I am a good sleeper. Its one of a handful of things that I am just naturally good at. So, why am I lying here in the dark, finally resorting to grabbing my computer off the floor to type? Well, just like last night, I woke after a few hours of sleep with a strange combination of water pouring out of my nose and the inability to breathe from nasal congestion. Why is that always the combination that comes with upper respiratory illness, clogged up and pouring over? So I blew my nose, rolled over, tried it again. Oh, and then the nurse calls to make sure I knew about a patient (who I had known about since it was very much light outside). The nasal cycle continued until I was having to get up, turn on the light, and go to the bathroom regularly to get more tissue. Finally I just crammed some up my left nostril and laid with that side down so the snot would drain effectively in one direction.
In the midst of this miserable time, longing for rest that would not come, I heard the noise. I knew it. There is something that comes up my shower drain in the night, flips the drain cover off, and then enters freely to enjoy my home. I heard the noise of the plastic cover flipping off. I always liked to imagine it was a lizard. You know, they are kind of solitary, interesting creatures. They aren't really thought of as nasty or germy, though of course they probably are. But as I lay in my bed, it occurred to me that I don't think lizards are nocturnal. I then heard the creature knock over some small item in the kitchen. I couldn't just lay there anymore. Lights on again. Robe on (just in case something jumped on me, I wanted to have an extra layer). I couldn't find him, so I made sure all the cabinets were closed and headed back to bed. On the way, I put the drain cover back on with a heavy bottle of cleaning solution on top of it so that if it made it out already it would be trapped outside.
But, no such luck. It was trapped inside. I heard it again in the bathroom, this time trying to get out of the drain. Up again. Robe on. Lights on. Aaaaahhh, a rat! Sick, nasty, disease laden creature. I felt very vulnerable to attack with my bare legs there on the same floor as him. But there was nothing else to do but trap him or kill him. So, with all the wisdom that comes in a groggy, foggy state, I went for the heaviest thing I could find. Someone left a broken hand churn ice cream maker bowl here before I moved in. Those things are stout. Since it was already broken and useless, I grabbed it as a double use instrument of war. I could trap him in the bowl, or if that didn't work, I could bludgeon him to death with the weight of the bowl. But as I timidly approached, he knocked the bottle of cleaning solution off the drain, flipped it off, and was down it once again.
I have complained multiple times to the juvenile appearing plumber at the hospital regarding this now known rat (prior lizard). He looks at me like I'm stupid, says something nice that translated into what he means says "you're stupid", and then turns away to talk to his friends. Well, in my current multi-night sleep deprived state I have come up with some other options. First, between cases today I will go and talk to the maintenance departments boss. If that fails to get some kind of non-removable drain cover, I will change directions and head toward the administration building to see if they can get something done. If this too fails, I am going to find some bush-hunter type Cameroonian man, let him stay in my guest room and eat at my house for free, in exchange for his willingness to be woken up by me whenever I hear that rat start to mess with the drain cover. He will be responsible for killing any creature that crosses the limit of that plastic piece. I saw a man who works in the OR walking down the road just the other day with a gun, heading out to get some bushmeat. Perhaps I will introduce the idea to him when I get to the OR today. He may be the one.