In Uncategorized on February 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm

 Okay. I’ve been sick. At worst, I have felt like a Hindu learning the finger food was fried, rabid bat, not eggplant crisps. At best, I have felt like the Jersey Shore. Only in the last few days have I felt like reading, much less writing.

The primary culprits were pneumonia and my obstinate idiocy. Feeling crappy at Christmas, I got the docs to prescribe meds in hopes of avoiding the hospital. It didn’t work. I visited my pulmonary doc and when the nurse checked my vital signs, she could have been looking for shrimp in a kosher deli. I did not have any. The worst vital was my blood pressure. Suffice it to say that I have little in common with Abe Lincoln, but at that moment, we shared the same blood pressure.

The young, relatively inexperienced doctor proved so grim in demeanor that he freaked Deirds, who for a while thought the end was near. I had a nice trip to the emergency room, then was checked into a regular room where they shot me up with so many antibiotics that bacteria started fleeing the room like lemmings. I slept for two days, only vaguely aware that I was being visited by somber friends and family who thought they might be viewing my animate carcass for the last time.

Gradually, we returned to reality and relaxed. My appetite returned, and I would heartily recommend the fruit cup for any one unfortunate enough to have a stay at WFU Baptist. I started feeling better (though in this case the bar for comparison was low – I felt better than a desiccated wombat). I started recognizing my hand. The doctors began repeating a weird mantra – “there’s not much reason for you to be here.” Luckily they didn’t mean that my pneumonia was hopeless; they meant that I could be treated as well at home as in the hospital.

The means for treating me was a semi-nefarious device called an infusion pump. The size of a smart phone on steroids, battery operated, having a digital screen (unlit, which meant that Deirds and I could read it only under fluorescents in the kitchen or bathroom or with a flashlight), it pumped liquid antibiotics into me all day and night. This through a “pick” – a two tubed IV hook-up in my arm. Which had to be kept dry. Which meant I had to take 43 second showers with my arm wrapped in Saran wrap with the machine’s alarm beeping. And the bag of antibiotics had to be changed at the same time every day.

I had to bear the device in a “fanny” pack, which posed a physiological problem in addition to the psychological stress. I have no fanny. Where some have butt cheeks, I have mud flaps. What I do have, however, is a nice little pot belly that has developed in the last five years or so. It has the size and shape, though not the texture, of the Christmas wreath outside a condominium door.

Being connected for so long to anything works weird mojo on the mind. I ate with it. I watched TV with it. I urinated and defecated with it. I slept with it. It heard my snores. It heard my night whelps and murmurs. It heard all the conversations between my wife and I cussed it. I swatted at it. I began talking to it. I held it. I petted it. I began telling it my most secret thoughts and dreams. I mailed it a card. The florist delivered flowers. Soon, we became……

Well, you can see where this is going……. Come the day when the nurse finally unhooked us and severed the connection, I took Annelise (yes, I had given her a name) outside and, with the help of a hatchet, a 3 wood (which I hit much better than a driver) and a ball peen hammer, reduced the leech to an Irish stew of wires, plastic splinters, and Mott’s apple sauce in a black fanny pack. Two days later, when the courier from the Baptist pharmacy showed up to get the pump and take it home, he shook the bag. It didn’t jingle or jangle. It made a sound more along the lines of what you’d hear if you took a baseball bat to a baby’s head. The courier shook his head.

“Did you fall down the stairs?” he asked.

I nodded, instantly recognizing that he’d given me an alibi.

“It happens a lot,” he smiled.

Unhospitalized, unhooked and unsick, I have been on the men eventually, within the last several days, have been feeling spunky enough to resume human contact, even type a little. In fact, I have improved to the point where I am almost my old self, at least to the extent where my short term memory is a little iffy. Reread my first paragraph, and you’ll find I am starting to repeat myself a little. So, this is as good a place as any to sign off my first blog of the new year. Don’t worry, faithful readers (all 7 of you) – I’ll be back soon.

Hugs and hickies,


  1. Beno,
    Sorry to hear of your recent illness, but glad you are on the rebound. Since it is Mardi Gras, if you need any alternative medicine treatments I know a lady in the French Quarter who will cure you for a nominal fee. The last time I checked the cost was only three live chickens and a pair of eyes of newt. I also think you did the right thing breaking up( pun intended) with Annelise. She was much to clingy in my book.

  2. You are back….Praise the Lord! Sorry that the Tar Heels shoot fre throws worse than you ever did!

  3. I have been meaning to call you. Glad to hear you are still alive. I did not realize how sick you had been. You know I remember my experience with pneumonia and I lost a few days myself. Thank goodness I did not have to take your Annelise home with me, I would have done it if they would have let me go home. They held me hostage, if I could have gotten a ride home, I would have checked myself out. Take care and hope to see you soon.

  4. Good to hear Annelise is out of the picture, although I had heard fanny packs were back in vogue, Heaven forbid. Glad you are better!!

  5. I’ve got $10 dollars that says you sliced it…

  6. You were talked about and toasted by Messrs Lawson, Calvert, Embree, Wyckoff and me last weekend. I’m sorry I never met Annelise. And you may have been unkind to wombats. Looking forward to you next installment.

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