Don’t Look, Ethel!

17 08 2011

Before my mother passed away back in January, my wife and I went to visit her at what used to be the Wilson Memorial Hospital. I’m not sure what it’s called nowadays but, for good or bad, like so many other things, the name has changed.

Anyway, my mother was on a floor with a number of other elderly patients. Actually, elderly is being nice. Some of these people made my 86-year-old mother look like a back-up dancer for Hannah Montana.

There was one particular gentleman, I recall well. In fact, the first time I saw him is a vision I cannot get out of my mind. It’s one of those mental images you get like if you walk into the bathroom and see your grandmother stepping out of the shower.  Please take this vision from my memory banks! Quick! Where’s the delete button?

My wife asked me to go downstairs to the hospital cafeteria and get her a bottle of water. Unlike some people, when I walk down the halls of a hospital, I don’t peer into the open doors of patients’ rooms as I walk by. I think that is rude. Now, if the room is unoccupied it’s fair game, I’ll look because there might be something inside that room that I can use, like a chair that is more comfortable than the one in Mama’s room or some abandoned flowers which I can sign my name to and give to my wife. If so, I’ll come back later and get it. Well, there was this one room down the hall from Mama’s which had been vacant all week. So, as I walked by, I looked inside to see if perhaps they had brought in some different furnishings or if there was any abandoned booty.

When I looked inside, I saw there was a new occupant, an old man who appeared to be at least 140 years old. He had more wrinkles than a sack full of turkey necks. The bad part is, he hadn’t quite figured out the hospital gown. As a result, the back of his gown was completely open. I looked in, just in time to see him climbing onto his bed with his back, or more to the point, his hairy, shriveled backside, staring me in the face. Oh! Vision-overload! I’m going to be struck blind! The vision hurt worse than an ice cream brain-freeze that wouldn’t go away.

It was like a bad dream that recurred every time I shut my eyes. I stayed awake for the next 3 days just so I wouldn’t have to close my eyes. If I ever had any desire to go into geriatric medicine, that cured me. This experience definitely pegged my grossimeter. I ranked it very near the top of my all-time gross-me-out-list, probably between Fleet (see earlier post The Colonoscopy) and chunky milk.

The really scary part is I’ll be that old man one day. I think I’ll get me one of those hospital gowns now so I can begin practicing how to put it on without mooning the world.

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2 responses

18 08 2011
Brian

See, that’s why you should peer into the patients’ rooms as you walk down the hall. You have to scope out your prospective larcenies prior to the strike.

19 08 2011
Bill Taylor

Peer at your own peril! But sometimes the ill-gotten booty is worth the risk.

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