Monday, December 12, 2011

Suburbs of Our Discontent

I've seen my fair share of hospital interiors this Fall. I've been fine, but the rest of my little family has been having a rough time of it. The only upside is that I've been able to milk my insurance plan for every benefit possible, which (I have to admit) appeals to the bargain shopper in me. I'm that person who saves all of those punch-out haircut cards and actually gets that tenth free one for her kids.

Friday, my husband had knee surgery at one of Boston's finest establishments (no, not Number 9 Park--although it would have been awesome to be eating some foie gras gnocchi to keep my mind off how I'd never be able to find our retirement accounts if he didn't make it out alive).

After we checked in, they gave us one of those light up, vibrating disk things they give you at Panera while you're waiting for your order: "Number 257, your tuna sub and gas mask are ready for pick-up at the nurses' station."

Once ours went off, we were allowed through to the other side of the magic doors and to my husband's "table." The staff were all fabulous. Fast service, but not too obsequious. And he must have been asked by five different people which knee was being operated on. Number six came with a marker and wrote a big "Z" on the correct one. I appreciate that kind of attention to detail, especially when someone I love is about to be drugged and cut into.

It was the first time he'd ever been under general anesthesia, and apparently he was a laugh riot. I wouldn't know because I was out in the waiting room trying to remember the password to the savings account.

Actually, I used the three hours to finish up Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, a book about overbearing magicians, fantastical circus acts, and a tragic love affair that's based loosely on The Tempest and influenced by the sensory theatrical experience of Punchdrunk Theater Company's take on Macbeth, "Sleep No More." Reading it, in fact, reminded me of going to see that mind-altering production. I loved every second of it—the show and the book.

So maybe my husband got the hospital-grade high, but I was mainlining me some Shakespearean inspiration. Not bad. And I didn't even have to file a claim for it.

1 comment:

  1. Ach, Caroline, hope your life gets easier soon and EVERYONE in your family stays healthy and well.

    (And FWIW, whenever I think about my husband being hit by a bus, I move quickly past grief and onto obsession about Quicken passwords and online auto-pays.)