Sunday, July 22, 2012

General Hospital: Of Zombies, Apple Juice, & Disney Fans

My boyfriend is in the hospital with an inflamed colon. What does that mean? Don't ask me; we still haven't gotten a decent explanation. All I know is that he can only consume clear liquids & has to stay in the hospital until at least Monday, when he'll undergo a colonoscopy. Of course, we've made a number of "Walking Dead" jokes, wondering whether he'll wake up tomorrow to a world full of walkers & me dating his best friend. No real-life dramatics so far, though there's quite a bit of boredom.

The "menu" for clear liquids patients is basically The Saddest Thing. The only difference between breakfast & the other two meals is that it doesn't comes with broth. You know, they keep breakfast light.
To mix things up a bit, I bought him a veritable smorgasbord of slightly more indulgent clear liquids from the Dunkin Donuts downstairs & also let him eat two fruit snacks. I run a tight ship, guys.

Also, he has a roommate. This roommate is a large, hairy man who, as a disclaimer, may be slightly mentally disabled; he came in with a case worker & was talking about a group home, so I initially thought he was a parolee. Please don't think I'm making fun of this man; we've been absolutely kind to him, & he to us; he's thanked Nate for his service no fewer than six times. It's just that when you're sharing a room with a total stranger, it's difficult not to be annoyed by things - especially by things that are, frankly, just very weird & unexpected, & also, let's face it, a little bit amusing.

Like: He brought with him a gaggle of plush Disney friends, including a well-loved Mickey Mouse & its less popular companions, Donald Duck & Pluto. (I overheard him telling his stepmother that Goofy "couldn't make the trip this time.") He mutters to his stuffed brigade regularly, though mostly to Mickey. My favorite decipherable line so far is, "I'm Mickey Mouse driving a truck. You probably heard."

Today he shaved his face no fewer than three times in about five hours with the world's loudest electric razor. When the nurse said he'd requested that a mirror be brought into their shared bathroom, the roommate also asked for an electrical outlet. Which is not something that can just be, like, brought in.

Other things I know about the roommate (because he talks very loudly) include: He belches a lot. Like Mickey, he is a truck driver. He enjoys being in the hospital because the food is better than what he can make for himself. He prefers chicken to stuffed peppers, & his favorite seasoning is Mrs. Dash. He came into the ER because his stomach hurt "like Montzeuma's Revenge" (not the correct usage); he has since had an ultrasound, a CAT scan, & a nuclear test (pronounced the George W. Bush way). He likely has gallsstones. Today, I was really rattled to hear him make a jarringly racist comment; we didn't request a room change because, on the whole, he keeps to himself & is harmless. But like I said: also really weird & unexpected & aside from that comment, mostly amusing.

I'm hoping Nathan can break free on Monday. He's already feeling so much better, & understandably, he's going nuts confined to a remote-controlled bed, slurping orange Jell-O & protein-laced apple juice three times a day. I've brought him magazines, my iPad, his Kindle Fire, his laptop, anything I can think of to keep him busy, but it's tough to feel like you're home when you've been wearing the same backless hospital gown for 48+ hours...
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