Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Other Weekend

On Thursday night I had the car packed for travel to Orlando and ZonaCon. My directions were duct-taped to the dash. I was looking forward to buddying up with Kathy Nappier, making new friends, and having a great time.

Shortly after midnight on Friday, less than 12 hours before I was scheduled to do a reading at ZonaCon, Mary experienced extreme abdominal distress. I'll omit the details, but not long afterward I was driving her to Citrus Memorial Hospital.

Long story short, they took a CT scan, which revealed intestinal blockage and a mystery mass that still hasn't been resolved. They inserted an NG tube and hooked her up to an IV. At about the time I would have arrived in Orlando in an alternate universe, Mary was brought up to her hospital room.

I had my netbook with me and used the hospital's WiFi to e-mail Kathy, Marc over at ZonaCon, and family. And then settled in for a weekend at Citrus Memorial.

Mary was discharged yesterday morning, with a bunch of doc follow-ups and two sheets of dietary restrictions.

On Sunday I posted "Beauty" on my Chronicles from Hurricane Country blog, written for the Sunday Scribblings prompt of the same name, #190:

Beauty is Mary, napping in the hospital room in which I type this.

Beauty is the plate of soft solid foods she had for lunch: sweet potato, pork, cooked broccoli and cauliflower, applesauce, soft roll, and coffee. Beauty is her appetizer, a shot of medicine to help intestinal motility.

Beauty is the IV bag she no longer needs and that was here when she needed it.

Beauty is the container of bile hanging on the wall above her bed, because the bile is no longer in her. Beauty is the NG tube that removed it.

Beauty is the hospital staff, the nurses and doctors attending, the physical therapist. Beauty is her roommate and her roommate's visitors.

Beauty is the friends, family, and well-wishers whose messages fly to me here. Beauty is the Internet beaming their good words, and the social networking sites in which those words reside. Beauty is the hospital's WiFi, the netbook on my lap. Beauty is connectivity.

Beauty is the roiling clouds beyond the hospital windows, the intricate storm layers we admire on our slow walks around the floor. The steady rain our county needs. Beauty is the shelter of the hospital, the umbrella I'd brought up from the car when it was still dry outside.

Beauty is catching up on sleep, after the emergency that brought us here.

Beauty is the holiday lights strung along State Road 44 in the heart of Inverness, which lifted my spirits in the bleary night when I drove Mary here. Beauty is the traffic lights that shone on that harrowing way in: green green green green green.

Beauty is the hello meows and purrs from Daisy, played on the beautiful digital recorder I've used to transport our cat's voice here.

Beauty is the hospital cafeteria and its healthy salads that keep me in good working order.

Beauty is living in the moment, trusting in the moment, and waiting for what the future brings.

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys

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