…I Had a Sponge Bath

I tripped over my feet when jogging last Thursday, shattering my phone screen and spraining my wrist in the process. But something happened the next afternoon to make my plight more endurable.

(Quick Medical digression: I take a blood test once a month or so. I have to carefully monitor how efficiently my body allows my blood to clot. A value too high, and it’s a stroke risk, and too low, it’s a bleeding risk, so every week is a nutritional tightrope.)

But the people at Hoxworth are SO attune to these risks, they’ve become routine. And that steadying, approachable, and more routinized way they’ve behaved toward me nudged my life out of the perpetual crisis mode it had been mired in for the past two years.

My primary care doctor, a ferociously dedicated Osteopath, heads the lab, and the PharmD I meet with always shares a laugh or two. She remembers how I worked as a job coach way back when, and how chintzy they were about supplying band-aids. I would always demand that the post-finger-stick external-containment adhesive (I preferred the Fred Flintstone ones) would be clearly visible before the actual medical testing began. She also remembered the funny story I’d told her from my childhood, when a ruthless pediatric nurse told me she was going to count to three and then give me a shot. The Tricksy Hobbitsses counted to TWO and immediately stuck me. I am still QUITE peeved about this. But I digress.

So I’m sitting there in the PharmD’s office, grimacing with my wrist and elbow in a brace, my PT/INR out of therapeutic range – which means that even acetaminophen is a risk, and she mentions that she remembered me from last Summer.

The pharmD’s words knocked me back a little, mainly because the weeks I spent at UC remain a completely reconstructed memory, pieced together from what others have told me. I don’t even remember the last thing I remember, if that makes sense. All I know is that I woke up in the hospital and I had an Achievement Beard.

But the PharmD went on supply a few details, like a few of the docs who faded in and out, like meeting my sister… (whom by some miracle happened to be back in the Midwest for a few weeks)

And she remembered… THE SPONGE BATH.

I have fantasized about THE SPONGE BATH for a long time. Over ten years. A long long long long long long time. Basically, the point being, if I’m ever in a hospital ward and require a purely therapeutic sponge bath, I will lead my bathers in song, THIS song, and become a living legend within the ward.

It was on the Bucket List. And it’s been checked off.

And on that July Day, while still drifting in and out of consciousness. I evidently did this. I sang, and I goaded two male orderlies to sing along with me.

I’ll paraphrase Lucinda Williams. The PharmD lifted my spirits because she remembered how I’d eeked out a hilarious little nest inside her heart, much in the way someone else built a huge nest in mine.  And no, I’m not done grieving. At least there’s Springtime. And disco.





4 thoughts on “…I Had a Sponge Bath”

    1. Thank You, Lan. And don’t forget yourself, and you’ve made such a positive impact in mine. I’m wading my way through your own writing now, piece by piece, and each thing I read sparks a bunch of associations and questions and happily loose threads. Those “asian sloppy joe/Tartar” bites are on the menu, and I’m thinking around May 19th for my trek to Baltimore (Sidenote itself, if my genealogy serves me right, Jenny’s first Cousin once removed was the one doing my PT/INR when I was recovering, and we haven’t figured it out yet.)

      BTW, I’ll be in Louisville next Tuesday. Special Lady Friend is having surgery and I want to make sure she’s a’ight. I’ll think of you guys when I snap a pic from Hillbilly Tea.

  1. This is great!! I love your humor even during scary times. Here’s to crossing something off of your bucket list and to many more lively days of life!

    1. Thanks old friend, your writing has always been here for me when I’ve needed it, too. It’s been too long since secret soup delivery and ancillary randomness. Seriously. we need to talk. 🙂

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