It’s 11:50 p.m. and Max and I should be sleeping, but there is no way in the entire world that anyone who is literally not unconscious could sleep. There is a ridiculously loud beeping sound, all the lights are on in our room, someone is fussing with the television on the wall, the door is slamming, three people are discussing how to make a bed, and a baby is crying bloody murder.

Hospitals are the strangest places in the world. I will never understand why, at the exact moment when we are sick, really sick, we are expected to casually bunk up with strangers. No one ever expects people to share anything with strangers – especially in NY – but of course, just when we are in pain and contagious, we have to be as chummy as college roommates. It really is strange.

So, we left the isolation of the ICU and are on a regular neurology floor in a shared room, with a one-month old baby and his parents. I’m sure the baby is adorable, but the kicker is that this family refuses to speak to us. And really, no one ever refuses to speak to US. By now, I should have learned their entire life story, their ancestral homes, medical history, first grade teacher’s names, and every single detail of why they are here. By the time we leave, we should have exchanged numbers, promised to keep in touch, become Facebook friends, and texted each other on national holidays for the rest of our lives. I have mad skills.  None of this is going to happen.

They have the good bed, the one with the window and the bathroom, so we have to walk past them all the time. They will not even look at us. We have tried to be friendly, ask them if they want anything whenever one of us is going out into the “world” and smile politely at them on our way to pee. We know why the are here – thankfully it is nothing too serious and they will be going home in a few days with antibiotics. It’s not a cultural or religious thing – they are from East Brunswick. You see, these super secret curtains that are supposed to be HIPAA-grade prophylactics still let you eavesdrop all you want! Therefore, since we are hidden by the same paper-thin curtains, they have obviously heard every single conversation we have had, every mention of Max’s disability, surgery, and miraculous progress in 3 short days. They heard him crying his heart out in pain and frustration yesterday, and then watched him walk past them on his way to the bathroom, a feat that is so miraculous the third day after SDR surgery, that the nurses and physical therapists were crying too! Even Max smiled politely at them in the midst of the hardest walk of his life and we got nothin’ – not even a smile back. I find this all sociologically baffling. At least I have plenty of time not-sleeping to ponder all of this.

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11 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sheri…so glad Max is healing at Superman speed. We had a similar encounter when my Max was sick. Breath deep and let it go…their loss! I’ve learned that not everyone needs to explore their “6 degrees” of separation!

    • sheri says:

      Yes, you are correct – not everyone does things the same way! We have moved on the hospital in New Brunswick and every day seems like the day before was last year!

  2. Marilyn Senders says:

    Miraculous progress is great news! Some people are just not friendly. The fact that the staff at the hospital are supportive should be enough encouragement to help you ignore the temporary downers next door.

  3. Lynda says:

    Max is a miracle. Always has been. Always will be. (And his family isn’t too bad either)???

  4. Buzzy says:

    Way to go, Max!!??????

  5. Buzzy says:


  6. Buzzy says:

    Switch question marks to SMILES and BALLOONS.

  7. Sherri says:

    Maybe that family is in so much pain of their own they are oblivious. Or maybe they think talking will open the flood gates. So happy max is doing well. Didn’t know he needed surgery. PM me when you can.

    • sheri says:

      Of course, you are right.. Max is doing well – up and down and up and down and up and down. We are hopeful this surgery will have many long term benefits for him for the rest of his life.

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