Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Other


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where OTHER gods in OTHER rooms and OTHER heavens get to have their say!

In one week I will be going to the hospital for inpatient orthopedic surgery. The surgeon in my health plan works out of the local Roman Catholic hospital in Camden, New Jersey.

Today I went to the hospital in for my preliminary blood work, etc. I wore my second favorite Tinker Bell t-shirt and brought along my faerie named Aine.

The enormous revolving door inexplicably shut down with me in the middle, unable to get into the building or out of it. Ten seconds later it started moving again. So is that God telling me to stay the hell out, or the bored gods telling me not to go in?

I went in.

So I'm having my admission interview, with Mr. Johnson standing behind me (ever the protective mate). The nice hospital lady is clicking away on the computer, and she says, "Religion?"

And I say, "Druid. D-R-U-I-D."

(Mr. Johnson, an unrepentant lapsed Catholic, shoves me in the back. So much for the protective mate.)

Nice lady stares at screen. Long pause. "We don't have that," she says.

So I say, "Pagan."

(No shove from spouse this time. He's given up.)

Nice lady examines the screen again. Long pause. Finally she chirps, "I'll just check 'Other.'"

Can I be the first Pagan ever to check into Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, New Jersey? From the top floors of the hospital you can see Center City Philadelphia!

I wish I had thought to say "Santeria." Just to see if that would be a first, too.

Back to the waiting room we go, and Mr. Johnson whispers, "Why did you do that?"

And I say, "Because it's my religion, silly. Where do you think I go eight times a year, with the Heir and the Spare and a cooler full of fried chicken? To Druid Grove!"

And Mr. Johnson (who knows a lot more about Catholicism than I do) says, "Now they're gonna neglect you and probably kill you."

Ya think he's a little nervous about all this? Or do you think the Roman Catholics have never gotten over their penchant for slaughtering Pagans? I opt for the spousal nerves. With hope in my heart.

I did have an interesting dream last night. I was driving in a car with my dad, in the mountains that we called home. I looked out the window as the beautiful vistas stretched out, and I said, "Oh my, it's so good to be home." Our destination was a big family reunion, which I knew to be my family but didn't know any of them by name. Dad knew them all, though. And typical with hillbilly family reunions, every table groaned with food -- the most gorgeous cakes I'd ever seen.

The dream, I think, is a message from my ancestors that if anything does go wrong, I'll shortly join them at home.

In the meantime, I'm an "Other." But I already knew that.

18 comments:

Souris Optique said...

You'll be fine. The faeries'll run interference.
Let me phrase that another way.
You'd damn well _better_ be fine.;D

Best of luck, and may you have the blessings of all the bored gods.:)

yellowdog granny said...

i'd take lots of faries with you for protection..
when i had my first back operation waaaaay in 1987 they asked for religion (and it was a catholic hospital too) i said pagan..all 3 of my kids groaned, oh fuck mom...and the lady said 'a what?'....i said pagan..you know..the ones all you christians tried to kill off?...so im in the hospital waiting for dr. that night and a priest came in stood in the door way and smiled really big...i just stared back and said 'what?'he said i just had to check out the only pagan that us christians didn't kill off and walked away..little did he know...
i'll light candle and send prayers your way..goddess bless you

Mama Kelly said...

Im sure Ill be back again b4 the week is up but best of luck to you in your upcoming surgery. May all the bored Gods keep watch over you!!

Kelly

PS Ive been admitted as an Other many times myself LOL

THE Michael said...

Please tell me your surgeon is a stout Southern Baptist.......and that he knows you're a godless pagan.....he'll take good care of you just to piss off the sisters!

Angela-Eloise said...

Okay, so this is a very naive comment, but why does a hospital need to know what religion you are to perform surgery on you?

Anne Johnson said...

They want to know what denomination to contact if you croak.

Anonymous said...

anne johnson:

I was a Cath-O-Lick until I discovered free will.

I had two aunties that were nuns (well, three, really, but one died when I was quite young--as was she). The older one was a major pain in the ass Godbotherer. Her younger sister, Sister Callista (aunt B.C. to us) was a woman who was filled with wonder and joy and grateful for every day of her life.

I believe in none of the foolishness anymore, but I will ask the universe to keep you in its thoughts and also, in case I'm wrong, to tell aunt B.C. to keep an eye on you AND the godbotherers.

democommie

Angela-Eloise said...

Anne, I guess that makes more sense than giving a benediction to close a political event. (I just finished watching Hillary's speech at the DNC.)

WitchDoctorJoe said...

I was in the Army for ten years. I still have my first set of dog tags.
They say "other" too.

Giv'em their hell Sis.

dmiley said...

Hi Anne,
I'll pray for you.
David

BBC said...

No worries, it will be just fine and you will have fine care.

I'll be having a hernia operation soon but they are no big deal these days, just a day trip to a clinic or hospital. Not sure where I will go yet, waiting to hear from them.

Meanwhile, I'm taking the first fast ferry to Victoria this morning to spend the day with Cher.

It looks like rain today, but whatever, I'll just go with the flow.

Pom said...

In this corner: Anne. Booster of the bored Gods, friend to faerie folk, and blogger extraordinaire.
In the other corner: Monotheists, takers of women's rights, cover-uppers of pervert priests.

Their numbers may be larger, but I think you're working better ju-ju.

Best of luck in your upcoming surgery - do yourself a favor though, when they come to take you to surgery, verify with them which surgery they're taking you down for and leave a sticky note on each hip saying "this one" and "not this one" putting the appropriate note on the appropriate hip. I was in for a girly surgery but was rolled halfway down the corridor before I found out the orderly was taking me for an angioplasty - caught her in the nick of time!

Anonymous said...

Johnson,

Although we are extremely un-PC on the God blog, I do wish you all the best. You'll pull through fine. The Catholics are ridiculous but they have some fine health care facilites. My thoughts are with you.

Zeus aka some real name (a deist, if a a bielever at all)

Anne Johnson said...

Zeus, you have always been treated with respect on this blog, so thank you for your support.

Yvonne said...

Anne - both protective and healing vibes coming your way.

SubtleKnife said...

Thanks for the reminder, I need to e-mail the Druids that are going to do our November service.

As for me, I keep having to explain what Unitarian Universalism is, nobody's ever heard of it over here. On the other hand, I have our minister's cell phone number in the memory of mine, so they can just copy that, right?

RiverMist said...

wow, O live your blog, and yes I do get the whole pagan? thing alot.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I've had really good treatment at our Catholic hospital. But then, I always check "Other" or "Prefer not to respond" when given the choice on anything. I'd check it on gender if they let me, just to keep people in the dark till they saw me.