Some of you know that last Sunday night, my mom was admitted to the hospital with three severe infections. After nearly a week, she is home and doing much better. Now that the worry is abating and life is returning to what we call “normal,” it’s time to laugh about Mom’s hospital adventures.
Sunday night Mom was in really bad shape, as you might’ve guessed. She could barely take two steps without having to sit down or pass out. Climbing the stairs from her basement apartment took an enormous effort, but when we finally got her into the car, it took less than five minutes to get to the hospital.
I parked in front of the ER and flagged a scrub-clad guy with a wheel chair. I told him Mom was near fainting, but when he came to help her out of the van, her comment was, “Why are these guys always so cute?”
I was in no mood to notice, and apparently the personality pepper shaker passed over this guy. He didn’t laugh.
We got Mom into the hospital and then into a triage room. Very soon they determined to admit her, so I was sent home to get the breathing machine she uses at night.
When I returned, Mom’s little room was full. I stood on the edge, but Mom told me, “Come on in. I’m in a room full of beautiful men.” I guess it was true. The guy doing the ultrasound of her leg obviously made time for the gym. But there in the corner, fumbling with a needle and a couple vials, was Mr. Personality.
Mom—despite looking like death in a casserole dish—joked with Big Biceps Man. But judging from Mr. Personality’s aloof expression and overly-gelled hair, he was too cool to even consider a pleasant bedside manner.
The ultra sound tech left, and Mom and I were stuck with Mr. Personality, who poked Mom’s arm and grimaced for probably fifteen minutes. Mom made jokes about being a vampire’s worst nightmare. Finally, he managed to get a vein and famine turned into feast. (Gross, I know.)
He left Mom’s room, swaggered over to the nurse’s station and said, “Oh, yeah. I got it.” I scooted around to the side he’d been on and discovered a few drops of blood on the floor. I told Mom it was slasher-film-gruesome, and we laughed about her being such a “hard stick.”
After awhile, Mr. Personality reappeared, and I moved out of the way. It took me a few minutes to realize what was different about him but when I finally did, I had to hold back my laughter. He was wearing paper pants.
Now I know this must be a safety precaution. Obviously a little blood got on him, and he had to switch out his scrub bottoms for some spares. But here was this young guy with a robust ego standing around in paper pants. It was hilarious.
I guess, if there’s a moral to this story, it’s this: You never know when you might look ridiculous. I’ve had my share of baby-decorated clothing, miscalculations with doors, walls, curbs, and let’s not even get into the stupid things I’ve said in front of people. You can’t take yourself too seriously, and if you happen to be wearing paper pants, you can be sure that no one else takes you seriously either.
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