Band-Aids and Blood

I have a right to be tired today since yesterday, I spent the day waiting in a little green room for Mike to get out of knee surgery. Waiting, when it comes to surgery, is exhausting. Then, I should tell you about how we met Bob later, Bob the night nurse. Bob ran a tight ship. There was no blood on the sheets, no bandages under the bed, and the heart rate monitor was silenced, though it displayed Mike’s heart rate as wobbling between 118 and 121 for all to see. Bob was a good nurse. The EKG was over and done before they seemed to have time to print up the sheet for the doctor. Efficient. I think it’s good for Nick to see people like Bob doing his job. Bob was tough. You don’t mess with Bob, but he was a nice nurse, a caring nurse. Huh.

Plus, the doctor at the ER was this tiny little woman, a smart woman, who flounced into the brand new patient room where we were sent when we first arrived, began to ask us questions about Mike’s heart rate, which was too high for too long, looked embarrassed for a moment, then told us she’d come back in a bit after the nice Hispanic guy was done putting about fifteen electrodes on Mike’s chest and arms. Our floucing tiny smart doctor was surprised, after sending Mike for the warming effect of the contrasting MRI and the half a gallon blood draw, that oxycodone could actually wake some people up and make their hearts go boom, boom, boom too fast for comfort. I was surprised about that too. Oxycodone makes me sleep and when it wears off, I wake up feeling as though I’d been dead. We also discussed the warming effect of the contrasting MRI until our sweet smart doctor turned a little pink and changed the subject. I had one of those MRIs. It made me feel as though I’d peed my pants and I’d been glad the technician had warned me ahead of time. I didn’t say anything about peeing, but she was embarrassed anyway.

So we all got home from the ER at about 5:30 am, just in time for me to make breakfast smoothies and go to bed. Unfortunately, in the four hours I slept, people strategically sent text messages at half hour intervals so that I slept no more than 45 minutes at any one time. Those morning people.

So it isn’t surprising to me, after taking the dog for a very wet and muddy walk, stopping for three kinds of macaroni and cheese at the market for our taste testing, the market where they hugged me when I told them about how I’d pulled an all-nighter, and stopping to get three movies, some music, and a book from the library, it was hard for me to get myself up off the recliner to make dinner. Mike was toe to toe with me, only in his spot on the couch, his bad knee properly propped up above the level of his heart, which reasoning we discovered late last night when Mike tried to put on his own shoes to get ready to go to the ER and left droplets of blood on the foyer floor. So having him so close, mostly comfortable, and normalized when it came to his heart rate, I eased out of my adrenaline rush and into those first warm, fuzzy moments of sleep. I felt as though I was going down into an oxycodone-induced sleep.

“What’s for dinner?” Mike asked me. It was nice to see he’d gotten more interested in food. I had to work to open my eyes, just a little.

“You’re options are left-over roast chicken that I bought yesterday, but no one ate, chili, or Dijon chicken I picked up from QFC,” I said. “Personally, I’m in favor of making the dinner that asks for he least amount of effort.”

“Roast chicken sounds good, then,” Mike said, still with interest. This is why I love this man. Did I tell you how, earlier, when I got to the dog park, there weren’t any other dogs there and I walked around the grassy knoll with Teddy, looking for stuff to take a picture of? Did I tell you that I ended up bursting into a flood of relief tears.

“He’s okay,” I said over and over, out loud as I walked, because I could act like a crazy woman without anyone seeing or caring out there in the blustery day with my dog. Then, thankfully, other dogs didn’t arrive until my tears dried and I began to look more normal, though I had a pretty nice case of hair-fuck from being up all night and not showering. Teddy had some time to roll around in the mud with a couple of good friends, tugging on sticks and chasing tennis balls in the rain.

It wasn’t until I got settled onto the recliner later that I felt the weight of my fatigue. I’m not as resilient as I used to be with these all-nighters. This wasn’t as much fun as they used to be either. Some day, I’ll tell you about how I sometimes watched the sun rise in New York city from the vantage of our favorite Greek diner. There’s nothing like a Greek diner after a night of disco dancing with your friends.

It took me at least twenty minutes to get upright from that recliner. I had to fight to do it. Then, I went about the difficult job of microwaving and steaming different parts of dinner, old roast chicken, asparagus, green beans, and used cauliflower. I wondered why my friend, a year ago, insisted that I break each piece of asparagus individually when I could test one of them to see where it broke off and cut all of them the same length in one whack. For grins, I broke each one individually and found that, in the extra two minutes it took to snap each twig, drop a few of them onto the floor, and rinse them in the steamer, I could have cut them all the same length, which is how they ended up anyway. Why wasn’t my friend here now, willing to watch the results of my experiment and be amazed?

I wondered why my lemon pepper smelled like a band-aid. Does lemon pepper always smell like a band-aid? I’d appreciate if you’d go to your cabinet and check that out. Does your lemon pepper smell like a band-aid? I used it anyway. Mike didn’t seem to think it was at all grotesque, though the time when he found a band-aid in his pizza, he kind of went off eating for a while. We got a free pizza out of that one, but who wants a free pizza from a place where a band-aid turned up as a topping?

In my reverie over the band-aids, I learned that steam really does burn hotter than boiling water. How can you get burned by water and steam in the process of making one dinner? I did it. It was a challenge, but, man, I’m up to it.

By the way, the dog refused to clean the spilled parmesan and the asparagus butts off the kitchen floor. Damn dog. Don’t you remember how I dragged my sorry ass out in the pouring rain, that kind of rain that blows the hood off your head so it can wet your miserable looking hair?

Yup. I tell you. It’s dark out now, so it must be time for me to go to bed. Besides, I feel too tired to even eat my dinner. Maybe it was the smell of the band-aids that put me off.

Nope. I’m just tired. It’s 6:56pm and it surely must be time for bed, or rather recliner. Mike is stuck on the couch for one more night and I’m on call to walk with him if he needs to get to the bathroom to pee.

Thank you for listening, jules

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