Sunday, December 21, 2008

Deet to the Ox PART II

PART I can be found here

“Paulie”, my other roommate, was more reserved. He was the yang to Jack’s yin. He was serious about sobriety and his earnestness permeated his every thought. Paul meant business and from the moment I arrived it was evident that Paul resented Jack for Jack’s lack of focus.

I managed to greet both Jack and Paul sans vomit. However, my temporary cease-fire-from-mouth didn’t last long. After I left my belongings on my bed I was escorted to the nurses’ station where I promptly threw up all over the floor.

The nurse assessing my condition scrambled to find a container sufficient for my discharge. I found this perplexing. It seemed to me that detoxing lent itself to throwing up and the nurses’ station should have been stocked with vomit buckets. But, to paraphrase my father, "Wish in one hand, vomit it the other. See which one fills up first".

Buckets aside, my nurse was angelic. She played the role of doctor, psychiatrist and older sister all in one. She listened as I wept over my partner's health, gave me meds to prevent seizures and reassured me, over and over again, that everything would be ok. She was also determined to stop the throwing up.

After escorting me back to my room, Stephanie instructed me to once again drop trou. After making a comment that I had no fat on my ass in which to stick the needle, she apparently found sufficient flab and stabbed. I cannot recall ever having a shot in the bum prior, but given the pain it seems like something I would never forget.

The shot was intended to lessen the nausea which, in theory, would staunch the vomiting. In theory.

The vomiting did not stop for six more hours and three more butt pokes. And my roommate Jack did not help matters. Every other minute he was in our room, either yelling about something or slamming doors. Though he showed concern for my condition, his concern was overshadowed by his hyper activity. It was not possible for Jack to stay still, a fact that would manifest itself repeatedly over the following few days.

Finally at around six that evening the nausea and vomiting ended. But just as those two things stopped, the hallucinations started. On the wallpaper in my room I saw winsome tableaus of Christmases long, long ago. Also, John Lennon was singing George Michael's "Freedom" in the sprinkler above my bed.

Part III here

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