St. Elsewhere

Beltane and the Recovery Moon

Kate’s going to be in the hospital one more day. They want to be sure the j-tube is working, no leaks. A gastric function test today with contrast. Like making sure all the plumbing is in order after sealing the wall. Not sure what they’ll do if they find a leak.

Today it feels like I woke up in a Truman Show simulacrum, one focused on medicine, a Grey’s Anatomy in which Kate and I are a plot thread about medical issues affecting the geriatric demographic. Maybe I’ll drive out to Littleton Adventist this morning and someone there will tear a hole in the screen separating us from the cameras and crew.

Having Kate back in the hospital has flashed forward the bleed and its long aftermath, the second bleed, the pneumothorax. On the first day she’s gone my reaction is to be self-indulgent. Eat poorly and watch a lot of TV. Yesterday was hot dogs, ice cream and several sessions of Big Mouth, a Netflix cartoon about hormonal middle-schoolers. It’s surprisingly good, recommended by Ruth. Not sure why I have this reaction, marking her absence surely, but why self-indulgence?

Tom Crane’s guy.

I suppose those are denial strategies. Eat and forget. Watch and forget. Suppress. Repress. Good thing I have this bandage stripping habit. Wouldn’t want to get stuck. My inclination these days, these third phase days, is to be more forgiving of myself. As somebody said, if your compassion does not include yourself, you are not yet (something): fully compassionate, enlightened, realistic? Ah. Looked it up. It is incomplete.

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