Spending seven weeks in bed is boring. I felt like J Alfred Prufrock, trading coffee spoons for IV bags of Zosen, peaches for visions of hop-scotch. Paint dries faster than incisions heal, and that was all I had to do; watch my foot heal. I did watch some TV, but was barely entertained. I did it totally as a perfunctory act, like I did everything: eating a measured amount of protein and carbs at a certain time, taking measured drugs every 10-2-4, pissing in a graduated urinal so it can me measured. No changes. No fun. It’s not like I go to the hospital every year, but it was boring, quick.
At one point, though, I had to receive three units(pints?) of blood. And of all the procedures done to me, or at least the ones I was conscious during, the administering of the blood seem to have the most safety checks and protocols to follow. There were two nurses, double checking all the information. Patient ID? Check. Order ID? Check. Blood type A+? Check.
But my blood type was O+.
At least I thought it was. And it’s worth mentioning that all of my siblings were in that room visiting at the time, along with my mother, and they all thought my blood type was O+ as well. We thought we all had the same blood type. The nurses double checked and confirmed that my blood type was, in fact, A+. I had no idea. This discovery, with all my immediate family except my father present(he was called, though, before the nurses had even administered my blood), has got a lot of mileage as I tell people about my experiences as I recovered(not quite as much mileage as the hours preparing for my colonoscopy, which makes for high drama AND poo-poo jokes).
Like Christmas parties, the same-old same-old is, occasionally and wonderfully, surrounded with moments of unexpected drama. And we remember these little moments most of all.
My love for Justin Vernon and Bon Iver is no secret. This song succeeds more than others in his catalog pairing the lyrics with the mood of the music; two lovers in a snowed-in car, finishing donating blood, turning a casual moment into a romantic one as the moon goes dark on them. Then, to cement the good feeling, the creak in the snow-silenced car becomes the “Christmas morning” variety; the creak of surprise, of secret anticipation. Using the word “Christmas” was unexpected and perfect.