I am trying not to take this personally. MRSA is indeed a nasty and destructive virus, and it’s been known to kill people. Hospitals take the rap for MRSA: the infection has developed into an antibiotic-resistant ‘super-bug’ as one media report has it.
So I know this. And I know MRSA feasted away on my operation site in full view of industrial strength penicillin. What I am not prepared for is the army of masked people wearing yellow gowns and rubber gloves who swarm around me, throwing everything they touch into red biohazard bags. I mean, I feel fine, right? And I want a HUG!
But no, nothing. The yellow dresses even cover up their nametags, so my long years of skillfully reading names without appearing to—that’s of no use.
Plus, people don’t want to be in the same room with me. It scares ‘em, and I can’t say I wouldn’t be scared either—all these precautions conjure up images of invisible germs lurking on every surface, waving their tentacles and surrounding Gertie Cranker like some aura of impending doom. So, they stand outside the door and converse:
“I’ve brought your breakfast. Are you patient 072195?”
“Great! Cereal and yogurt, right? And coffee? I will leave it on this table right here outside your door. Have a GREAT day!”
“But…but—I can’t walk! How do I?….”
It’s better, back here at Orchard Creek. My room is right across from the dining hall, so I can watch the wheelchair parade three times a day and call out to my friends who are still here since my last visit. I don’t feel quite so lonely. And when the aide brings my breakfast in the morning I am sure she will say, “Here’s your breakfast, GERTIE! How are you feeling this morning?”
And I will say, “Much better, thank you, Patty. How’s your husband enjoying Florida?” It’s not a hug, no, but it’s a verbal embrace which will do quite well in a pinch, as they say, while the new, high-level anti-bacteria drug fights its battle deep within my body.