Camping With The Borg – Part 2

After hours in a hospital for chest pains while visiting family up north…and hours of being stuck with needles, hooked up to machines with tentacles attached to my body…and feeling as helpless as Star Trek’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard, when the Borg had captured and assimilated him…

Now it’s time to sleep.  Yeah, right?  I’ve got a roommate.  I haven’t seen her yet, because there’s a curtain between us.  Through all the commotion between her and the nursing staff, though, I learn her name is DeeDee, and I think she’s an older woman.

Every time she gets up to go to the bathroom, which is often, she sets off an alarm—a long, shrill beeeeeeeep! They (the Borg) keep coming in and telling her that she has to press the call button when she needs to go, so they can unplug her.  Yes, unplug her.  Like a regular plug and outlet.  She has been assimilated far worse than me.

But DeeDee heeds not their warnings…throughout the night.  At first I think she’s senile, but then I begin to consider…maybe DeeDee is just trying to assert herself in the Borg collective.  If I have to get up and go to the bathroom, then by golly, I’m going to go, and I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission!

She gets up, struggles with her I.V. stand, crashing it into everything between her bed and the bathroom.  I pray she doesn’t have a driver’s license.  She tugs at the electric cord restraining her, pulling it across my bed until she yanks it out of the wall.  Yes, DeeDee is pretty cool.  And since the moment she’s lifted off the rigged bed, we’re subjected to the beeeeeeep!

They finally come in and admonish her, “You can’t just get up.  You need to press the call button.”

“What call button?” she asks for the umpteenth time in her sweet little voice.

“Right here.”

“Oh, O.K.  Thank you.”

A few minutes later, beeeeeeep! They decide to leave her light on.  I put earplugs in, but the fluorescent light is blinding.  This can’t be happening!  I need a sleep mask. I try to rig something with the hospital socks, then remember I have a safety pin in my purse, along with a large cloth for cleaning my glasses.  Perfect.

I toss and turn.  She’s snoring.  How will I ever get any sleep?  This I.V. hurts, I keep getting tangled in the oxygen tube, and I’ve got this portable contraption with several wires snapped to my body.  I’m so frustrated I’m about to explode.  But then I start thinking about how funny this all is.  This is great material! So I get up and start writing it all down.  Can’t sleep anyway.

I start getting chest pains again.  Maybe it’ll go away.  No, maybe they should monitor this.  I press the call button.  They come…they turn on my bright fluorescent light, haul in the monster Borg machine, snap me in and do an EKG.  It’s my my turn to cause a commotion, DeeDee. They leave.

It’s 3am, and somehow, I’ve got to get some sleep.  Then something clicks inside me.  I can do this.  I’ve backpacked the Appalachian Trail, and slept on the hard ground with clothes for a pillow.  Surely I can manage with this hard bed and plastic pillow.

I’ll just pretend I’m camping…with the Borg.


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