Imagine if you will the two old men sitting in the stalls heckling Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzy Bear and all the rest. I believe their names were Statler and Waldorf.
Well these two characters were in the beds across from me in my BLESSEDLY short stay in hospital.
No. It was not the drugs. They really were.
Statler there on the right was quite partial to walking around in his pjama top and – after his surgeon came around and removed his catheter (thankfully with the curtains pulled) – a pair of adult absorbent pants.
I only know this because the doorway to the bathroom was beside my bed and he only went in there about one hundred times in the 24 hours I was there.
I am certain I would have slept the sleep of the dead was it not for this apparition passing by my bed every other hour clearing his throat/muttering/farting/sighing/muttering/farting. Dudes, I kept waking myself up for fear it wasn’t the morphine but some rohipnol he’d slipped into my clear beef broth (do NOT get me started on how a clear fluids diet almost killed me*) and that I was going to find him trying to slip into my bed.
At one stage, somewhere around 3am when the wonderful nurse was doing my obs he wandered passed in this delightful garb and she just shook her head in disgust and wondered out loud what it was about men and their complete inability to show any level of decorum.
I did feel a bit bad because at the midnight obs he was regaling her with tales of the army manoeuvres that had been carried out on the helipad earlier in the night when in fact it had simply been some car hoons fanging it up Pittwater Road. When I was telling her this she said she’d simply put it down to him having bad dreams as he had been in a labour camp during the war and apparently had some whopping nightmares earlier in the week. Cue mega guilt moment.
Also, I had heard him tell anyone who would listen the day before that at 85 he and his wife had decided they’d had a wonderful life and had the injections and decided they would leave this world together. I don’t know how I feel about that. Sad? Worried? Charmed by the love and life this couple must have shared? When he said this to his surgeon it was not dismissed but just how does one respond when the 85 year old patient you’ve just operated on and have just whipped a catheter out of says something like that? As I was leaving yesterday two other doctors came to see him and they went down to another room to talk to him so perhaps they were called in to talk to him about support when he leaves hospital?
The other dude, Waldorf, was less of a mutterer but what he lacked in verbal output his arse sure made up for. At one stage I thought he was trying to push out a showtune. Between that and the shorty short dressing gown, he was quite a curio.
In the bed next to me was an elderly woman who was having a colonoscopy and gastroectomy the following day. She was in overnight as she’d been in a few weeks earlier for the same thing and they’d discovered an irregularity with her heartbeat so didn’t want her having to drink the three litres of hideous fluid you have to drink for these things at home. She was cranky. Maybe as cranky as I was getting when – after they’d moved the curtain rod over to my side she still insisted on walking on my side of the curtain every time she went to the bathroom, which was about every 15 minutes.
Her and Statler up there were tag teaming the bathroom and I was saying many a prayer that despite being on a drip and drinking copious amounts water my bladder would expand to the size of a small lake and require no toileting whatsoever. *shudder*
It’s around this time that I’d say I am firmly of the belief that the part of growing old which fucks with your body really really sucks. Let’s not even touch on the part that plays with your mind.
The next morning Statler decided he was going for a walk and one of the
saints nurses said, ‘well aren’t you a sight for sore eyes!’ to which he replied he was going for a walk. No, more, ‘oh, I just taut I vuld go for a valk’ to which she suggested they get some pants for him. ‘Oh sorry! sorry’. She was very lovely with him and just pointed out that perhaps no one needed to see his bottom. Oi.
By now I was feeling ready to go home, for no other reason than the fact I don’t really like green jelly for breakfast. Don’t like green jelly at all really.
I’m feeling quite sore but really am up and about.
And that, my friends, is that.
* I don’t care if it was just for dinner and breakfast, a clear fluids diet is just so so sad.