Thursday, February 01, 2007

tales from the ICU

F went down to Hopkins last night to see his uncle, who should have been out of the hospital a week ago. he’s got fluid in his heart and his pressure’s low, which may indicate a leak somewhere. he’s now back in ICU, which sucks because if you’re in ICU, you’re pretty fucked up, and you’ve got a 30% chance of leaving the hospital via the morgue.

i know this because when i was in ICU three years ago it was like Night of the Living Dead. i was there only because i was on superduper clot-busting drugs that necessitated a close watch should i start embolising and throwing clots into my brain & lungs. it wasn’t too bad: i got sponge baths and one of those high-tech beds that ripple and change pressure around your body’s weight so you don’t end up with weeping bedsores. everyone else in that unit was coming off serious surgeries or harrowing auto accidents.

after four days i was judged healthy enough for transfer to a regular room. before i moved, though, i really wanted to wash my hair. my scalp was itchy and oily and driving me mad, and who knows… the male nurses on the 3rd floor might be really hot. you gots to Contingency-Plan, brah.

so i dragged myself from my ripply bed and slowly trucked myself and my IV pole over to my sink. no bottles of Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific next to the faucet so i began rummaging through sink drawers and happened upon the mother lode. people in ICU generally don’t clamber out of their beds, so all the good stuff – the mini bottles and ampules of your narcotic of choice – is conveniently stored within easy reach.

no shampoo, though.

so i tightened my fashionable hospital kaftan, grabbed my pole and pushed aside my room’s curtain. a spectral, gliding presence, i shuffled slowly down the hall toward the three women clustered at the nurse’s station.

- excuse me - i croaked, and three heads swiveled around and stared at me. if there were any karmic justice in the world, all the hours i’ve spent blowing away zombies and other semblances of the creeping dead certainly justified one of those bitches coming up with a gatling gun and painting the walls with me, but i guess you don’t fuck with lady lazarus.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

- sorry, but do you have any shampoo? - a blank frozen silence, then one of them moved.
um, I think I have some – and she ducked into the room behind the desk while i continued a staring standoff with the other two.

- here you go – she said when she emerged, holding a full-size bottle of pantene. SCORE. i thanked her, turned smartly on my heel (okay, maybe not so smartly, maybe glacially) and returned to my room with the queen’s pomp & circumstance.

blessed, blessed relief to dissolve the itch out of my hair – sooo worth it. pantene-lady thoughtfully dropped off a towel while i was in mid-wash, and only after i’d finished and was toweling off did i realise that i’d forgotten to shut the drawers i rifled and that this was probably not lost upon my nurse. she said nothing, though, and i wasn’t searched when i departed so she either trusted or pitied me enough to let me go without incident.

poor nizar.
i don’t miss the hospital experience at all. there were no hot male nurses on the 3rd floor.


fatmammycat said...

There are no hot males nurses, period.
Brah? I'm feeling a ripple in my vortex, I suddenly want to wear black and leather, and peroxide my hair and back comb it and stuff and start cussin' but then taking about second chances and Jesus and shit...

finn said...

There are no hot male nurses, period.

there are in my dreams, cat.
there's you in leather and stilettos too.

fatmammycat said...

I frequently wear a leather pencil skirt that I found in Blackberry market, Blackrock, circa 1952. How weirdly odd, you and Andraste are really doing the round on the 'seeing' today.

addon said...

i love your hair finn and i am glad you looked after it.

finn said...

you got that locket i sent, then.