Friday, March 30, 2007

On the Shedding Habits of Snakes

Yesterday I learned that a hedgehog's quills are actually hairs, made of the same substance as our fingernails.

Two volunteers from the Bronx Zoo were at the Patient Activity Center with a variety of small mammals, birds and reptiles, giving a short discourse on each one before passing it around for petting. I also learned that animals with eyes in the front of their heads were predators, and animals with eyes on the sides of their heads were herbivores. I did not know that.

It felt good to be with Jim outside of his room, attending something we could enjoy together. He fell asleep during the snake, but otherwise we had fun.

Earlier that day, the same activity center had hosted a seder. This was the reason I'd taken the day off from work. Passover isn't until Monday, but they had the celebration early at Calvary for the 7 patients and their families who could attend. I never found out what happened to all the extra seder plates. Perhaps they combined all the leftover ingredients to make an egg salad so good you could plotz.

After the zoo and the seder, I wheeled Jim back up to his room. They don't use regular wheelchairs at this place. They use these Barcaloungers with wheels, with the footrest in the "up" position so you feel like you're pushing a freight train. I felt several times as if I were steering my husband right into a wall, and narrowly escaped collisions with other patients.

The doctor who attends the unit stopped by. She's going to consult with the physical therapist to see how Jim can get some strength into his legs, which should give him a little more autonomy.

Then we watched TV while he ate his dinner.

"If I got better and came home, would that be okay?"

"Sure. Why wouldn't it be okay?"

As long as he doesn't go looking for the car vacuum.

A touching question. Sounds like he knows it was hard for you those last days and weeks.
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