I spent four days in the hospital after surgery. Two without food (plus the day in ER and the day at the mall when I couldn’t keep anything down it was four days without food.) For some reason, despite my being very clear about the fact that I didn’t have a thyroid, they didn’t give me my medication for that, so I spent two of those days convinced that it was cold outside despite it being June in the Sahara. I also couldn’t figure out how to work the television so I spent a lot of time playing with my bed. My doctor was thrilled with my progress. On the first morning after the surgery he told me as soon as I felt able I should get up and walk around. Ten minutes after he left, I was calling for the nurse to disentangle me from the monitors. Al Ain has a lot of hospitals and the one I was in was mostly empty. I think there were three beds occupied on my floor, including mine. So I shuffled around the floor and was pretty much shot at that point. In the afternoon when my friends came to visit, I managed two circuits. When the surgeon visited that evening, he was impressed that I had been out of bed at all and authorized having all the monitors removed, which meant I could get up whenever I wanted.
It’s sad how excited I was about that.
I took shuffles, so called because that was my top speed, twice a day. The abandoned desk fascinated me. All set for work, but never worked in. My other obsession was the suite. I studied the fire diagram and walked the hall measuring out how large it was. Seven rooms including a kitchen! In Muslim culture it’s expected that people who are in the hospital will not only receive visitors, but entertain. Twice while I was there, I went to hospitals to visit new mothers and was fed a full meal.
The day after my surgery, my friends came to see me and said that the other teachers wanted to come, would tomorrow be okay? I said not tomorrow because I was still foggy from the anesthesia and kinda shattered from the 27 hours from the time I got sick until the time I had surgery. My friends passed the word along. That didn’t stop one of the teachers who I really disliked anyway from showing up with a huge flower arrangement. She told me that Muslims are instructed in the Koran to visit the sick. So essentially, God told her she had to come. My desires were inconsequential. That night the cleaning staff also came to visit. At the time I thought they were all very nice girls. Most of them didn’t speak any English and I was touched that they would come to see me. (Later we found out they were stealing from us. Kinda soured the memory.)
The next day I started to become convinced it was cold outside. This impression was aided by my watching Fargo and the fact that I had been 3 days without thyroid medication. The nurses were becoming worried because I turned off the air conditioning and asked for blankets. That afternoon, after school let out, my principal, my co-teacher and one of the other teachers came to visit me.
More next week in which my co-teacher nearly passes out because I’m having an IV bag changed.