My friend needed a companion to take her for eye surgery in the city. It necessitated an overnight stay at the Sheraton because she had to return early the next day for a post-surgical check.
I slept on her very comfortable sofa the night before as we had a 4:00 AM alarm. As is the custom, no one really slept the night before, in spite of a few glasses of wine, for fear that we would miss our window of opportunity to get into the city by 6:00 AM.
The surgical waiting area was a beehive of activity. They took my friend back to ‘get ready’ 2 hours later. This was the Ford factory of eye surgery. Without coffee.
Yes. I said without coffee.
This place had at least 25 people waiting when we arrived before 6:00 AM. These numbers kept multiplying like rabbits every five minutes. Half of us were not having surgery, didn’t need to be fasting, and there wasn’t even a waft of coffee in this hospital.
Since none of the patients could eat or drink since midnight, I didn’t want to start a lack-of-food-fight, so I waited until my patient went back to the mysterious green room of surgery and politely asked,
“Um… is there some place I can get coffee?”
Which probably sounded like: “Um…s’ere smplc ickan goot COFFEE?” as I was stuffing a power bar in my mouth that I found in the bottom of my purse and waited two hours to eat so as not to offend my friend. I was done worrying about these other starving people.
“Coffee?” said the attendant.
“Oh yeah, go back down through the maze and walk about 5 miles through the next two buildings to the cafeteria. She really, truly said “5 miles.” I don’t know if she wanted to save all the coffee for herself, but 5 miles would not daunt me.
As I turned the 13th corner and saw the Starbucks sign greeting all who entered the cafeteria, it was just like in the movies. Angels were singing, everyone around was smiling, a welcoming white light beckoned all to the green mermaid.
As it turned out, I waited another 3 hours for my friend to be finished, so that one Venti barely covered the trek.
We were both exhausted by the time we checked into the Sheraton. We decadently ordered room service of Greek omelets and fruit salad which were only $7.95 each. We didn’t have high hopes for cheap room service but we were too pooped to venture out. My power bar had long worn off and my surgical companion was starving by now. Surprisingly, our meals were pretty magnificent. Yay, Sheraton Hotels!
And then we slept like the dead.
The ordeal was more draining than we realized. Since room service was so cheap we sprung for a movie…not cheap…and watched Birdman. Yowsa! That film had us talking for hours, so much so that we just went back to sleep early.
My friend slept well, but me, not so much. Again, I was worried that we would miss our appointment, even though we were 2 minutes away. The weather people were calling for possible snow, and I wanted to get her home safe and sound, with attendant groceries in case she would be snowed in for a few days.
I guess I was tired. I’m sure I was distracted. I am absolutely certain coffee deprivation was to blame.
I was so pleased with our ability to get packed and check out and be on our way. The weather system wasn’t going to happen at least until the afternoon and we were rocking our schedule. We hopped into my car in the parking garage. The place was almost empty of cars, which was the opposite of when we had parked the afternoon before.
I got my eye-patched friend situated in the car, threw my bags in, got out my parking pass, and promptly backed out so close to the cement column that the crushing sound of my side view mirror against my door reminded me of the trash compactors of old. I could only pull forward to stop the insanity. There dangled my mirror, limp, lifeless, devoid of plastic protection, crushed.
At the hospital, my friend asked for extra surgical tape to help her driver fashion a splint for my crushed mirror. I devised a solution that angled the mirror into the driver’s side window so it wouldn’t bang against the door. We drove home in 28 degree weather on the expressway with our hats and gloves on, and the window open.
The high tech side view mirror flashed a big yellow blinker right in my face every time I wanted to turn left or merge. I was blinded by the flash as well as by the fact that I didn’t realize how highly trained I was to use that mirror to merge. It was scary, dangerous driving.
My friend sat next to me with her big, huge surgical sunglasses on, trying to help so that we didn’t have yet another accident and said:
“Wow, this is the blind leading the blind.”
“You just have to Laugh….”
©2015 Cathy Sikorski