[First, I have to tell you, I brought Mary our Kindle this morning, and she used the hospital wifi to connect to World O' Crap, and all the well wishes in the comment thread below made her smile. Which is no small feat, as she was in a fair amount of pain, and hungry as hell, having gone without solid food since Wednesday night. But as of press time (I'm writing this at about 9PM Saturday) she's had lunch and dinner and kept both down, and may be home as soon as Monday. Crap, I shouldn't have said that, because now I've probably jinxed it...]
Anyway, I get home from the hospital, eye the Mesa of Lost Laundry and half a dozen other silent, mocking household chores, and figure I'll just take a quick dip into the archives and pull out an old Swank post for a Sunday Sermonette. And since I've been revisiting the Pastor's output in more or less chronological order, I look for the post which followed his last (seen here).
And guess what? It's the one where Swank goes to the hospital! Specifically, it's the one where he bitches about having to drive his wife to the hospital and then dozes in a La-Z-Boy while she has hand surgery, but it all turns out okay because he meets a "hunk" with a wasting disease.
Okay, except for the napping in the hospital room and the flirting with male patients, this is exactly how I've been spending my last couple days days. You realize what this means, don't you? Swank is stealing my life! He's the Jennifer Jason Leigh to my Bridget Fonda in Single White Female. He's dopplegangerbanging me!
So...anyone want to join the church I've just founded in the northwest corner of my living room? (Two can play at this game, Pastor!)
Originally published March 27, 2009
Swank Versus The Medieval Barbers
Pastor Swank has lost 40 pounds in 40 days, and now enjoys “increased energy and clarity of thought.” (Let’s hope not, or this post is going nowhere fast!) Still, you can’t argue with results, and according to the Pastor, an amazing regimen of laxative teas, banana splits, and nasal spray has cranked up his nearly 70-year old metabolism and made the hypothalamus his bitch!
And what’s Swank doing with his new, boyish vim? Well, let’s check his latest Townhall blog and see…
Monday was hand surgery day for Priscilla, my wife.Several days prior she had been sick with the flu. Fill in the blanks.
Okay…we need a noun, an adverb, and a breed of cat…
But Monday she was well enough to have the cut-through.
The doctor cut all the way through her hand? That sounds more like amputation than surgery, but I’m no expert.
However, waking up Monday for me was not fun. I now had the no-energy-at-all. Yet I was to drive her to and from the hospital. After all.
“At which point I would be alone again. Naturally.”
I literally dragged to the van, turned the key and hoped to stay put on the frost heaves of River Road.
Well no wonder you felt so crappy, Pastor. I had the dry heaves once, but at least the bathroom was heated.
By the time we got to the hospital, Priscilla went off to see the surgeon. I waited in the state-of-the-art reception solarium.
American medicine has made enormous advances in waiting! Why, our waiting technology is light years beyond those socialists in Canada!
I was handed what appeared to be a type of remote which would wiggle and tickle when it was time for me to visit Priscilla through those awesome closed doors that signed AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY.
So they gave you a vibrator? Yeah, I can see how that would make the time go faster.
At the end of the long, long hall was the cubicle housing Priscilla. Thankfully, the hospital with its most accommodating provisions, had a lazy-boy chair for the visitor-with-patient. I made swift use of the chair, tilted back and closed my eyes.
“I was exhausted from all the hyphenating. Guess I’m not as young as I used to be.”
It was now mid-day. I dared not put anything in my stomach because of you-know-why. Yet the strength was not upping.
Nevertheless, I was the designated driver. So home we went, Priscilla talking about meds for pain and my head gradually focusing on what was really important.I collapsed on the couch, losing contact with the world through the few hours beckoning. When awakening, Priscilla said, “You know, I’m going to have to go back to the hospital because the nurse left a needle in my arm.”Sure enough. The nurse had forgotten to take the “port”—is that what it’s called; I have no idea about medical terminology?
“So I’m going to make some up. I’ve decided that sharp thing they use to take blood from your arm is called an ‘isthmus,’ and that thing they make you poop in when you’re stuck in bed? I’m either going to call that a ‘grommet,’ or an ‘antimacassar.’”
Anyhow, it’s the needle that’s put into the flesh by which more whatevers can be added to the body for this and that.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Ease up on the jargon there, Dr. House. We’re only human.
