Escape from the Hospital

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The good news is, I didn’t get paralyzed. Though I must confess, it feels kinda messed up that that’s the good news. But I’m grateful. Now I just want to go home. Far from the doctors and the nurses and their petty tortures and equipment that was made for gnomes and tiny creatures … and used on men.

Like me.

And speaking of me, I don’t feel any different. Honestly not a bit. Is it too soon? Did they do it wrong? Did they give me the pregnancy kind so that now I’ll have a baby? That’ll solve any financial issues I have, had, or will have?

And I bet that book’d sell right out of the gate.

“You’re going to feel a lot better today,” says the doctor, pulling me out of the fantasy where I was rich, published, and with child. “Tomorrow you’ll feel worse. But then you’ll start feeling better and better until the disease leaves your system.”

“How long will that take?” I try really hard to keep the ingratitude out of my voice. All I can think about is feeling worse tomorrow.

“Hard to say. Everybody’s different.”

“So I could be in pain for what? Weeks? Months? Years?” Seriously dude, you can say “NO” at any time here.

“Let’s see what happens. I’ll see you back here in three weeks.”

And he goes off to inflict his signature brand of joy on some other poor, unsuspecting moron like me who thought coming in for pain management was about answers and less pain. I’ve had the promise of neither.

YA Author Tom Hoover on His Escape from the HospitalI wonder if sawing off my arm will hurt more than keeping it?

They walk me down a bunch of twisty-turny hallways to recovery where two kindly older aunt-type nurses offer me a cookie—I choose Fig Newton because I typically don’t eat cookies and it’s the closest thing to healthy they have—and some ginger ale. They also give me back my clothes and tell me to get dressed.

So I do, and they offer more cookies. “No thank you.” Ginger ale? “Yes, please.”

And now I’d like to go home. I know my ride is waiting, cursing me because it took longer than they said it would—it always does; when will I learn?

“Oh, you can’t go,” says the one aunt, like I’ve just asked her the time.

“You have to stay another 45 minutes,” her fraternal twin adds.

“Why?”

“You were given morphine,” says tweedle-aunt. “You have to wait. It’s not safe for you to leave.”

“You’re high,” tweedle-aunter tells me. “Too high to travel.”

“But I just got run through the hallway like a rat in a maze.”

“That’s different.” (The universal response for, “I’m wrong but I can’t/won’t/am not allowed to admit it.”)

I try to fight it with logic. “You’re right. I was even higher then. Less safe. In more danger. Stop me when this starts to make sense.”

Grumbling. Growling.

“You’re gonna wheel me out of here. Everybody knows that you can’t walk out of a hospital. Unless you’re too high to wheel me out.”

More grumbling, growling, and whispering between themselves. They do not like this patient—me.

“Fine. I’ll tell your friend he can pick you up in 20 minutes.”

“10.”

“15,” tweedle-aunter counters.

“5.”

“You’re doing it wrong,” protests tweedle-aunt.

“3.”

“Fine, okay, 10.”

I put on my coat and sit in the wheel chair, take off the brakes, and go tooling around the recovery room.

I’m out in 3 and my arm is killing me.

But I’ve escaped. And for now, that’s all that matters.

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