Eating, Sleeping, Playing

John Vurro

Abstract


If you’re ever up for a challenge, try forcing your sixteen-month-old son to swallow two, eight-ounce containers of fruit-punch laced with the contrast he needs for his CT scan. That’s what I’m doing. Well, not really. What I am doing is sitting on a hospital radiator, my back pressed against the window. From here, I watch two nurses, the first a short nurse, her belly peeking out from underneath her blue scrubs, press my son’s legs down onto the gurney, while the second, taller nurse, wearing yellow scrubs, presses her palm against his forehead. Yellow steadies him so she can insert a tube, thin as Cappellini, into his left nostril. Before they started this procedure, they introduced themselves in a sugary voice, which in a pediatric oncology ward means they’re about to do the worst possible thing to your child. I can’t remember their names. They’ve done this before. Anyway, it’s as if he’s being manhandled by a pair of Mylar balloons.

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We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Munk School of Global Affairs, and Mount Sinai Hospital.

Canada Council for the Arts
Munk School of Global Affairs
Mount Sinai Hospital