“Ever worked in a box factory?”

“No, I never have.”

“I did, for ten cents an hour.”

“Before you told me it was thirty three cents an hour.”

“That’s now, when I started it was ten cents an hour.”

The orderly says something neutral and pleasant and walks away.

From other overheard snatches of conversation I know she is 90 years old and in the Emergency Room because she fell and hurt her leg.  Later she gets a visitor whom  she asks if her husband is there and is informed that he died 11 years ago. “No, he did not!” She immediately goes into denial, the first stage of grief. She demands to see her daughter and the visitor tells her that she is her daughter.

I am imaging living a life where over and over you are hearing your spouse died for the first time.

At least the way things are going for me, I wouldn’t have to worry about living long enough to get Alzheimer’s. That is a plus.

I was in the ER getting blood glucose flushed from my system because it was critically high. (I have diabetes as a side effect of the immune suppressor pharmaceutical, Prograf,  that I take so my liver doesn’t get rejected.)  On one of my previous monthly lab tests I had hit 475 and my post transplant coordinator had called me and told me to go to the ER to get flushed out with an IV. I was actually not feeling that bad relative to my norm  and accomplishing some  things in the garden that day. We also had an out of town guest I hadn’t seen in a couple of years so really didn’t want to go. My coordinator was freaking out a bit and even called back a second time so I stipulated to her I was not going Against Medical Advice.

The day I went to the ER my glucose was at 511 and I was feeling even crappier than usual so I decided to go, though even after all these years under the thumb of the pharmafia and doctors my first instinct is to deal with it myself. Going to the ER is such a hassle because I have to deal with so many new people I don’t know which is not an easy or natural thing for me as it is for most. It is draining when I am in good energy but when I am down it becomes almost intolerable.  Plus the inevitable multiple needle sticks and tests.

On top of that is the boredom of just lying there in a cold alien place under fluorescent lights which, like many autistics, I find to be very stressful. I would turn them off when the latest in the revolving and seemingly endless cast of characters paraded through, each probing either verbally or with some paraphernalia but each would turn them back on.

Good thing about hearing from Srila Prabhupada is that in any circumstance one can chant the Holy Names, a mantra form of prayer. Other than that though, eavesdropping on your thrown  together like straws on the ocean ER neighbors is the only entertainment.

They ran some IVs through me and got the blood glucose level under the releaseable level so I did get out after some hours. Always more pleasant to suffer at home than away.

“Actually, pure happiness cannot be had within this material world. If we wish to enjoy something, we must suffer for something else. On the whole, suffering is the nature of this material world, and whatever enjoyment we are trying to achieve is simply illusion. After all, we have to suffer the miseries of birth, old age, disease and death. We may discover many fine medicines, but it is not possible to stop the sufferings of disease or death. Actually, medicine is not the counteracting agent for either disease or death. On the whole there is no happiness in this material world, but an illusioned person works very hard for so-called happiness. Indeed, this process of working hard is actually taken for happiness. This is called illusion.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 4.25.4

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