April 19, 2004
I believe that I finally slept off all the drugs the hospital pumped me full of. They wanted to keep me for another couple of days, but I broke out of there before they turned me into a complete vegetable. Demerol is nice when you're in pain, but a steady diet of that shit will make you crazy.
I had conversations with my dead father that were just as real as if he were in the room with me. A clock hung on the wall, but I never knew if it was reading AM or PM. Sometimes, that clock never seemed to move at all. I woke up at night and didn't know whether I was at home, in jail or in Jamaica. I experienced tumultuous dreams.
I had a Nurse Ratched on the night shift. That's a no-smoking hospital and she was right on top of the ball with that crap. I lit a cigarette in the bathroom at 2:00 in the morning one night, and she was there after my second puff. She made me put the cigarette out, and then she stole my lighter.
"It's a fire hazard," she explained.
I'm sitting on the commode in an all-tile bathroom that no pyromaniac in history could ignite with a gallon of gasoline. When is the last time you saw a ceramic bath tub catch fire? Fire hazard, my ass. No wonder the Nazis had little trouble drawing recruits. I'll bet they had an ass of volunteers just like Nurse Ratched.
I don't like hospitals. You run into too many sick people there. I was bad off, but I don't know why they felt the need to strip me of every shred of dignity I own, leave me looking like a fucking junky with all the needle-marks on my arms and tell me to stop smoking at the same time.
What is it about taking vital signs and drawing blood from a blissfully sleeping person that blows their dress up? Whenever I finally fell asleep, I was awoken within an hour by someone wheeling this Gurney of the Spanish Inquisition into my room. This thing was equipped with devices to take my temperature, my blood pressure, my heart rate and my general attitude, which always registered foul.
Once they measured that crap, they broke out the needles and took blood samples. I was stuck by the competent and the incompetent. One night, this apple-cheeked young man visited and stuck me four times without hitting a vein.
He was about to go for #5 when I grabbed his arm. "Ask for help," I told him. "You don't know what the fuck you're doing, and if you stick me again, I'm coming out of this bed and doing my best to whip your ass. I ain't your goddam practice dummy."
He called in another nurse and she hit a gusher on the first try.
Live is a series of adventures, but I don't want to live that one again.
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