One of the things we had to do upon admitting Andrew into the hospital this week was sign a bunch of consent forms.
They were the usual “Permission to Treat,” “Permission to Wake Him Up in the Middle of the Night Out of a Deep and Necessary Sleep for No Good Reason Whatsoever,” and “Permission to Hook Him Up to Loud Beeping Machines That Everyone Ignores Anyway.”
And then there was the new one.
“Permission to Video and Audio Tape in the Room.”
Hold your horses.
You mean they were going to be recording everything we said and did in Room 503? Every waking moment? Every single day?
Um, that would be a resounding……….. Hell Yes!!!
Those who know me best know that I’ve always wanted my own reality show!
I signed on the dotted line (in my fanciest signature of course) and prepared to be an overnight sensation. I had an entire hospital to entertain after all!
The first 24 hours proved a bit unnerving.
I had to make sure that I was angled properly when feeding, hugging, kissing, and tending to my son, all the while keeping my composure and appearing natural and confident in front of the camera.
I even perfected the dramatic pause during conversations with my husband. The audience loves that kind of thing:
“Michael, (pause, 1,2,3,4) I hope they can get to the bottom of this unfortunate set of unforseen circumstances (pause 1,2,3,4) surrounding our precious little boy,” (pause, 1, 2, 3, 4, – head tilt and glance toward camera).
“Jo, what the hell is wrong with you? Why are you talking like that? Who are you looking at?”
By day 2 I was much more accustomed to life in the spotlight (when you’ve got it, you’ve got it, you know?), and in true reality show form even forgot about being recorded long enough to close the curtain in the room so I could change my pants, only to bend over right in front of the camera and properly moon whomever was unlucky enough to be in the control room at the time.
By day 3 I was sure I was making my mark on the reality television show circuit, and when the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit technician came by I was sure it was for my autograph.
“Who shall I make this out to?” I asked, scrawling my name on Andrew’s poop chart.
I immediately realized that the poor man was overwhelmed with emotion upon meeting me in person, after having watched me for the last 36 hours in what could only be described as an emotionally frought glimpse into the life of Jo Ashline.
I waited for him to gain his composure.
“What can I do for you honey?” I asked gently, trying to put him at ease.
“Ma’am, I just came by to tell you that we need you to move out of the way of the camera. We’re having a difficult time capturing any data on your son with you in the way, so if you could please stay out of the field of vision, that would be great.”
I suppose he’s right.
It’s just not ready
for ALL OF THIS.