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My temp was 95 F. It’s generally 96.9, or sometimes a degree lower, according to my $4 Kaiser digital home thermometer, which I was enamored with for nearly a day after I bought it on a Kaiser pharmacy shopping spree. I get all excited when I go to pick up a prescription, because they have a mini-drugstore of over the counter stuff that is pretty heavily discounted to Kaiser members.

The last time I picked up vitamins, a hot and cold gel pack, generic Claritin and a box of latex surgical gloves. Generic versions of Claritin are still about a $1 a pill most places, but a bottle of 30 at Kaiser is $5. It feels like functional socialism. I got the latex gloves for mechanic work. They are hella spendy anywhere else, but an enormous lifetime supply box at Kaiser is $10. It's handy to be able to, say, change your oil and not have to scrub for days to get the black oil out of your skin and get past smelling like a wildlife victim of Valdez.

Saturday morning, I woke up too early but, having been given my narcotics already, I knew I would not be going back to sleep for a while. I wasn't sleepy but felt too tired to write anymore. I did anyway though; it's fun to read afterward, and it's a good distraction when bored and hurting. The nurse brought a Wellbutrin and a Dicloxacillin and a little bit of crushed ice to get them down. I was on a food and water embargo. It was 7:52 AM. Maybe I could stand a nap.

At 9:49 AM, the orthopedic surgeon, a folksy older white man (golfer?) assisted by a professional young Asian woman (volleyball?) came in to tell me that the schedule was still uncertain. More news in an hour. Another Kaiser-lifer doctor in the hall distracts him and they start talking about retirement. "Ha you still here?"

"Here till you leave! Are you still here?" Chuckles ensue and something about the system thinking he was retired but he still shows up for work. The two docs fade out as the young resident approaches to introduce herself and the doc, who is already halfway down the hall. She leaves to check on things and suggests she will return with an update within the hour. The surgeon is ready but they need a room and a surgical team. It may take all day to set it up.

Nurse comes in to take vitals and give morphine. Someone from admissions asks if anyone can come by to pick up my stuff for me. Not really? She'll have admissions check it in for me. She says I have an unusual array of things that should go into the safe deposit box. A PowerBook, Palm Pilot, phone, my CDs, keys, wallet, motorcycle helmet and gear. It won't all fit though. I guess most trauma victims think ahead and carry less stuff with them when they get run over.

I need a washroom again. Feels like the pills are stuck in my throat, but I can't drink anything. And I should call people. But first a washroom adventure. I tried taking my loose gown top off and got it all tangled up with my IV hose and saline bag. What an ordeal. This SFGH issued outfit is not exactly stylish. It's 'one size fits obese', so I am pretty much out of luck. I tied up the pants' drawstrings to where they'd stay up, but it still felt like Hammer Time, all the time. I washed my face and hair a bit in the sink. Somehow I wasn't getting stinky, but I definitely was looking sketchy.

I shuffled back to my bed shirtless with my wheeled saline drip, shrouded with my muu-muu top, as a pathetic caboose. I put the gurney side rail down to simplify getting back in bed, figured out my IV / gown puzzle and picked up the phone. Dead. The broken phone jack had fallen out of the wall again. Crawled around getting it plugged back in with my good arm. All long distance numbers still ring busy so I can’t call my family. Aww.

I called up some friends but nobody was around Saturday morning. It must be nice out. I left some messages with friends with local numbers, but most of my people have mobile phones with a number that isn't a local call in the City, so I couldn't ring them.

Part III > Freaking Out


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