For those just tuning in, I’m a labor and delivery nurse. Since fertility, like death, never takes a holiday, yesterday–on Christmas Day–I had to work 12.5 hours at the hospital.
If people would just read my daughter’s gut-wrenching account of what it is like to have a Christmas birthday nobody would knowingly do this to their child. But apparently people aren’t thinking about how badly it will suck for their kid’s entire life while they’re getting all jiggy wit it in March. I know we certainly weren’t.
Since I was told, off-the record, that being on bereavement last year–because my mother died—constituted a HOLIDAY for me, I was obligated to work this Christmas.
I was also told that I should seriously consider not having my hysterectomy over the Christmas holiday this year because, and I quote, “people will talk”. I’m not sure what they’ll talk about. Maybe they’ll say, “That Chloe! The depths of her depravity know no bounds! She’ll kill off her relatives; schedule major surgery. That bitch will do anything to have Christmas off!”
But I’m not bitter.
And just for the record, the patient doesn’t schedule their surgery; the surgeon schedules the surgery. That’s the way it works in the Big City. My surgeon didn’t have an opening until the end of March, 2012. I’m very excited. I’ll be spending my 25th Anniversary with a “Closed for Repairs” sign hanging over my vagina. Maybe people will talk now about the lengths I”m willing to go to have my 25th Anniversary off. Sheesh.
As my luck would have it, two women decided to go all Little Town of Bethlehem on me and have babies for Christmas.
Hey, the money was good, right? And I served humankind, which was really Christ’s point anyway, right?
The hospital, out of its deep pockets of generosity, offered a free turkey dinner, with all of the trimmings, for those of us unfortunates who were spending our Christmases working instead of at home in the loving bosom of our families.
I don’t mean to be ungrateful. There are people starving in this world who would kill–if they had the strength to–for a meal like we were given, but the turkey was so dry and the stuffing was so salty that they both could have survived the crossing of the Mayflower and been served at the first Thanksgiving. But the gravy was pretty decent, so I slathered it all over everything.
Then there was all the stuff lying around.
I don’t know what it is about hospitals, but for some reason people feel the need to bring in the absolute unhealthiest food possible and plop it on the community tables for doctors and nurses to plunder.
There was a veritable sea of boxes of cheap, Russell Stover® candies, bowls filled with aluminum-wrapped Santas and Christmas bells, bags of Hershey’s kisses of every race, color and creed, plates of homemade cookies (by now looking a little picked over), canisters of butter toffee popcorn, industrial-sized tins of Moose Droppings®, and at least two ginormous Mason jars filled with homemade Chex® Mix…with cashews.
No salad was served with our free lunch, and there was not a Cutie® or a veggie platter in sight.
Now nobody made me eat this stuff. I have no one to blame but myself. But eat it I did. The horrible free lunch (proving that there really is no such thing as “free” lunch), the cheap candies, (I passed on the cookies because they had all glommed into a congealed mass of melted chocolate, nuts and once-bright rainbow sprinkles), and an untold number of handfuls of Chex Mix…with cashews.
Which brings me to the point of this post.
Here it is.
Throw it away.
Finally, realizing that I was powerless to stop eating all of this crap that was just sitting there within arm’s reach, I began to simply throw it in the trash. I overturned a half-full jar of Chex Mix…with cashews into the trash followed by my half-eaten chocolate Santa Claus.
I’ve heard of people doing this and then changing their minds and foraging into the trash to retrieve the goodies, but nobody is desperate enough to go dumpster-diving in a hospital trashcan. Nobody.
And now you are going to say something about the poor other people who wanted to eat this stuff?
I was doing them a favor.
I wish I could say that I felt better right away, but I didn’t. At least I couldn’t eat any more of it.
Today is a Daniel’s Fast sort of day for me. Fruit, vegetables and water. And Shredded Wheat & Bran® because I have to eat Shredded Wheat & Bran® every day or the world spins off its axis and we all plunge to our deaths. You can thank me with anonymous cards filled with small, unmarked bills.
The secret to staying slim isn’t dieting or obsessive exercise. The secret is knowing when to stop.
Just stop. Throw whatever you have left over in the garbage right now and walk away.
If I can, you can.
Throw it away and stop now.
Christmas is over.