Uppers And Downers
Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. Sometimes it’s the littlest things.
This morning Shel was up, because after being in the hospital for eleven days without eating, he’s allowed to have food again. And being that it’s France, he was hoping for good food.
But alas, the patient meals are prepared off-site and reheated at the hospital, and that’s just how they taste. His first meal: instant potato purée made from flakes with no seasoning, a slice of ham, a square of cheese, applesauce, and a sludgy vegetable soupish concoction. Downer.
Fortunately, there’s a little café next to the hospital where I’ve been eating at least once a day, and they made me a nice café au lait to take over to Shel, which he really appreciated. And they sent it to him on a tray in a real cup, “because, Madame, you’re a client.” At first that was an upper, because it’s a cute tray with a delicious-looking ice cream on it, and it’s much nicer to have coffee from a real cup. But then it was a downer, because if they know me well enough to trust me with their tray and cup, they’ve obviously been seeing way too much of me and Shel’s been in the hospital too long.
Then, reading the local paper, we were kind of up, because even though it’s not that fun to be in a hospital in Nîmes, it’s nothing compared to being caught in the floods that happened there exactly 20 years ago, when 15,000,000 cubic meters of water hit the town all at once.
And then, downer. Now that Shel’s made it through 3 surgeries and is supposed to come home next week, he has a lung infection that means that anyone going into his room has to wear a mask and gown. Of course, none of us except Shel has to wear a mask that’s both colorful and noisy, but still.
Here’s the view from Shel’s hospital room window. It’s an upper in that there’s always something to watch, and there’s a busy, constant hum of construction as the hospital builds an addition that will house 400 more medical personnel with their offices and labs. As far as I can tell, though, they’re not building a kitchen to feed their patients. And that’s a real downer.
And then tonight I came home from the hospital to find a scorpion in my bed. Under the covers. Although I was struck by a sudden desire to stay up all night, I don’t think you could call that an upper.
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