By Nicole Cater
Okay, quick tip: Just in case you don’t now, a med is a medicine you currently take. A script is a med that has been prescribed, but you haven’t had it yet. Just clearing this shit up, I mean, truthfully, I could add a whole glossary section. But I won’t, because that’s boring.
So first let me disabuse you of the image that Hollywood, that perpetual do-gooder, has instilled into your brain of people lining up at a window or a couple of overly prepared nurses with trays handing out meds. You are not required to open your mouth and wiggle your tongue around to verify you swallowed the meds. HA! Okay, okay, I’m sure that happens. Somewhere. At least I’m not comfortable saying it NEVER does but….
Your first day on the ward, you get an approximate idea of your med time if you happen to wander by and ask your nurse (Miss Julissa, nice, but not tough as nails), if it’s okay that maybe you can have some of your Tramadol because your back hurts. Goodness yes! You also need your Prozac, Lamictal, Valtrex, Topomax, and Xanax. But you can’t have your Xanax now because you have to wait for the pharmacy to bring it up. Codes are entered, drawers fly open, cubbies holding pills pop up, it’s all very sci-fi. The barcodes on the back of the meds are scanned, your wrist band, which is so tight it’s cutting off circulation, is scanned, and holy shit, things start matching up! There is the little cup with pills and the little cup with water, Tinsel Town got that right. So every hour or so, you drift toward the nurses desk and ask if the Xanax has arrived. Your 9:00 a.m. med arrives at noon.
But there is no line. There is no tray. No one specifically asks for meds. In the morning, the patients spend between about 6:30 and 8:30 trying to decipher The Great and Mighty Board. And eating breakfast, but that only takes like 10 minutes. So, having figured enough about The Board to see who you’re assigned to (Day two, Miss Karen, she’s obviously started requesting me), you must see about getting your meds. That is, if you’re not Barb or Roger. They don’t see about doing anything. Because Barb doesn’t really see anything real anymore, and Roger, newly hatched, can’t figure out what the hell this place is that he’s infiltrated.
Round about 9ish (There’s a couple of clocks on the ward, but they’re only good for meal, med and visiting time), you start to wander around the nurse’s station. You move in and out of your nurse’s line of sight in the hopes that she will see you and realize its med time. Considering the number of loons milling about expectantly doing nothing, most get the picture quickly. Should 9:30 roll around and your nurse has been too busy jibber-jabbering about life on the outside, you may have to make direct contact. Not to give the impression that nurses don’t care. Well, I mean, they don’t on the other side of the line, I think I got lucky there. But there’s a lot going on in this thing called life, and we’re really not a part of it, so we’re easy to forget.
Night meds are a different animal. Some do the passive milling about trick again. But it’s night, and by that time, you’ve either fallen asleep, become engaged in a book, game or movie, or completely forgotten there’s a clock and something called time altogether. So you’re hunted down. Turns out, this is the droid you’re looking for. It’s five feet high, on wheels, and has its own scanner. This is something like the new-fangled tray idea. With a scanner. So if you haven’t passively aggressively shown up at the desk by 9:30, they wheel the droid around, looking for you. Having had your meds dispensed, you are allowed to return to your scheduled program of nothing. Until tomorrow, when it starts all over again.
This is our new Wicked Short Stories page with submissions from various Authors. Please look for bio-snippets about the Author at the bottom of the various pieces. Enjoy!