Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hospital Apple Juice

Sunday afternoon. I'm often drenched in boredom and disbelief, but lying around the house waiting for an acclaimed TV Drama to start can feel so much like succumbing to the end of the weekend instead of skipping all over it until it's through. Also, there's a toddler, so lying around the house feels more like being stuck in the doldrums only to be discovered by wild, hungry birds.

Anne Lamott says that one of the gifts of being a writer is that "it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore" so last Sunday we went to Sea Port Village despite both Scott and I having subtle stomach aches and notably low energy. We parked next to a vintage VW Beatle with a Terrorists Don't Surf bumper sticker. The energy of countless others was here, so surely it would be contagious. 

I wanted to take Avalon on the merry-go-round first. Fortunately, she was as eager as I was with a don't-mess-with-me expression and the hope for magic in her eyes as we waited in the unofficial line. We picked a brown horse that didn't go up-and-down--a good jumping off point, I thought. We waved for photos and took in the blurry sights. The carousel was nearly 150, what a good many souls had been here first. 

Ten minutes later we ran into a street performer drawing a crowd big enough to block the board walk. Maybe we should've cared, but I felt curiously contaminated and the urge to be away from others so we tried to make our way through the masses. After one glance it was also apparent that this crowd and I probably wouldn't laugh at the same movies. The performer was a clown trying to swallow a three foot long green latex ballon and he was about half way through doing it. "I can't look. I'm going to throw up!" I told Scott. He said he felt like he was going to too, which I thought was odd since, as my friend Heidi said, tandem throwing up isn't a symptom of pregnancy. Ten minutes after that, we were both taking turns in the public restrooms like true carnival goers with indulgent, but sensitive stomachs. I thought it was what I had made for lunch. As we made our way home "Thank God I have Rubber floor mats" and "What if this is part of an unseen next chapter for the baby" were my only thoughts.

We ended up in the E.R. that night. I had a 101 fever and desert-floor cracked lips that came with an all consuming fear that I had gotten listeria from the spinach I put in our pasta for lunch. And how was I supposed to tell the nurse that I was cooking with, in all likelihood, expired white wine? Skip's heartbeat was 150 though. All signs pointed to a virus that was rampantly going around. 

Scott probably won't appreciate me including this, but when the nurse asked us where we were on the pain scale I said four and he said eight. In all the panic and nausea I couldn't help gloating (quietly and to myself) that this must be because he's never had a baby. 

At around midnight, I got on an IV and felt higher than I have in years. I told Scott I almost asked the attendant if he got his clothes from the moon. "Would that have been a four or an eight on the funny scale?" I mused in the shadows of the machines. 

"A three" he said contemptuously.

When I inquired about where his ankle sprain from two Christmases ago ranked on the pain scale and he told me an eight again I had to protest. 

"There. is. no. way! A ten would be like if someone cut off your foot with a chainsaw and gave you no meds. Tripping on your pajamas and twisting your ankle could not have been an eight!" 

He says you have to change the scale depending on the injury and circumstances. I say a 10 is essentially being dead.   

Finally, the hospital apple juice arrived just before 1 a.m. To me, this is one of the only perks of being in a hospital. It's the thing I am looking forward to second-most when I have my second baby--good, small ice-cube-chilled, hospital apple juice. 

Yesterday was Wednesday and we were all back to our semi-usual lives. When Scott came home from work he and Avalon sat in the front yard and flew the drone to the sunset. I was watching from the kitchen window washing pasta dishes. Trapeze Swinger came on. It will always be one of my favorite songs even though when I saw Iron and Wine in concert some guy told me to "Shut up!" for requesting it. All the vague religious tones made me think more about Easter. I had been putting the final touches on Avalon's basket only a few hours earlier. I haven't been talking to God as much lately. I've had a nearly constant dialogue going with Him since this time my favorite climbing tree on the playground seemed to be dying when I was in second grade. But with our health, this beloved song playing and the sight of my husband and daughter playing in the yard, I felt like he was still communicating with me all the same.

+Happy Easter and passover to everyone!

p.s. Easter basket stuffings:
(one stuffed with dried bananas, one with strawberry licorice and one with dark chocolate, foil-wrapped eggs)
+A goat's milk soap bar, Annie's granola bar, a vintage tin of tamari almonds (our favorite), a Peter Rabbit Pear and Peas Packet and a new, big-girl fork and spoon.
+All signs point to me being the person who hands out tooth brushes at Halloween. 


  1. Devon! I'm so glad you're feeling better! You poor thing. I can't even imagine a stomach bug while pregnant. I felt like I was going to throw up just reading this.

  2. Poor you, I do hope you're both feeling all better now. My partner is absolutely hopeless with pain. If he gets cramp you would think he was in labour. The gasping! The yelling! I can't help laughing. Glad you are both home and recovering. Look after yourself sweetie. CJ xx

  3. So glad you're feeling better!!!

    PS I started talking to God again. I had a really, really rough month last month. I'll tell you more soon. I'm trying to get back into writing on my blog. oxox


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