I know what dehydration means, especially among the old. More than once, I’ve sat in a local hospital’s emergency room while my ancient mother has needles stuck in her veins to restore bodily fluids. She never was good at drinking water. A cup or two of heavily sugared tea is her habit, and rarely does she finish those.
Being called to the hospital on a dark and stormy night isn’t an experience that tempers my patience. “Drink your water, M-o-o-th-er! Please.” She makes a face when I hand her a full glass, as if I’m offering cod liver oil. It would serve her right, if I did. Cod liver oil was her favorite remedy for most of my childhood maladies.
Sadly, I know I’m not the only son or daughter to have water fights with a parent. I wish I had a solution to share. I don’t. The best I can offer is to slap a smile on your face as you enter the emergency room at 3 a. m.
The wealthy take a different attitude toward hydration. Mere water isn’t enough. Nor would they be caught dead in a hospital. They prefer a private nurse to arrive at their yacht or villa with a kit of vitamins and minerals ready to dispense intravenously. They imagine shooting this concoction into the veins has a greater effect than swallowing pills. (“The Main Line,” by Jamie Rosen, Town and Country, September 2018, pg. 104)
Demand for hydration treatments is so great, professionals make house or hotel calls in almost every major U. S. city. Happily, the treatment is good for hangovers, as well. Certainly, those who “imbibe” swear by the habit. One regular vows she arises from her velvet settee each time feeling “nourished,” and “whole.” (Ibid pg. 104.)
As for me, I’d prefer a hot fudge sundae. A sundae, even a strawberry one — if you must have fruit — will make you “whole” and has the added benefit of leaving no needle marks.