Yes, it was there all right. And it could not stay. Infection and so forth.
She might develop inflamed adverbs!
I don’t know if I can drive into the city. The hospital. It seems so far away,” I replied, unthinkingly, for who else was going to do it?Back in the car. Night had fallen. I felt wretched. Priscilla was dealing with pain-after-hand-surgery.
We got to Mercy Hospital Emergency Room, checked in with the receptionist and so on and so on.
“Then we each told two friends about Faberge Organic Shampoo…”
To my right there sat a handsome young fellow who started to explain to me that my wife could have been taken to the local fire department where a medic would have extracted the object without us having to do what we did.
Set her on fire?
From that subject, we moved to his subject—which was that he suffers from diabetes, has an esophagus problem by which he cannot eat anything but apple sauce diluted with water.
“I’m losing weight. I have gone down from 225 to 155.”
“So you’ve discovered the laxative and nasal spray diet too?”
Then there came out this detail from Jeremy: “My mother is strict when it comes to religion.”
I asked him what church she goes to.
He replied with the name of the sanctuary. “I know where that is. And I believe what your mother believes. You don’t know it, but you have been talking with a minister.”
He looked startled—but pleased.
Well, startled anyway.
Jesus was in charge. And how many times has this same sequence played out in my life over and over again: problems, difficulties, barriers, slumps and then—surprise—the hand of God in-my-face?
“Thank you, Jesus! May I have another?”
“Thank you, Jesus, for overruling today. The nurse forgot the “port”? We had to go back to another hospital because it was merely a nuisance?
That’s life. It’s a damaged world.
Except in the winter, when it’s really more of a marshmallow world.
Yet Jesus has promised in the consecrated life to use everything “according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. Recall?
Pray for Jeremy, will you? Pray for Jeremy. It was such a privilege to have met him. He certainly is one hunk who could use a lot of saving grace and a healing miracle besides.
I’d like to help, Pastor, but my Hunks Who Need Praying For list is pretty full already. Maybe I can bump Wentworth Miller and squeeze Jeremy in after The Thunder From Down Under guys…
Thank you, Jesus. I know you know and are in charge.
Now as to the state of the present-tense world. . .
Oop! Hold that thought, Jesus. I’m late for my Smooth Move Tea and Dristan enema.
I’ve decided that sharp thing they use to take blood from your arm is called an ‘isthmus,’ and that thing they make you poop in when you’re stuck in bed? I’m either going to call that a ‘grommet,’ or an ‘antimacassar.’
Now I need to re-read "Mechasm".
This is weird. I'm sitting in a hospital (please don't ask) using a friend's Kindle to rip-off their wi-fi so coincidence within coincidence.
Anyway glad Mary is doing well, your pain is down and the good Pastor makes asmucb sense as I remember.
What was his first language? It could not have been English?
American medicine has made enormous advances in waiting!
I beg to differ! The waiting rooms may look charming and comfortable, the the chairs are as hard and uncomfortable as ever they were, the TVs still apt to show Fox news or Warner Bros cartoons (I'll take the cartoons). Forget recliners! Why don't they have BEDs there, huh?
Of course I'm relieved and glad Mary is doing OK, and is actually well enough to eat Hospital Food! Yay!
Scott, I'm happy to hear that Mary is recovering well, and that they finally let her eat. I will keep my fingers crossed until tomorrow to negate your jinxing so that she does get to go home tomorrow. (Typing affected, but we all have to make sacrifices.)
Oh, and when your life intersects with that time in the pastor's where he planned to abandon his wife to get away from the terror who lived with them (that would be Moondoggie in your case, I suppose), be sure and let us know so we can call the authorities.
KWillow, I have a friend who lost a child after many days and nights waiting in the hospital. In lieu of flowers, she asked people to donate to a fund to buy comfortable reclining chairs for the waiting room. Three chairs were purchased to help other stressed and anxious families. I thought this was a really good idea.
kwillow - I had to take a friend to the Wilmer Eye institute in Baltimore. The chairs were awful so I agree.
S.Z. - what a great tribute
It's a damaged world.
So, God fobbed you off with a used planet, Pastor? The bastard! I'd ask for my nativity back!
Careful, reading Swank typically leads to extended ICU time...
Watch your grammar, alliteration and hyperbole and get better, sooner, Mary!
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