Comet knows about food allergies. The canned food that makes him ill has no similar affect on Dexter. So early this morning(Monday) when I was getting collected to go the ER, Comet was very concerned while Dexter was eyeing leashes thinking about a walk. Neither volunteered to go in my place. Going to the hospital for an allergic bowel obstruction is a solitary experience. Dexter already had a recent surgery for an ear problem. He won’t go certainly for moral support
“So what brings you to the ER today? ”
“I volunteered to serve as a patient.”
My ER nurse Bailey chuckled. Wheeling me from the Emergency Room, she was mentoring Sabrina, an actual hospital volunteer, in bed driving. Between blood draws, IV care and warm blankets, I was made as comfortable as a vomiting man could be.
As the day wore on, that was the funniest part. On the way to scans, blood draws and even a bowel resection, my volunteerism was tested. This time no food seemed to be a culprit but old scars from past ruptured appendix and old plumbing.
Between the gurney aide who it turned out we had more in common than not regarding diet, to the second gurney aide whom we shared bowel surgeries, to the young man with whom I talked jobs, faiths and family values – had I not been a patient, I would have missed this.
Suffering is visceral and writing about those who work to relieve suffering in others is best done in the midst of it.