Sarah Kishpaugh

Sex in a Hospital Bed

When it was clear he would live, he underwent surgery for his fractured skull, eye sockets and nose, after which he was weaned from a medical coma. For months, all I did was hope and pray. It wasn’t until he was in rehabilitation that I allowed myself to think about how intimacy would work. But now, I felt like a virgin at 33.

Once, when his eyes were still glued shut and he had yet to speak, I slid into the hospital bed with him. He shared a room with a man flown in from Alaska who had hit his head on a cast iron wood-burning stove. The guy was doing surprisingly well, which made me feel depressed. Miles moaned and thrashed underneath wrist restraints meanwhile Alaska flipped through channels and barked at the nurse for Oxycotin.

There was a vinyl green curtain separating their beds. When Miles had been in intensive care, I had laid my chest across his, pleading for him to come back to me whole. But here I could lie horizontally along him. On an afternoon when he was calm, I asked him to “scoot over.” He didn’t respond. I knew he wasn’t sleeping, but he wasn’t awake.

Selected Works

Chicken Soup for the Soul
Bitch Magazine
Guest Blogs
Feminist Wednesday
The Writer in the World

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