Here is the third of four excerpts of the book “Prescription For Disaster: The Funny Side Of Falling Apart” by Candace Lafluer which I recently reviewed here. Candace has graciously agreed to post some excerpts for our reading enjoyment. I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.
I’ve come to understand that there is more or less guaranteed to be a standard of weirdness every time I go for chemo. That’s just life (well, mine). Clearly the most delightful incident of chaos was at my second infusion, just when I was starting to feel comfortable and like I was getting the hang of this whole thing.
At the Royal Free Hospital in London the infusion clinic is in a tough to find ward (early morning challenge!) on the second floor in a construction zone (yep). Once you get past the builders and distinct lack of signage you come through to a ward unlike others – it’s got a relaxed, friendly vibe to it as soon as you are buzzed though the doors. The halls are dimly lit, the nurses are cheery and relaxed (looking) and the patients are wandering around carrying books and seeming to have most of their wits about them (very unlike previous wards I’ve been confined to) Off the main hall are darkened, comfortable rooms full of plush green armchairs and big windows with people having staked out their spot, surrounded themselves with books and heavy blankets and a hush is felt over the room. It’s like a library but with added IV poles and the rhythmic beeps of various monitors. (though the beeps constantly remind me of an old Jermaine Steward song from the 80’s – you don’t have to-take-your…clothes off!)
The chairs are delightful and worth a good hour’s entertainment on their own – electric loungers! Fantastic! They go up, down, out, in and turn into beds if you want them to. So I kind of set up my little day-camp of my phone, IPad, laptop, chargers, books, fruit and bottled water, kicked off my sneakers and sat back for a day of well, relaxing chemo. There’s always that “overly chatty” person in every room, as well as the ‘library quiet” people and the one woman with her laptop propped up on the windowsill for the best possible wireless signal so she can obsessively continue to play online bingo.
You learn to tune out everything else and just relax.
And so I did.
I sat back and snoozed, drifting in and out, listening here and there to people coming into the room, checking things, chatting away with niceties and vague interest. The click of the bathroom door, a cough, a yawn… a snap… a creak…a… thunk? andWHAM I was on the floor.
That chair EXPLODED!
Out of absolutely nowhere the headrest had fallen off the chair as the back panel broke apart – I tumbled backward out of the chair, flinging my arms out and knocking my IV pole to the floor. I landed on my head and lay there, in shock, staring at the ceiling in bewilderment – my limbs tangled around my IV line and my legs sticking straight up in the air, still partially on what was left of my chair. I looked like some kind of twisted up yoga master – and I was stuck. Even worse was that I had not only taken out my own IV pole, I’d completely wiped out the pole of the elderly man sat beside me as well. My tray table had gone flying – having also covered myself, the floor and whatever was left of that chair with water. I hadn’t even done anything – I had just been sleeping!
Well, when seven people in a chemo-room suddenly press their Nurse Buzzers frantically at the same time and start yelling for help, people come running. Not just a nurse, a pack of nurses.And doctors. And health care aides. And wanderers from the hallway. And they all stared at me in silence and confusion as they pieced together what must have just happened, a bewildered nurse retrieving a chair arm from across the room. I couldn’t even get myself up for fear of dislodging the cannula in my arm. All I could do, as I lay on the floor in a mess of water, wires, cords and chunks of upholstery was to look at the crowd and in my most composed voice said:
“I think there’s something wrong with my chair.”
On the other hand I’m just pleased that nobody ever sent me a bill for it.
I hope that you enjoyed that as much as I did, and am sure that you are anxious to go now and get your own copy for your Kindle reader. Just click here to be taken to the Amazon web site where you can download your copy, and if you would prefer a printed copy, click here.
Please be sure to leave a comment so that Candace can know what you thought of her story.