Monday, October 17, 2011

Worm Water and Bedpans

     The year I turned 13 was not my favorite summer. I don't think we had ambulances in Clarksville then because Dr. Manley came in a small beige car to take me to the hospital when I hurt my leg jumping from a tree.  After seeing it was actually broken, the doctor put his arm around my waist to help me up. I told him he couldn't carry me to the car. His breath smelled of cigarettes when he said, "I'm not. You're going to hop."  My foot flopped up and down with each step.

     I had to stay a couple of nights in the hospital with my foot iced before the swelling went down enough to have it set. Trying to save the nurse some trouble one busy night, I attempted to get the heavy metal bedpan out of the drawer beside the bed. Luckily I had not used it yet when I dropped it on the tiled hospital floor. The nurse said she knew what had happened when she heard the loud clatter.
     The night before I was scheduled for surgery, this same nurse told me I would not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight. This seemed to worry me more than the surgery itself. I must have whined about it because she said they might let me have a sip of worm water.  WORM water? I pictured dirty water with worms settling to the bottom. She laughed and said, "No, warm water." I didn't need any water at all.

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