Unfortunately, Christopher passed out from low blood sugar behind the wheel of his car. Fortunately, (thank god, thank God, thank God) he was not on the freeway at the time and only hit a chain link fence going very slowly. Fortunately, he received good medical care at the scene and got taken to a decent hospital. Fortunately, I was home when the phone call came and after an interminable wait in the waiting room at the ER, I could see him and be with him without restriction. And Ruth came, and sat with me, and brought salad and little tea candles, and lavender oil, and a book of spiritual poetry.
Unfortunately, he has compression fractures in his vertebrae and it hurts when he tries to move. Fortunately, there are drugs to deal with it--lots of good drugs.
He spent a lot of time today dozing, and having an MRI, and got measured for a back brace by a charming young man with one prosthetic foot.
"What happened?" I asked.
"Farm equipment when I was a kid," he said. "It sucks, but it's how I got into this line of work."
It was clear he really cared about what he did; he was careful and friendly and easy as he made lots of tiny black dots on Christopher's body with a magic marker. Unfortunately, Christopher will be in this brace for the next few months. Fortunately, this will not be permanent, and who knows? Maybe this whole incident has some good things to teach us--like we should meditate, or we'll start doing yoga together, or...
Unfortunately, this accident puts the kibosh on some of C's more ambitious plans for doing the solar paneling on our roof himself. On the other hand, who knows--there could be a silver lining to that too.
I'm feeling the kind of numb I get around hospitals. The smell. Last night as I drove home after spending about eight hours in the hospital--from 3:30 to 11:30 I was immensely comforted by the bare moonlit hills of Castro Valley, and the rich stink of skunk. Okay, it's not a "nice" smell, but it was real. Whereas hospitals have this fake baby-powder smell that is really masking some far ickier scents, and it just makes me anxious.
Fortunately, I could come home and sleep--sort of--in our own bed. The first time i have slept there alone since Christopher moved in two years ago. I am going to cook myself a bunch of garlicky string beans and eat them--an antidote to the abysmal, sugar-laden glop that is available at hospitals--and I admit, there's something about stress and trauma that makes me crave sugar. I feel like eating a king-sized box of movie candy and just disappearing into a PEOPLE magazine. (There was a reader's Digest Ann Rule true crime book at the gift shop which I bought for a dollar and have been reading--all about a dentist who killed his girlfriend and his wife. Very uplifting.)
I asked C how he felt about staying in the hospital one more night as he was dozing off into a morphine haze. "Well, they do have cable, " he murmured. "And then it's hard to beat the food..."
Before we found out exactly what happened, when I was sitting for that interminable hour and a half in the sitting room, imagining stroke, seizure, heart attack, I had told Ruth, "As long as his sense of humor is intact. If he can't walk, that will be a drag, but we'll manage. As long as he still has his sense of humor..."
He can feel all his toes and wiggle them and move his legs. It's just that his back seizes up when he tries to do anything more than that. And it's hard to see him in pain. I think I'll go say hi to the mama feral cat (who is still nursing, even though her babies are almost as big as she is.) Maybe pull a few weeds and eat something green. Then head back to the hospital again.