Saturday, September 16th, 2017


I forget that I am an extrovert because I can go introvert with ease. I was once alone for eighteen days in Mexico and I didn’t even leave the house. I had people nearby in other houses so I could wave and turn away quickly enought not to engage. I wasn’t lonely for a second. Sometimes I would be at loose ends about what I wanted to do next but not often. And my post formal retirement days have no more than two or three people in them.

Well,my extroversion must just have been waiting to leap into grandiose being. Let me explain. I was in the hospital this week for a routine heart check-up, a magic, impossible to believe catheterization. Yep. I became a video game and the gamer puts  a camera on a wire up my wrist artery and threads it into my heart while I have people fluff my pillow and scratch my nose for me. (The results were good.)

But suddenly this other joyce,very familiar but hadn’t seen her in awhile, was in the room. I  squealed like a teenager to see familiar nurses. We remebered one another as rule breakers. They snuck me water, I wore my own socks that resemble pop corn boxes with pop corn in them. We talked kids and hair and made lewd comments that fit the situation. They are long term employees. Lucky Maine Medical. I gave them pretend performance reviews. One nurse has two boys, good kids just beginning to get their hearts broken. Another has a son who wants to work with MRI’s. They have names for the veins they are good at for IV, named for each of them. One nurse failed on the first time and so we had to get an Angela vein person. We talked food–addiction across the hospital is salt and vinegar popcorn. We talked which scrubs flatter which body type. My johnny flattered nothing. We talked about being Catholic no matter what and about miracles they have seen.

I fell in love with my bed pusher–Greek lady who brought my hidden Greek words to the fore. She had property in Greece but the other side of her family has taken it over. She would be greeted by rifles. Her nickname is something like Koukamoo which means babydoll. We laughed so hard at that as she heaved me along the hallway looking like a woman wrestler blonde hair and all. We talked about God. She thinks he would have to work hard to win her back.

The procedure room was full off comedians. One did tell me he is actually an introvert but as we talked on, I wondered. He talked about the pain of thick glasses and being small and bullied all his life til he grew. We decided he might have just learned to disappear rather than be an introvert. He and his colleagues all talked and laughed at the same time. I told them I didn’t get how they could do precision work and talk all the time (this is the pan calling the kettle black!)  and they showed me their routine for communication. One says Yes Sir, one says Thanks very loudly, one says Yes Chef in order to close the communication link. Then I made them practice pretending I was the doctor. We laughed so hard and I kept asking them to scratch my nose and elbow (I was tied down at this time).  I had them pack me in warm hospital blankets especially all around my head. They wanted to take a picture saying I looked like a handmaiden from The Handmaid or like the Pilsbury dough boy. More laughter.

Suddenly silence. The doctor had appeared. He surveyed the scene and said, “Knock her out”.  They did. Jabbermouth silenced.






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