*** *** ***


“Would you mind changing rooms?”
the nurse asked.
My daughter shook her head no.
“No” I answered.
“We don’t want to switch rooms.”
“You have to,” the nurse admitted.
“We don’t have enough nurses on staff.”
She pushed the bed down the hall,
not a pleasant trip for a youngster who
just had major surgery.

A new room
a new roommate
with a little brother bouncing off the walls.
Mom had no one to leave him with
until Dad got off work.
a nurse shows up.
He gives us an over-wide grin,
sits down in a chair next to the bed
with the patient chart and announces,
“Hi, I’m here to get you ready
for your blood transfusion.”

“What?” I say calmly
but my heart has stopped beating.
This is the first I’ve heard of it.
“Yes, we’re sending her down
for a blood transfusion.”
“They didn’t tell me anything about that,”
I say guardedly.
My daughter looks at me with utter panic.
“It’s right here on the chart,” he points.
“Didn’t you and your husband donate blood for her?”
“No,” I say.
He looks at the chart again,
rolls his eyes.
Wrong chart!

We don’t see him for the rest of the shift.
Not enough nurses.


Copyright 2005 Arlyn Serber