful. Try wailing. upset me and
-Instead of thinking WHY ME, I am thinking wow! how lucky! It could be someone else with no health insurance, no secure job and no one who loves them.
-And in the end, I am loved. Loved. Loved. Loved. Loved.
-Doesn’t help much, but the thought was there.
-Pack my nosepin, yarn and the jar from Pat. I might be there for a long time. Or not. Just in case, because you never know.
-Wonder briefly if I will ever remember how to type, decide today is not the day to worry about that and bless the SpellCheck Guy. He is right up there with the Birth Control Guy.
_Decide to forgive Jackson and John. Yeah, I know, very big of me. They are both dead already and none too soon.
– LEAVE frantic message to to Rachel, who is co-ordinating all of this. Let her know I am worried, scared and pretty well out of my mind. Burst into tears. Great way for her to start her day. Oh, well. Sorry Rach.
-Dogs and I go upstairs while I can still navigate the stairs. I have take all of what is called my “rescue drugs”, not to be confused with my normal drugs. Hoping to avoid going to the clinic or ER for a shot. Nice thing about going 31 times is that I’m not on the wait around and Dr. Benydryl has been permanently crossed off my chart. I am sure he thinks it is because I am difficult. It is, however, because he is an educated ass.
– Drugs have kicked in. I feel much better now. I might wake up in time for Judge Judy, who in my opinion is the sole reason television exists.
-Write letters to my kids, Marji, Clark, Pat and Mike. Just in case. They are in the bottom of my overnight bag with addresses and stamps. Of course, I won’t bee needing them. Everything is going to be fine.