Innocence Lost

I went to the hospital last week. It was horrible. The emotional scars may never heal.

It wasn’t the doctors, though they did get my diet orders mixed up. Carbs are essential for managing my condition. When I started to have a flare-up, my personal doctor asked me to take in about 80-120 grams of carbs per meal. That’s a loaf of French bread, folks. I love my doctor. But the hospital team got my condition confused with a related one and had me on a diabetic diet. I had to choose between a muffin or a glass of juice. They did get it straightened out within a couple of days, so no harm no foul. And in the meantime my peeps kept sneaking me in stuff to keep me from dying. The doctors weren’t the issue.

The food wasn’t bad, either. “Not bad” doesn’t actually imply “good,” but I could eat it for the most part. Eventually they gave up trying to calculate carbs and just sent icky vanilla Ensure shakes on every tray. I am now using them as bowling pins. But the food didn’t ruin me forever.

The nurses were amazing. And the CNAs. They have to do some pretty awful and uncomfortable jobs in the course of their day, but they were always pleasant and accommodating and tried to help maintain my dignity. I didn’t know for three days that there were no sodas available on the floor because every time I asked my nurse for a Coke, one magical, lifesaving beverage appeared. With a smile. They made my stay bearable. Hug a nurse or CNA today. I really mean that.

The television was the problem. I knew I was a goner when we were admitted through the ER and were trapped in a room with cable television. My doctor had called ahead to get treatment set up, but it was still a lot of hurry up and wait. The TV was stuck on ESPN. The announcers continually blabbed on about NFL drafts. Which wouldn’t happen for another eight hours. Grown men playing pretend. “What will happen if Team Z chooses this quarterback? And then this team chooses that guy over there? And then they’ll invite Roger Staubach (the only football player whose name I actually know) over for  a tea party, and they’ll all wear fancy hats?” I think that last part happened. Anyway, I thought Sports Center was bad. And then someone changed the channel.

They finished my treatment and were trying to decide if I was well enough to go home. Picture it. My husband had to leave to pick up kids from school. The medical team left to let me get some “rest.” I was flat on my back, unable to stand on my own. And the Kardashians came on the screen. No remote control. No emergency call button.

I have heard of Kardashians, of course. But I thought maybe they were a line of expensive shoes or handbags or something. I was taken quite by surprise. After watching those hate-filled Barbie dolls for five minutes, I was writhing in a whole new agony as my brain cells spontaneously combusted . I begged for an anti-emetic. And for someone to change the channel. Good grief! I had been forced to pee in front of five different people with my tushy hanging out of the back of my gown, and I still had more dignity about me than that sad family.

An angel of mercy did finally appear. Though she declined my fervent request to hit me over the head with a croquet mallet, she did at least change the channel. And I am grateful. But I will never be the same.


*** I couldn’t bring myself to include any images of Kardashians. Their dead, haunted eyes give me the willies. If you’ve never heard of them, count yourself lucky. Or just Google them.

Maybe I Should Get Cable Now

As many people already know, we cut cable several years age. We haven’t always eschewed television. Once, we had digital cable with over 300 channels. Shut up. I know that’s like a basic package these days, but back then, it was a big deal. For the record, though, it was still 300 channels of nothing to watch. Eventually, we cancelled service completely and never looked back. Until now.

We have the converter box thingy that makes everything all digital-like, but we don’t pay for extra channels. Our television cost us $10 at a garage sale. Four years ago. No need to gild that particular lily. So the regular programming we now have available consists of three different PBS stations, CBS, Fox, and NBC, which really is three stations too many, since network television now seems to boast nothing but B-list celebrities in reality shows. And PBS has Sherlock. I’m covered. And then came the Olympics.

I get NBC. I figured we were all set. We brought our Olympic-sized snacks down to the family room to get our game on. The Padawan is the only one in the house who knows how to actually turn the television on (don’t get me started. Apparently the cables have to be just-so if you have been playing the Super Nintendo or the VCR.), so he worked his magic, and we were good to go. And what did we get? Women’s volleyball.

Before all the athletic supporters of the world tie me in a net and spike coconuts at my head, let me say I used to like volleyball. I did. I even played. In gym class and stuff, but whatevs. I was good.

I distinctly remember the day my gym teacher approached me and my friend on the court. He said “We’ve got a spot on the team. Are you interested?” I said I’d think about it. Turns out, he wasn’t actually talking to me. He was recruiting my friend.    With all the diplomacy he could muster, the coach said “We’ve got a spot for you, too. We need a statistician.” Yeah. A score keeper. That’s like your best pal getting asked out on a date by the cutest guy in school and being invited to go along. As the driver. I watched my Olympic dreams go up in smoke that day. I’m not bitter. Nor apparently am I good at volleyball.

I tried to watch the game. These are Olympic athletes, after all. God bless the whole world, and all that. But, and  this is strictly off the record, I did not enjoy it. In high school volleyball, the best teams are the ones that actually get a volley going and keep it going. If you’re good, the ball stays in the air for longer than a serve. Olympic level volleyball goes something like this:

Ball is served.

Ball is hit.

Ball is hit again.

Ball hits ground.

Everyone hugs each other and holds hands. 

Maybe that last is just the women’s teams. I didn’t stick around for the guys’. In tennis, the score would be love-15. In volleyball, it’s love everybody. I wouldn’t enjoy playing at the Olympics. Too much hugging.

The ball was touched about three times before it hit the ground, leaving the impression that both teams stink. Score one for the Olympics. Or don’t score. I’m not sure.  After forty-five minutes, I went upstairs to gouge my eyeballs out make popcorn, and when I came downstairs again, the score was the same. I think. My TV is kind of small.

While I was making popcorn, I made the mistake of checking Twitter. There, someone in my feed was discussing Dressage. I followed the conversation, and it was then I discovered that everyone else in the country could watch Dressage, or swimming, or even archery. Oooh, there’s a sport! Who doesn’t dream of shooting holes in things with arrows and winning a prize for it?! No, really. I would totally watch archery. Especially if my only option was volleyball. And why were my choices so limited while my friends had the world at their fingertips? Because my friends have cable! 

No matter. We’re cool.We would just catch the highlights of all the good stuff after 7:30pm. After dinner, armed with my super-sized box of Junior Mints, we resumed our position on the couch, thanking the Olympic committee that Women’s Volleyball coverage was good and over. And had moved on to Beach Volleyball.

Kill me now. And sign me up for cable.

Wow. This was way bigger on my computer screen.