Hospital shows have been around forever, from the long-running soap opera General Hospital (my babysitter used to watch that when I was a kid; is it still on?) to ER to Scrubs to Grey’s Anatomy. I confess I’ve not watched any of them, but apparently they’re very popular and successful.
So, maybe I should jump on the gravy train. After the past few days at St. Paul Hospital in Dallas I have enough fodder to fill scripts for an entire season. I could at least give it a try–you know, pull a Jerry and George and write a pilot. First of all, I’m thinking this will have to be a sitcom, simply because it involves my family. Don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty of drama, but something in the way we’re wired keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously.
Here’s a little scene from yesterday afternoon to whet your appetite. Dad, having made a remarkable recovery, is propped up in an ICU bed. He’s off the ventilator, and the nurse has removed quite a few of the many tubes and wires connecting him to various monitors, drips, and drains. He still has drainage tubes from his chest and legs, a catheter, an IV, an oxygen tube in his nose, and a port to his jugular, now covered with a bandage. He’s eaten breakfast and lunch and been for a stroll around the ICU with a couple of therapists. Now he’s tired and dozing in bed. Mom, my sister, and I are sitting in chairs nearby.
Mom: Jim, if you want me to bring your laptop up here, the hospital has wireless, but you have to get a password–
Dad (mumbling): No, I don’t want it.
Mom: Just let me finish. Yesterday Jimmy got a lot of work done on his computer, but he had to call this number to get a password–
Dad (a little louder): I don’t want my computer.
Mom: You just call the number and this guy gives you a password–
Dad: THE ANSWER IS NO!
Mom: Well, okay then.
Dad (mumbling again): Can I still have a password?
About thirty minutes later, Dad is drifting in and out of sleep . . .
Me: Hey, Mom. George and Jacob will be flying into Dallas from Florida Friday and they’ll want to come see Dad.
Dad (groggily): I may be home by then.
Mom: You won’t be home by Friday!
Dad: I may.
Mom: No, you won’t. (turns to me) Are you in communication with George?
Me: No, we’re not speaking.
Mom (ignoring my sarcasm): They’ll be moving your father to a room. I’ll need to give you the number so you can give it to George.
Me: George is flying into Dallas. You’ll see him before I do.
Mom: Yes, but if I’m not home when he arrives, he may need to get the room number from you.
Me (ignoring the anti-logic): Okay, fine. You can give me the room number and I’ll be sure he gets it.
Mom writes herself a note about this.
Dad (still groggily): I think it would be good if your room number could also be your password.
So, what do you think? Will it be a hit? I don’t know. Maybe it’s too subtle. I could always start with the scene in the ICU waiting room where the woman in leopard-print, spike-heel boots hit on my brother as he sat working at his computer (thanks to his trusty password) with his oh-so-sexy reading glasses perched on the end of his nose.
Or maybe the pre-dawn drive to the hospital when we passed a partially burned out neon sign, and my sister said, “There’s the Corvette WareHo.” And Mom quipped, “There’s no use in WareHo.” And I was so enamored with the wordplay they all told me I should call myself a WordHo instead of a writer.
I’ll have to think about it. (What scene to start with, I mean–not calling myself a WordHo. I’ve already decided to do that.)
Meanwhile, thanks again for praying. Dad is doing so great. We’re counting our blessings, and amongst them we count you. ♥