Monday, July 31, 2006


Across from me, Martha dozes in a recliner. To her right Alan is sleeping, his head on the hand that has the monitor connectors taped to it. From the other hand the IV tube snakes away up to the clear bag of steroids and antibiotics and painkiller.

He's okay. What we thought was strep was in fact a nasty tonsil abscess. A couple hours ago the ENT doctor lanced it, and after a period of spitting out blood and pus and looking miserable, he was looking a little more cheerful and asking when we could go home. And not long after that he fell asleep. Martha and I went out to grab some food. Came back, and he was still asleep. So now we're just waiting to see how he feel when he wakes up -- good enough to come home, or should he stay the night?

The setting sun filters through the blinds. It's very peaceful here. I've never been in a hospital where it was peaceful, before. Maybe it's because we're in the pediatric wing, for reasons I don't fully understand -- Alan is sixteen and I'm guessing the the only six-foot patient in this wing. But anyway, it doesn't have the constant irritating sounds, the insistent ringing of bells and beeps and pagings that generally make hospitals hellish. I've never quite understood the theory behind making sure that people can't rest in hospitals, though it seems to be widely accepted. But anyway, here, and now, it's actually pretty quiet. The high-pitched almost-whistle of the air conditioning. The occasional fussing of a baby. Alan's barely-audible snoring.

Update: Alan's home today and much improved. Thanks for all your kind words!

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