Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Duck, Duck, Baby

I need a new hobby.

Because my latest one - not so great. It involves ERs, and IVs, and hospital stays, and no answers. I’d take a vote, but I think it’s a unanimous decision - a new hobby is needed.

It probably didn’t help that I decided to take public transit back from the airport Sunday evening, fresh back from the break. Ever intent to save a few dollars on my lowly college student budget, I reasoned that a trip back from the airport didn’t merit a $30 taxi ride, and that the subway would do. Let’s do the math: I’m 5 feet 6 inches, my big purple suitcase is just that - BIG - and my hefty pink carry-on is just that - HEFTY. Mission: Get back to the dorm lugging said luggage up literally hundreds of stairs, transferring from buses to subways. Status: Completed. Good Decision? Not so much.

It’s not a new tale - a stubborn kid doing the stupid and unreasonable. It exhausted me, but I thought that would be that. I still didn’t feel well from my ongoing medical saga, nothing had changed, but classes were starting post-spring break, and I was going. And I did - for the first day. Then I was speaking with the GI team who said to go to the ER - right then.

My planning and budget went out the window. I spent the money to take a cab to the hospital - Mom’s orders - and heaved my hefty pink carry-on stuffed with chargers and supplies and joined the army of sick kids camped out in the ER. And, countless hours later, I was being wheeled up to the inpatient floor.

Only - this time, I didn’t have my lovely little private room. No, this time, I was informed of my (miniature) roomie to be - a two week old baby boy (we’ll call him Baby Boy for obvious reasons). Though I have yet to actually see Baby Boy, by all accounts he is very cute, and I must say, extremely well behaved for such a newbie. Roomies, no matter how tiny, bring those awkward social implications of having to be extra quiet and courteous and the sharing of the bathroom. Lucky for Baby Boy and myself (sarcasm implied), some retreat had stolen all of the residents for the day, which effectively meant that nothing was accomplished today.

Well, let me define nothing: nothing medical, which means nothing important. This AM, a very nice volunteer came to the room, and wanted to know if I wanted to make a duct tape wallet. Truth: Not overly, I want to be seen by medical professionals and feel better. But I agreed, she seemed so nice, and so I set about picking different colors of Duck brand duct tape, and created a funky little wallet. A waste of time? Perhaps, but then again, I have lots of time to waste.

It’s times like these - alone in the hospital - when I feel like I’m simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. I’m no longer as tiny as Baby Boy, totally new and fresh into the world, I’m older, and a bit damaged. His medical records only date back two weeks, mine are volumes thick and collecting dust in several hospitals. And yet here we are, so vastly different and somehow existing mere meters apart. The bottom line is that we’re both not feeling our best, and in the metaphorical ‘duck, duck, goose’ game of life, we’re waiting to be called and to run our fastest to a bright, shiny future.

Ready, set - run.


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