You would think I would have copious amounts of time to sit about and write blog posts while being on maternity leave, but I have managed to keep myself busy with other parts of life. There was also the most horrible sickness I think I’ve ever had, a foul thing known as mastitis, which had me convinced one night that we were all Vikings and the books were levitating off of the shelves.
Nothing like a little delirium to start off your month.
I had mentioned that the hospital tried to kill me while I was there with Sam. It did almost seem like deliberate negligence, especially after my first experience with them when Lydia was born. While in the hospital with Lydia, I was very impressed with, of all things, their hospital food. It was tasty, filling, and above all, they took extra care to avoid my many food allergy pitfalls. With every meal there was a printed ticket that listed every food item I had received, the caloric content (not that I wanted to know those pancakes were 800 calories), my name, room number, and a list of my food allergies I had verbally told them when I was admitted. The entire time I was there I saw nary a nut.
When Sam arrived and I got set up in my room, I was looking forward to all the feasts they would bring again. Oh boy! I now pronounce us Ready To Eat!
The next morning I’m met with a resigned food lady by the name of Rhonda, who has come bearing me breakfast. Rhonda has brought a big plate of EGGS, toast sitting in the egg juice, sliced up CANTALOUPE, a banana, and a NUT BRAN MUFFIN. No spiffy ticket to be seen. No smile, no good morning. Here is your Plate of Death; enjoy.
Being nice and optimistic, I attributed the mistake to a delay in the transfer of information and hoped for better tidings in the future. At lunch, Rhonda showed up again with a mediocre plate of some version of Mystery Meat and a nutty dessert. No spiffy ticket. She gives me the option of choosing tomorrow’s breakfast — EGGS! or cereal, muffin and banana — I go with the non-lethal choice and mention the reasons for doing so. Dinner brought more Mystery Meat sans ticket.
A non-ticketed breakfast came with a slight detail that ol’ Rhonda failed to mention — the muffin was covered with nuts. Come on, lady. When my regular nurse came in I reluctantly mentioned to her that I needed something else to eat as a quarter cup of cereal and an unripe banana just wasn’t going to cut it, and did I mention that I CAN’T EAT NUTS?? This was the morning after The Laughing Incident and I was already feeling a bit beaten up.
Rhonda saunters back in and asks with a sweet voice that reminds me a bit of Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter, “You don’t like my breakfast?”
“I have a nut allergy,” I deadpan. I’m in the process of being put on a gurney to go be wheeled to some test. She asks what I would like and I go for pancakes with bacon, which I finally get to dive into around 10:30 that morning.
Later that day I’m in the room with my sister and Ken when
Professor Umbridge Rhonda saunters in with lunch. It some meaty pile of I-don’t-know-what with a dessert topped with nuts. NUTS! We all have a giggle while I poke at the few good tidbits, joking that when Rhonda comes back to get the plate she will ask why I didn’t eat her dessert.
“Do you want me to leave the dessert for you?” Rhonda asks sweetly as she picks up my food tray an hour later. You’re kidding me, right? Mental or sadistic, this one.
I knew better than to look at Ken or Cathy; it was all we could do to keep from busting into laughter. I had to swallow many potential sarcastic replies and just say, “No, thank you.” Laughter had about killed me the day before and I wasn’t eager to test it out again so soon.
The weekend came and Rhonda does not torture people on the weekends. There was a different food lady who, though nicer, still had not seemed to have gotten the memo. There were more eggs and nuts tossed at me. I had long since given up on educating them and was relying on family and friends to toss food at me.
On Sunday morning I actually met the Weekend Food Lady. Our paths had not crossed before since I had either been in the shower or the NICU whenever she showed up with the egg and nut assortment. She asked how I enjoyed the food. “Well, truthfully,” I replied, “I haven’t been able to eat much of it, since I have some food allergies. I’ve tried to list them out but the information seems to get lost.”
“You know, I saw that on this ticket,” she replied, gesturing to some piece of paper she had, but shrugged, as if to say she just didn’t know what to do with that kind of information.
Oh ho ho really.
Well, I guess if I ate some nuts and went into anaphylactic shock, I’m in the right place! Nothing like a hospital to cure what ails you.