About an hour after I changed my three year old I start to feel kind of achey, I pour a small glass of bourbon and get in the hot tub. The next morning i notice my arm is glowing bright red..... As soon as my wife sees it she panics...after a heated discussion debating a pricey emergency room visit vs. a low budget CVS minute clinic visit I find myself at the latter. My nurse's name is Meg Ryan. I kid you not. She ignores my mildly sarcastic question of how it was working with Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle and instructs me to go to the ER immediately.
Day 1: Diagnosis: Staph Infection. I am moved into a dual occupancy room with a patient who has Terret's syndrome and another vague unknown problem. That night the 1998 movie "You've got Mail" is playing on our shared in-room TV and my roomate is randomly shouting obscenities at Meg Ryan every 15 minutes. I receive one odd email from M ANDERSON with SUBJECT: OUT OF NETWORK. I move to spam folder and fall alsleep.
Day 2: Boredom has set in. After watching the pilot of Twin peaks on my Ipad I convince my night nurse I have serious back pain due to the vinyl rubber hospital bed so she allocates pain meds to sleep..... I awake at 2am in a vicodin haze and look down to see Michael Anderson from Twin peaks fame sitting next to me in a red polyester liesure suit drawing my blood. Realizing I'm in dream mode I ask him what it was like to have been hired by Federico Fellini to stand as a statue and not move for 3 hours for a party. I also asked him if he could grab me a Hoodsie cup from the nurse's fridge. He get's up and says: "Allinav evah yeht" which made perfect sense since the last time I had seen him was 20 years ago at a small performance space in Williamsburg NY where he read his own poetry backwards. As I recall his drink of choice was peppermint Schnapps (repulsive) and he drove an emerald green caddilac.
Day 3: A fairly odd visit from my father in law. My father in law was not even finished asking how I felt before he answered his own question telling me that I am probably weak and confused and not thinking straight. He then tells me how every morning in the shower while the shampoo is in his hair he does mornining calisthetics because he does not want to waste the idle time waiting for the shampoo to set in. He also announces that because they only watch TV once or twice a week they are getting rid of cable TV. I then ask why they just recently bought a 40" plasma TV only to be able to watch 3 channels. I then get a 10 minute lecture on the merits of the Large Blue Exercise ball at his gym that improves balance and mental instability.
Day 4: Out Of Network. Unknown to me the hospital has decided to bring ina plastic surgeon (convieniently out of my network) to look at my finger that evening. Tired of eating bland hospital food and drinking warm water I order chinese to be delivered to my room. As I'm waiting for my food to arrive a gorgeous asian woman in a fur coat walks in with a large bag (think Lucy Liu in Kill Bill). I'm getting ready to ask her if she brought extra dim sum sauce when she whips out a needle about 15 inches long and injects my infected finger. Every last bit of fleeting lust I had for this beautiful plastic surgeon evaporated in seconds as I instantly experienced a new threshold of pain. My terrets roomate starts singing the oompah oompah song from Willy wonka.
Day 5: Internet withdrawl. As I'm walking down the hall from my hospital room in a complete mental funk I realize that the paper napkin that passes for a hospital gown is fully exposing my ass to the people behind me. I am completely unapologetic and start knocking on doors and asking patients if they've seen the Pigman. I walk into a space that looks like the common area in One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. I sit down at and a computer and get on Facebook. Should I "check in" at Valley Hospital? I accept friend request from Michael Anderson.
Day 6: I am finally at the finnish line of this absurd hospital circus marathon and am walking down the hall with my bag packed when I remember I left a yellow legal pad in my room. When I get back to my room my bed is completely made up perfectly and there is a business card on my pillow that reads:
Michael Anderson "Little Man at Large"