La version française de ces histoires se trouve sur En direct de l'intestin grêle

Wouldn't it be great if these stories were true? Unfortunately (or fortunately) they're not; they are just the product of my overworked mind. All characters and events are fictitious and if you think you recognize yourself or somebody you know in these stories, it was not my purpose and it is purely unintentional. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy reading this blog. Feel free to link this blog wherever else you hang out on the Internet and to post comments below. I enjoy hearing from you.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hospital Diaries II: The Firefly

This is part of a series. You can begin at Part I and follow the link at the end of each installment to read the next.

Every time I see a doctor, it seems he ends up making recommendations that are totally unrelated to the purpose of my visit.

I have gotten used to the persistent advice to stop smoking but I just can’t stand it when I’m told to lose weight.

That’s exactly what the good doctor who diagnosed a sprain on my knee said to me. I left his office annoyed but resolved to follow his advice if only to stop receiving unwanted suggestions.

The road to slenderness is simple: follow a balanced diet. Forget about gyms and fitness centres. Sure they will tone your body and build muscles but you will really need to exercise a lot to lose weight. And the more you exercise, the more you risk getting injured.
marathon, running, exercise, sport, police officers, fitness,muscles, six-pack
According to a Canadian study, 40.2% of people aged 20 to 64 who were injured in Canada in 2009-2010 did so practising sports, exercising or walking. Only 16.5% suffered from work-related injuries. This may mean that Canadians are either smart workers or simply lazy.
In Canada, the key to balanced eating is found in Canada’s Food Guide published by Health Canada. This system is based on four essential food groups: fruits and vegetables, grain products, dairy products and alternatives, and meat and other sources of proteins.

The Food Guide explains what constitutes a typical serving for each food group and how many servings males and females need according to their age. If you keep a record of how much you eat, you will lose weight quickly without risking your health.

That’s what I did as my knee was failing me. I lost 40 pounds in three months. Now I only needed to lose another 15 pounds to reach a healthy weight and turn my doctor speechless.

However, I was not worrying about dieting the morning I woke up paralysed in bed.

I was in a bad predicament but I found out I had an unexpected advantage: I had a full bladder.

Despite the pain and because of the urge, after about 30 minutes I managed to move my head, then my fingers, my wrists, my elbows and my legs until I laboriously sat on the edge of the bed.

I relieved myself in my homemade bedpan and then assessed my situation. My twisted knee was not the issue anymore. I could no longer move easily because I was sore all over. It would take a miracle for me to get out of my apartment by myself. My fridge was getting emptier by the day but worse, I was almost out of cigarettes.

I found myself in the middle of the proverbial tunnel looking for a light.

As I was moping about my condition, the phone rang. It was my friend Lucide who, worried, was calling to enquire about me.

I told her about my disablement and that I was running out of supplies. Right away she offered to run some errands for me and said she would stop by that night after work.

In the darkness, a firefly was shining her light to help me find the way out.
firefly, lightning bug, glow worm, insect, bug, lampyridae
The firefly or lightning bug is an insect of the lampyridæ family. There are more than 2,000 species of fireflies. Some females lightning bugs do not fly and look like their larvæ. They are called “glow worms.”
When Lucide arrived at my place carrying several bags of groceries she was struck with consternation, not because she was seeing her friend bedridden and disabled but because of the sorry condition of my apartment.

I had been confined to my bed for several weeks and household cleaning was no longer a priority. Dirty dishes were piling up on the kitchen counter. The floor was covered with objects that I could not pick up because I was unable to bend over. A heap of dirty laundry gathered in a corner of my bedroom and dust was taking over my lodgings.

“What a pigsty! exclaimed Lucide while dropping her bags on my bed. How can you live in such a mess?”

« Erm... Did you bring me cigarettes?”

“They're in the bag,” she answered distractedly while inspecting the jumble in my apartment. “Do you have any garbage bags?”

“In the cupboard, underneath the sink,” I answered while looking for cigarettes in one of the grocery bags.

Lucide disappeared in the kitchen while I tried to unwrap a cigarette pack with my numb fingers. It seemed I had lost all the manual skills I once had.

Lucide came back to the room with a garbage bag and as she saw my shaky hands fighting with the cigarette pack, she cried out:

“What’s with your hands? Look at your knuckles! They’re all red and swollen! This is much worse than a twisted knee, you must see a doctor! Come on, I’ll take you to the hospital!”

With great difficulty I began to dress. I had lost a lot of weight and my clothes did not fit me anymore. I was in a bad shape and I felt weak and distressed.

It took me almost half an hour to manage to get up with Lucide’s help. When I took a first step leaning on my walking cane, it felt as though I had no kneecaps, like my thigh bones were resting directly on my shin bones. I almost passed out from the excruciating pain.

I live on the second floor of an apartment building. As I began to climb down the 14-step stairwell, AC/DC’s Highway to Hell was playing in my head and I had to sit down on the second step to gather my wits.
Highway to Hell is a song about the gruelling conditions of constant touring. Six months after its release, Bon Scott, who sang on the original recording, was found dead at 33 in the back of a Renault 5 after a night of heavy drinking. Show business is a mother who enjoys eating its young.
Finally, I was outside. I had been locked in my apartment for a month and winter had settled in. It was cold and the snow was cracking under my steps. In a last effort, I sat down in Lucide’s car as she started the engine.

I was on my way to the hospital, a harbour for the unfortunates of the world.

To be continued in Hospital Diaries III: Incubation

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