Sarah was hospitalized on Monday. Her pulmonary functions had fallen and she was running a fever. This is the 3rd course of I.V. medications she has had in the last four months. Further, Dr. Sindel has been seriously concerned about her weight and nutrition levels. He is convinced that her lack of weight gain and current low nutritional levels are contributing to her roller coaster of illness of late.
I have struggled with an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness, given I have absolutely no control over what another person injests into her body. Coaxing and cajoling usually only does one of two things: creates a power struggle between Sarah and I, or leaves us both feeling frustrated and angry. Still, I have this tape in my head that plays and says, "You are Christy: CF-Mom Extraordinairre. You should be able to fix this."
So, entering the cafeteria that day, my emotional, mental and spiritual state was probably not what it usually is. That is precisely when I encountered the woman hereafter referred to as "The Roll Lady". She was wearing a lab coat and a badge indicating she was an associate professor for USA. I noted that she was probably some type of doctor. We waddled through the line side by side getting our food. I ordered chicken parmesan and turnip greens. She ordered the vegetable plate, which is advertised to be three vegetables and a roll. We were shuffling through without incident until she reached the roll display. The only bread available was corn bread. She asked the gentleman at the roll station if they had any more rolls. He indicated that they did not. In the mean while, I moved over to get my unsweet tea, while The Roll Lady began impuning the gentleman's family heritage because there were no longer any rolls available. Somehow, she made it to the check-out line right before me, so I was again stuck.
I'm not sure why people look at me and think, "I need to talk to this person," but she seemed to assume that I would be a sympathetic ear to her cause.
"Can you believe they don't have any rolls? They aren't even that good. All they have is cornbread. It is a mix and they add sugar. I'm not eating that."
I gripped my styrofoam tray and gave a non-committed type of "Humph".
"I mean, if they are going to advertise a vegetable tray with a bread they should have a roll. There isn't even one DAMN roll to be had!"
This is probably the point that I looked at her badge and noted her associate professor status. I remained silent this time and shifted my eyes awkwardly around hoping she would be quiet given my lack of response to her delimma.