In mid-February, I needed to be rushed to the emergency room and spent 12 days in the hospital. It’s the first time I’ve been hospitalized since I was a child. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the emergency room and hospital for family members, but being there for yourself is different.

I was particularly crushed because I ended up missing Boskone. I had been selected to moderate and serve on panels, I was scheduled for a reading, and I was the primary representative of the dealer table for Water Dragon Publishing.

That said, it was fascinating, as a biologist, to see medical science up close. I underwent a number of procedures that generated fantastic amounts of data and it was interesting to see how the medical practitioners used those data to falsify some hypotheses and make others. I discovered a lot about myself and much of it was reassuring: I do have some chronic medical conditions that will require long-term treatment. But many of the scariest possibilities were excluded and it was encouraging to learn that those that remain can likely be managed.

I was cared for by more than 50 people during my stay, the majority of them nurses. Nurses are amazing. I have new-found respect for nurses who must accomplish many thankless tasks while providing emotional support yet, at the same time, must be prepared to enforce the rules on a patient that deviates from the care guidelines. It’s a delicate dance.

It gave me an idea for a new Better Angels story which will hopefully make it to the Truck Stop at the Center of the Galaxy before too long: the working title is “Better Angels and the Nighty-Night Nurses.”

Note: I selected the image for this post because it is my “medicine basket”. Many years ago, I traveled to the desert southwest and visited a museum where, among the displays, was a medicine basket that had been discovered in a archaeological dig which had a whole variety of interesting items inside: ground minerals, feathers, dried plants, bones, etc. which researchers believed were used by a shaman for ritualistic purposes. And I was seized with the inspiration to make one for myself. So I purchased a basket at a native market and have collected all kinds of weird things that I keep in mine.

2 thoughts on “Hospitalized

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