“WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU
MAKES YOU STRONGER…”
Question: Does an apple a day
keep the doctor away?
Answer: Only if your aim is true.
At one time or another, our bodies
may need a “tune-up.” Recently,
I needed one in the hospital. If you
gotta go, you gotta go, but make the
best of it. The only times I’ve ever
enjoyed being in the hospital were
to bring home a bald, toothless,
wrinkled baby. Guess what? I think
I’ve become a bald, toothless, wrinkled
babe! How did that happen?
It’s not fun being in the hospital
and it’s not my intent to ever minimize
serious medical problems. I
don’t like the idea of being miserable
and incapacitated, so stuck in
bed with nothing to do but think,
this is how I was able to cope—
putting my thoughts into a story.
My first roommate, Mrs. Potty
Mouth, for lack of a better word,
was a linguist. Initially, I thought
she was speaking in tongues. Her
communication skills were quite
extraordinary. Some words were
new to me and some were combined
with other words I never
knew existed. How many ways
can you use “Mother…” in
a sentence? Some nights I
stayed awake just to count
them. With her yelling, I had
no other choice. If I ever
used this language as a child,
my parents would have washed
my mouth out with lye or left me
on a doorstep. As an adult I pride
myself on language usage and have
increased my vocabulary through
reading and conversation, but I
learned a lot of new words during
my hospital stay, just by listening.
Though, I don’t think they’ve been
added to the dictionary yet.
The hospital was so quiet—no
beeping, no bells. I was actually
able to sleep… when they let me.
During each night, Vampira came
to visit me and draw blood. Why
is the word draw used? Do they
really draw with blood? Yuck!
The new telemetry used these
days, meant my vitals could
be monitored from afar. I was
amazed when a nurse came in to
check something and knew exactly
where to look. You think I could
borrow that telemetry stuff to use at
home? When I’m hungry it could
recognize the growls in my stomach
and call Ben’s for a pastrami on
rye—hold the pickle and potato
salad—or maybe a Peter Luger’s
steak without the sauce (Do they
deliver?). Or when I’m too gray,
the machine could call Pouran and
make an appointment with Amy?
I don’t really need meds to make
me feel better. A bottle of wine
hooked into the IV would’ve made
a world of difference—happy and
comfy all day, awake or asleep.
I’ve discovered hospitals are
always cold. Luckily, that’s the way
I like it. One day, even I asked for
extra blankets. I must warn you.
You have to be careful not to
pull the blanket up too high—it’s
important to leave your face uncovered.
You never know how laying
in a hospital bed with a blanket
over your head will be interpreted!
One day “Doogie Howser”
walked into my room.
Originally, I thought he was a visitor
for my language-challenged roomie.
No! He was my nurse for the
day. Even though he was wearing
scrubs, he could have been a friend
of my teenage grandsons. Did he
even have his first shave yet? Let
me tell you, If I had any problems
with modesty before, I could forget
that now. This kid’s exam included
places I never knew existed or
forgot about years ago. What if he
wasn’t really a nurse? Gulp!
I was on a liquid fast for four
days. Can I get a chit for that
and use it for the next four Yom
Kippurs? I’ll have to ask a Rabbi.
Do you pay separately for meals
in a hospital? Isn’t that like “room
and bored?” Then, I want a credit
for lost meals. Meals coming from
an IV shouldn’t count!
When they weighed me, they said
I lost six pounds. I must tell Weight
Watchers! It could become one of
their “quick weight loss methods.”
I must admit, after the “delusional”
stages of fasting and constantly
dreaming about cheesecake passed,
really hungry anymore. However,
anything left on my tray was fair
game. I never knew ice chips could
be so crunchy and delicious.
Now if only I had some vodka!
In my college days, I loved vodka
with orange juice. What a good
way to get Vitamin C. But I think
the vodka may have had too many
carbs. I drank so much vodka, I
started to speak with a Russian
accent, though no one at home
would have noticed—both of my
parents came from Russia.
With all the medical knowledge
I’ve gained with each new problem,
I, like many of you, have become
a specialist in multiple areas. We
frequently play “Can you name the
illness?” I also have an anatomical
chart hanging in my kitchen
affixed with the names of different
physicians: Heart, for Dr…, lungs
for Dr…, etc. Why in the kitchen?
It’s right next to my fridge and frequently
stops me from that extra
scoop of ice cream with two dollops
of whipped cream. I think that’s the
correct ratio. Who cares? It tastes
good. Wait a second… Why is the
stuff in the fridge in the first place?
Well, it seems the solution to
staying well is exercise and good
food. I’m now on three different
diets. No food with seeds,
no vegetables with skin, only
the leanest of meats, no dairy
products, no pulp, no salads,
no spice, no condiments,—no
taste! If you see a shadow
cross your path, don’t get
frightened. Squint hard and
you’ll see it’s me!
I’ve discovered it’s not good
to lose weight in your face. I’m
not sure it’s me, when I look in
the mirror. My wrinkles now have
wrinkles. It gives new meaning to
“wrinkled like a prune.” A prune
My clothes don’t look so great.
They’re either hanging or falling
off me. If you’re smart, buy stock in
Chico’s, because I need to go shopping.
friends and BFF’s—thank you for
your good wishes. I love you so
very much! 12 NORTH SHORE TOWERS COURIER ¢ January 2019
I must be a good customer.
They now send a car service for me.
In all seriousness, to the shining
jewels in my life—family,