Well, I can tell you that her talent doesn’t come from her formal education. She dropped out of that as soon as she could, so she didn’t have many people telling her what she couldn’t do or say, and trying to squeeze her onto some shape she couldn’t fit in, which she wouldn’t have done anyway — but her going her own way saved everyone a lot of hassle. But she was a voracious reader, and a discerning one. And she was always happily juiced up. She would have been outrageous if she weren’t so good natured. That’s what gets her through the tough ones like this. She’s a lot like her mother, come to think of it. As one of my sons said, “I’m not sure I could even be a fraction of that upbeat, but that’s her and I’m me.”

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Friday, April 17, 2015

I am an Ungrateful Wretch

Honestly. Its been a week since I woke up alive and fixed in Santa Maria dlas Chapalitas Hospital, and first realized that I was immobilized, catheterized, traumatized, and thirsty in a way that I only associate with cartoon figures seeing imaginary ships go by their deserted  islands.

  Hospital beds are okay. For a while. I was in there for five days and only allowed to be in one position, on my back. Oh my God, did I try! Knees more up, head more down, head more up, bed more up, just hoping that would change something. It didn't, FYI. But here's the thing...Telecable.

    Oh shut up. I know I'm in Mexico, and the dust lays on my heart and all that. Obviously the television channels in the hospital had to broadcast in what the Oklahomans call Mexkin for the benefit of the other hundred patients. And yes, my Spanish should be better. And we had picked a lovely, clean, high quality and low cost Convent hospital to save money. But I really, really wanted to watch TV. 
     In American.

 For the five days, Bruno and I had the choice of CNN and nonstop coverage of Hilary Clintons announcing that she was running for President, (which I did not find to be a particular shocker)  an art film channel that showed odd movies in any old language, and a channel called Panico, that was reliably in English and showed the most lurid and disturbing horror movies imaginable twenty four hours a day.

   We almost always settled on Panico, which is not the best psychological option if you've just had a set of major surgeries and are immobilized on your back in a hospital bed, in that hazy, morphine- drip, round the clock twilight. I watched a number of gruesome vampire movies featuring monsters suddenly losing their minds and eating each other because someone smelled human blood. I cheered them on from my bed prison, knowing that I would have gladly eaten one of the nuns if she had a bottle of  water on her tray. I had a lot of empathy for those hideous ghouls.
     I guess that's a little weird.

Just as CNN was reporting one thing and one thing only, the art movie channel seemed to be obsessed with movies about the mysteries of the Orient. When we could catch one of those in English instead of Croatian or Inuit, any movie that was being shown was a red carpet event.  In this way, I watched  The Painted Veil
 AND The Children of Huang Shi

 at odd hours in my morphine--(close enough to opium, right?)--haze, while Bruno slept in the chair beside me, exhausted from the latest vampire epic.

     Those movies about pre-war China and Japan apparently planted some kind of post hypnotic suggestion in me, because today, home from the hospital, safe in my easy chair with Judge Judy on, a 19th century coolie shuffled across my field of vision, laden with a bamboo pole carrying an inhumane weight of...Walmart bags. I am still on drugs, you know.

    It turned out not to be a coolie at all, but my very own husband, bent over under the weight of gallons of homemade food for my drip feeder. Somehow our Pam marshalled the tribe on my behalf yet again, or perhaps the good natured and kind hearted tribe I live among marshalled themselves, to whip up enough of this stuff to keep me going. You can't imagine how much of it I go through...three times a day, every day. (interested? Here's the list. It all goes into the vitamix, and then into me) When I think that I have spent literally my whole life preoccupied with losing weight, only to find myself at this sorry pass,  obsessed with gaining it back! Take a note, you silly thong wearing adolescents, I was you once. Except not even a stripper would have been able to figure out a thong back in that day.

     Now, as to being an ungrateful wretch, it suddenly occurred to me that I can walk around my house. I can go outside! I can change positions, and I can by God change the channels, bless my infinite variety of apple tv/netflix/ hulu plus. I can't talk, but that's only so I'll be able to talk, and I can't eat, but a family of family and friends have drawn together to make sure I wont slip through any cracks, and that I get the nutrition to heal rapidly, the better to talk your ear off.

    In other words, I'm out of the hospital.


  1. Yay Elliott, I'm sooooo glad you're home and your sense of humour is intact! Love the stripey socks by the way xxxx

  2. That's a lot of food! With all that protein you will be clicking your heels up in no time!!