Mono Love

Original post from Dec. 2004

Yeah so here it is. I have Mono. I can still move, mostly, but this is whacked out. Currently I’m typing with my only functional muscle, my tongue. I guess that’s how this trouble started to begin with…
As if having Mono isn’t lame enough, I started puking the other day and couldn’t stop. I mean full on, bile-purging love. Couldn’t keep water down. Sucked on ice cubes. Almost hurled on many students, papers, and colleagues. Finally, went to the ER.
In the ER, you see and hear many strange things. One might be Edith, the woman in the psych ward who “wants her meds.” She shuffles up and down the hallway, until a security guard leads her back to the room at the end just past my curtained area. Over and over again. She has a speech impediment.

“I wama medsth. I wama paxthl.” She is not much older than 30. Glasses. Mousy brown hair, straight, in her eyes. Shuffle shuffle shuffle.
Across the hall you see the man with tattoos on his room phone, loud. “I gotta see the surgeon. I’m in the ER! They found a growth in  my pelvis. . . “

A tech walks by and asks if he needs more morphine. “Did I tell ya they already gave me morphine?” I want to be in that room.

The heavy happy nurse makes me comfortable. She sits me up, positioning the sad excuse for a Craftmatic Adjustible so that I can relax. I know it’s a gurney with a pad on it. Everything is functional in the ER. I respect the equipment.
It’s cold in the ER. Nipple-rock-hard cold. I’m glad I left my bra on under the flimsy pilled gown. It ties in the wrong places, and drapes open if I lean too far in any direction. For fat people. The happy nurse sees me shivering after she plucks my vein and brings me a second sheet straight from the dryer. “Feels like Bermuda, doesn’t it?” Who knew? A Bermuda day on a December Kingston night. I love dryer fresh clothes, so I cuddle under it’s veneer. The saline drip drip drips.
Shuffle, shuffle. Meds. Morphine. “I need a good meal!” The man across the hall is protesting his sugar count. “Of course it’s terrible. I’m diabetic and I haven’t eaten all day!”
Drip. Drip.
Happy nurse announces, “Now I need some urine.” I’ve always got plenty of that, honey. Help yourself. She pushes a bed pad under me “just in case.” I remember aloud that we used the same kind for the terminally ill cat I nursed for a year, until he died in September. Catheter time. The tube is small and silly. It isn’t long enough. Happy nurse comes back with the big one and a bag. I figure this can’t feel any worse than the vice grip-salad tong- Q-tip slam at Planned Parenthood. Here goes. “Deep breath,” she says. Done. Happy nurse is going for her Bachelor’s and has 2 cats and a golden-shepherd mix. I tell her they make better friends than most people. She nods.
I drift in and out of the shuffle, the meds, the drips. A tech turns off my light.

Happy nurse checks my lactated ringers and pops some anti-nausea meds into the IV. Good times. 
When it’s done, I smell like old people. I know what is in store. The urine reek, the blood stained sheets, the cold. I could never fall asleep easily anywhere. Not even home. I don’t mind hospitals, but hate the idea of having to stay there alone overnight. But from 7 PM-1:30 AM, I got some great nap time in. Best sleep in years. Thank you, mono. Thank you, stomach virus.


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