Friday, October 27, 2006

I hate them all

Friday morning, the 13th, I woke in the uncomfortable hospital bed. My blessed wife was with me.

I had not eaten since dinner on the 11th. I have a really fast metabolism, which is why I've been so skinny my entire life. I woke hungry. Not just hungry but starving, as in, pain throughout my whole body.

"Need food" I wrote or said to my dear wife. The plan was that they were supposed to tube feed me in the morning. They didn't, not until 10:30 AM. I wrote them notes, I rang for the morning nurse, I tried to talk to them. Various bureaucratic delays stood in the way. Every other word from me was "food." Well, not quite, because every other sentence, to my beautiful wife, was "I hate them." I hated everyone who was making me starve.

Finally they allowed me a prepackaged apple sauce. I lay on my back and dipped the spoon into it, then put it, upside down, into my mouth, to ingest the residue. I had learned from my diabetic friend Tiberius that the mouth can absorb some nutrients directly. Once when he was browning out, we went into a store to get orange juice. As the sudden crowd of people appeared before him in line, he drank about two ounces, paid, and threw the rest away. Then we went to lunch.

In the hospital, I felt much better after a couple of licks of the spoon. I dosed myself with apple sauce residue to keep the crazy tissue-burning hunger at bay.

After some dallying, they poured some water and Jevity formula into my stomach.

If it goes in too fast, I feel a cold sensation on my Adam's apple. That's a sign to stop or slow down. I asked my ingenious wife to cover the tube with a paper cup to slow down the flow. I think she may have not pressed on the cup to form an air seal, because the flow was rapid. I was not watching. The morning nurse, not the idiot, observed this attempt at regulation, and then asked me what my career had been.

Computer programmer.

She nodded. I thought she was going to compliment me for being so smart, so I raised my finger to my temple.

"Ah," she said "that's why you like to make everything more complicated."
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