the TB report, Sunny Monday edition

Regardless of the fact the I’m STILL in the hospital, the birds are chirping, the sun is making its way through the clouds, the Sox won on opening day, and I’m still kicking in the TB ward. And so happy Monday.

I’m doing my best today to stay positive, as I was told this morning I’m probably not leaving before Thursday and even then, I’ll be home for at least 1-2 weeks recovering. Really? I’m lazy’s biggest cheerleader but jeez. 2 more weeks of this? I need to get out. I HATE to be contained.

I want iced coffee (big dreams here, in the land of no ice) and I want flip flops (toe painting was last thursday’s craft of the day) and I want to get in my car, turn up the music (kings of leon) and go to the coast and keep the windows down. I want to wear cotton skirts that blow with the wind and barely there tank tops, sans undergarments (I hate them). I want my skin to tighten and sting with salt and goose bumps all over from seas yet to be warmed. I want to sun my milky skin and see freckles and pink cheeks in the reflection of a bar that serves wicked mojitos until the sun comes up.

Those are things I want. What I have is my sweats, my ipod, my sock-boots, my little hospital bed, the patience if a five year old and an imagination that is insatiable, colorful and tormented.

And so I’m teaching the German nurses about the American way. So far I’ve introduced them to peanut butter cups, thin mints, cheez-its and Robert Pattinson (who I actually think is a Brit, but they don’t know him or the difference). Yesterday I was very excited about opening day and so I gave them a crash course on my favorite rivalry, Sox v. Yanks. It was lost on them, though. I won’t be talking baseball anymore in the tb ward.

I told them about Maine, which to them could have been Narnia, about the beaches and the woods and one made a snapping claw and I rewarded her with a peanut butter cup and said, Loooob-ster, slowly and with a look of importance. I take lobster seriously. Nurse Maggie shouted, “oh! Lobster!” With a look in her eye of longing, and I understood instantly when she said, “30 years ago I tried lobster, when I was 30. Never again.” Well, it just broke my heart. It was like she’d once been kissed in better years, sweet and rich, and then left only with the memory of the lobster that once was. After vowing never to tell her about the year I ate 5 lobsters in one sitting, (summer of the 2.75/pound lobster–2008) I made a mental note to find her a lobster, cook it and bring it to her.

Then one of them set me off. I drew a map of New England, to show them where I’m from, and one of those vile hags dared to say, “oh, like Canada.”

No, not like fucking Canada. Not LIKE CANADA AT ALL. My inner monster started shrieking and my head almost exploded. “No, nothing like Canada.” I was trying to be nice to the sleeping pill keepers but this Canadian shit was making it increasingly difficult.

“What’s the difference?” The evil one smirked and I made a note to never bring out my cookies on her shift.

I tried to think of a few good stereotypes to help my cause–my lack of balls comment, but they thought I was saying something about testicle cancer and my point was lost. I tried the “they’re kind of like having an insecure, boring, younger sibling” trick, but that didn’t work. I tried to explain my dislike for the french-canadians in particular (1/4 of my family being french canadian so RELAX) and their eyes lit up, but I assume only because they thought I was talking trash about France, which I was not. I just left it at a comparison between the Schwabians and the non-Schwabians and they nodded solemnly, as though I just pointed out a very important truth.

I never said I was rational or fair. Just outspoken.

There was one last important lesson of the evening…I asked Maggie why she was the only nurse on the floor and she reassured me it wasn’t so bad, with her Jumper around. Jumper? She wasn’t wearing a jumper. I must have looked confused because she thought hard before coming up with helper instead.

“Oh! You mean a candy striper?” I asked, delighted to know what a jumper was. Now she looked confused. How to explain..
“Mmm, I think 30 years ago, American jumpers wore white nurse suits with pink stripes. You know, like a candy cane.” Then I curved my arm over my head like a hook and hoped I looked like a candy cane.

“Oooohh. Candy stripper.” Ha ha ha. Teaching Germans CAN be fun. 🙂

“No, STRIPER. Like the fish.” Ugh, we weren’t going anywhere with this.

“I will have to tell all my friends about candy striper.”

I really hope she says stripper.