Sometime in your life, as a total surprise, a family member of yours might be taken to the hospital where they will spend a prolonged amount of time in the intensive care unit. This happened to me just recently.
I hope this doesn’t happen to you, but you should be forewarned – it might happen and then you want to be prepared: it is not like the movies. Even I, an ardent admirer of "Steel Magnolias" with its long Julia-Roberts-Coma-Sequence was grossly unprepared.
Here are some of the main differences you can expect:
Movie Fib: There is only one doctor.
In the movies, to make it easier to understand, they use one doctor to deliver plot points. In real life, there will be about six thousand doctors. They will appear not to know each other. You will tell Dr. Lastname “Dr. Smith said so and so” and then Dr. Lastname will say something like “Dr. Smith…does he have a beard?” and then, even though you are almost thirty, your Mom will embarrass you by saying “Dr. Smith has beautiful eyes.”
Movie Fib: Important things happen all the time
Untrue. The important thing has already happened. Now basically what the doctors are doing is just telling you interesting medical facts to pass the time.
Movie Fib: There is definitely one fatal sounding beep.
Bullshit. All beeps sound fatal and will give you a heart attack. Then you will get used to them and none of the beeps sound fatal. There should be a sequel to “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” called “Machines F@!#! Say Your Dad is Dying Every Twenty Minutes”
Movie Fib: Your family will huddle in the waiting room, crying.
Your family will sit around watching TV and reading and then someone will say “Who wants coffee?” and someone else will say “All I want is Taco Bell.” And they will respond “I’m not bringing Taco Bell into the hospital, it’s trashy.”
Movie Fib: You Will Read Aloud to the Unconscious
Okay, this is true. You'll do it. I did. If you are ever the person IN the coma, you ought to have some books set aside ahead of time. Not me, but someone I will call “Mom” is going to read you Eat, Pray, Love. I know, it sucks. I can’t help it. None of us like Tom Clancy.
Movie Fib: There will be long silent montages demonstrating the agony of your family.
I don’t know what kind of family you have but we never shut up.
Movie Fib: The One Closest Person In Their Life Will Get Them To Open Their Eyes
Everyone has seen a ton of movies where the most special person gets the eyes of the sick person to open. This gives the hospital room a contest-like atmosphere where your family competes to see who really is the most important.
I for a few days wanted to be that special person, even though I know my sister and I are loved the same. But I wanted to do it, I wanted to see his eyes open and recognize me and I could say something funny like, “You idiot, don’t do that again!” or serious like “Dad, it’s me, I love you” or try to explain everything or tell him about what’s happened, or even, for a second, enjoy that certainty that he will be there with me a little bit longer. Just a moment longer.
Movie Fib: There are endings
You hope not.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Was the greatest, right? I was never freaked out that I was going to be the class weirdo for being either the first or last girl in the grade to get my period, but rites of adolescence were shrouded in mystery just the same and it was comforting to have someone sort of explain things. For strong independent female characters and learning about boners, you can't beat it. So I made this. Congrats, Judy.
Things We Learned From Judy Blume
Monday, April 28, 2008
The ol' "Suspicious Skies" Op-Ed was published today in the Chicago Tribune. This is around my third proudest achievement of all time, despite the fact that soon there will be no such thing as a newspaper. Whatever. Still happy. Happy like the last guy who sold a radio show pilot.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Hello new parents! Congratulations on your
accomplishment. We can only assume that you are
nervous, excited, and full of questions like “Should I
breast feed?” “What if my baby cries all the time?”
and “How can I most effectively package and develop my
baby’s content for maximum distribution and revenue
generation on the Internet?” Lucky for you, our
company has the answers. To the third question.
Your friends might already have baby blogs, or a
flickr pages. Boring. Your baby can do so much more. A
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By creating a solid web presence, you’ll also be
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As you look at your little flesh lump you might think
“but my baby isn’t doing anything particularly
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Trust us: personalities are crafted, not born. You
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1. Does my Baby do anything weird when music is on?
2. Does my Baby do something that seems
3. Would I be comfortable letting my baby fall great
4. Be around a scary animal?
5. Bear? Cheetah?
If your baby is dull, take heart: this is not about
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is. And you can make your baby do anything. It's a
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Baby who ONLY WEARS PINK
Baby who is DRESSED UP AS GODZILLA AND CRUSHES MODELS
Baby who you’ve taught to say “NO WAY ”
and shake finger in a sassy way.
Or give your baby an adjective and let the site’s
content naturally develop from your efforts to apply
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instance, EDGY BABY might have a Mohawk. EGDY BABY
posts videos from Lollapalooza or a similar mass
culture event with niche market applications. EDGY
BABY’s photo gallery is full of hilarious pictures of
EDGY BABY asleep next to a well-placed glass of beer.
EDGY BABY swears in his/her blog (which you write
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In terms of unique site visitors, product links,
subscribers and onsite ads, your baby’s content is one
of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. Get that
web presence rolling, and then we’ll talk reality tv,
book deals, you name it. Remember - in five years, if
you're not a product, you're not a person.