No, it's not like in prison or in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." I just had to be in an isolation ward because I had what the medical staff initially thought was the flu but turned out later to be croup. Some people think only infants and very young children can contract croup, but I am living proof that such is not the case. The staff has given me free access to cable and videos, my cell phone, and my laptop, but until today, I haven't really felt like doing anything other than lying around watching an occasional TV rerun. I'd never watched much Law & Order, but for several days reruns seemed to come up on my television screen, and I lacked the energy even to reach for the remote and change the channel despite my overall lack of interest in any of the Law & Order programs. I was so drugged up that I couldn't keep the different genres of L & O straight, and I'd keep waiting for Sam Waterston to pop up in the SVU version, or wondering where the he!! Mariska Hargitay was when watching an episode of the mothership variety.
Then they had to throw me a curve by airing an episode (I don't know if these were really airing or if some nurse had preseed an "On Demand" button to show L & O, thinking she was doing me a favor) where this Diane Neal lady was one of the killers. On the very next episode I saw, the old ADA (the one played by Bobby Flay's wife) had flown the coop and the previous killer, Diane Neal, had become the new ADA. In my drug-induced stupor, it was too much to follow. That purple codeine cough syrup is powerful stuff.
Psychiatrists are MDs, but they don't often deal with the common garden variety of childhood illnesses. My Uncle Steve called to talk to me. In my drug-induced state, God only knows what I might have been telling him. (I was probably about as lucid as that girl in the Youtube video who had just undergone anaesthesia for a dental procedure and was carrying on about flying with unicorns to the land of blueberries and then started doing some rap about Jesus.) When Uncle Steve heard my cough, he immediately hung up on me (common courtesy doesn't exactly run rampant in my dad's side of the family) and called the nurse's station. He told the nurses to get a pediatrician, and not one who's a child pychiatrist, into my room ASAP. He said I had either pertussis (whooping cough) or croup, and it needed to be diagnosed and treated. It ended up being croup, which was the lesser of the two evils.
I'm still in isolation for a couple more days, but my Uncle Ralph came to visit, and they let him take me out of the hospital to pick up take-out food and eat it on the beach. I had to wear a mask until I got out of the hospital, and then had to put it back on before re-entering, which I found mildly interesting. The medical staff doesn't particularly care if I infect the entire population of the city where my facility is located as long as the hospital's occupants (staff and patients) are protected from me. One of the nurses said it's just an outdoor versus indoor sort of thing, which is why we had to get take-out food and eat it on the beach as opposed to eating inside a restaurant, and I wasn't even allowed to go inside the restaurant with my Uncle Ralph to pick up the food. The doctor said breathing the moist ocean air would be good, and I have felt better since then, although I'm still a bit drugged.
My aunt Heather is coming tomorrow. I hope I get to leave the hospital for awhile with her as well. The other inmates text me and phone me and talk to me through the window of my room, but I'll be glad to get out of isolation. everyone who enters my room has to wear a protective gown and mask. I feel as though I'm Typhoid Mary.
Judge Alex was interesting today. The judge ruled that a young black woman had been attacked by a middle-aged and slighly off-kilter white woman who was the desk clerk for a hotel at which the younger woman was attempting to check in. The younger woman's eleven-year-old daughter was called to testify. This is significant to my situation in one regard: the eleven-year-old girl already has boobs! Judge Alex is trying to ruin my self-esteem by having girls as witnesses on his show who are significantly younger than I yet already have the beginnings of breast develpoment! What's the deal, Your Honor? Are you doing this on purpose? Is that one of the questions your production staff asks of potential litigants regarding their witnesses? (As in, "Regarding your daughter, whom you plan to have testify on your behalf . . . How would you classify her state of physical development?") Or do they just come right out and ask for bra sizes? Or do they request photographs?
In any event, Judge Ferrer, showing girls much younger than I who look much older is giving me a complex.
P. s. I'd like to give a shout out to Matt, Becca, and Marianne. Also, I'd like to give a shout-out to Benny, who has to be the cutest clown in history.