Of those 2 days, I spent the first 24-hours under something called “Stroke Protocol.” Stroke Protocol for those as unfamiliar with the term as I was, is essentially the set of rules for doctors and nurses that defines what to do if a patient may have just had a stroke.
Rule 1. The patient must lay flat on their back at all times until the nature of the stroke has been verified. This means, you cannot under any circumstance, sit-up, stand-up, or even just raise your head with more than 1 pillow.
Rule 2. The patient is not allowed to eat until the nature of the stroke has been verified. By eat, they mean ingest anything. No solids, semi-solids, or liquids at all. The only fluid to enter your system will be through an I.V drip.
Now you can see how this makes life difficult.
No getting up to use the toilet. So my options were to get comfortable with a urinal and bedpan, or hold it in for at least a day. The urinal was fine, but I gotta say, when presented with the idea of shitting in a bedpan, I took a rain check. Luckily, I was off the protocol a few hours later – I don’t think I’ve ever felt so relieved.
No watching T.V. So I soon became best friends with the ceiling. We discussed the benefits of being square and I believe I rediscovered all the geometric shapes in existence that can be made from combining squares. Oh, you think there’s only the square and rectangle? Have you not heard of the Damsquare? It’s what you get when you rotate a square 45 degrees clockwise, combine it with another square rotated to the same degree counterclockwise, and multiply by infinity.
No FOOD for 24 hours!? Oh My God! I didn’t leave Africa to come and starve in America abeg. Like I told my attending nurse, “I can deal with paralysis, brain damage, and any other symptoms that present themselves, but NO FOOD!? Show some Mercy!”
It’s funny, I’ve definitely gone for a day or two before without eating – most times because I was caught up in whatever I was doing. But when you are told that you cannot eat, hunger hits you like a thief in the night; Before you know it, it seems like you’ve been robbed blind of every prior consumption.