Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Good Morning,

Got in to work this morning and about an hour in my system crashed leaving me unable to access the program I need to be productive. Because it's so early, the Helpdesk isn't in yet and I'm left on my own to figure out what to do. I figured I'd check in with my 2.4 faithful readers.

It's always interesting to me when I get pulled out of my world and reminded of all the things taking place around me that I'm not aware of. I drive past the OSU Hospital and James Cancer Research Hospital at least a couple of weeks without so much as a glance. It's a strange little world there, but with my recent visits it's a world I'm getting used to. I've memorized my way through the maze of hallways to get through the main hospital to the wing my sister in law is spending her days in watching daytime TV and going for short, stubby-legged walks. I watch her smile and thank everyone who comes into her room, from the stressed nursing staff to the volunteer coordinator who rambled in to drop off the hospital's television guide and information package.

My job is to hang out for a few (while not making her laugh - the incision kills her when she laughs) and then try to drag my brother out of the room for a few. Sunday he let me take him to dinner, but last night was just a walk around the courtyard.

The courtyard is a big green open space surrounded by the U shape of the hospital and parking garages. It's where patients circuit the walkways and family members sneak cigarettes despite the recorded voice reminding everyone that the entire property is smoke free. The courtyard is where chemo patients come to vomit between their feet while trying to get some fresh air. Mothers and daughters hug each other near the tables set up and fathers bring bags of cheap Chinese food from the food court located near the visitor's parking garage. All the while, leaves the size of dinner plates float lazily back and forth like a sheets of paper blown off a teacher's desk.


Strange thing happened the other night. I get in the elevator behind a rather large woman who is dragging around an IV stand. Her bald head is kept warm by a handkerchief she has knotted and pulled over her, and she smiles as she asks me what number I need.

"Eighth floor, please." I say.

"Ah, eight. Good number. I just want to know what happened to the sixth floor."

I smile politely, not quite sure what she's saying, but follow her eyes to the lighted display above the door showing us what floor we're on. Sure enough, there's no sixth floor.

"Hmmm." I said. "I didn't even notice that."

"Yeah, it's pretty strange." she replied.

"Well, it is a research hospital. I bet that's where all the action is. And since they're hiding it, it's either really good stuff that happens there or really bad."

The elevator stopped at the Fifth floor, her stop. She was chuckling to herself.

"Well, I'm going to go find it. I'm on a mission. I'll let you know how it goes. Have a good one."

"Good luck." I said as the door closed.

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