My recent hospital stay was TORTURE!!! Well, not so much for myself as it was for some of the hospital staff. Especially those whose job it was to get blood from me. They had the worst of it. Le’ me esplane..
I spent a good part of the past six weeks in the hospital. Initially it was for a couple of different problems. I was sent home after two weeks. I had to go back a few days later because of an allergic reaction to one of the medications they had given me. It caused a rash over about 80% of my body. So I was in there for a few more weeks as the doctors tried different things to clear up the rash, and make sure it would not happen again.
Let me first say, everyone from the doctors, nurses, to the cleaning staff, were very nice to me and very professional. Other than being in some pain on occasion, I was nice to them in return. Silly at times, I will admit. But hey, that’s just me being myself.
Or, was it payback for all the times they came into the room while I was sleeping, wake me up and tell me “time for you medication to help you sleep”? One never knows, does one. It may have also been payback for all the times the techs came into the room at 4am to take blood from me. Read more about this below.
For example: Whenever the duty nurse would come in to give me my meds, they would always ask me for my name and date of birth. It was the way they phrased it that caused them to go crazy.
Nurse: “Do you know your name and date of birth?”
Me: “Yes, I do.”
Nurse: “Can you tell me your name and date of birth?”
Me: “Yes, I can.”
Nurse, finally: “What is your name and date of birth?”
Me: I’d finally tell them my name and date of birth. (ain’t i a stinker!)
One day, one of the doctors came into the room to check on my progress. Not sure where it came from but, a fly followed the doctor into the room. He commented: “How did that fly get in here? I’ve never seen one inside the hospital before.” To which I commented: “What. You mean I can’t have a pet with me while I’m here?”
He just looked at me.
Now, regarding the vampires.. um, I mean the lab techs whose job it was to take blood from the patients. I gave them the most trouble. Mind you, not intentionally. They had trouble trying to find a vein to get blood from me. Of course it would start with the same “name/date of birth” routine. Then the fun would really begin.
There was one lab tech especially who went from being champion of the blood suckers to being brought down to equal footing with the rest of them. He was a big, bald headed dude; could have been a relative of Mr. Clean. He was the champion blood sucker because supposedly he could find a good vein on a patient and take the necessary blood on the first try without any problems. Until he met me.
He came into my room early one morning, waking me up. He had his needle and tubes at the ready. It was probably from the sleep in my eyes, but I could swear he had a devilish grin on his face; fangs glistening with the blood from the previous patient. He starts off with the usual “can you tell me your name and date of birth?” And I give him the usual “yes i can”. Even half asleep I can make someone crazy with my weird sense of humor. He gives up on that question and then tells me he is there to take some blood, all the while trying to find a vein to use in either arm. I tell him “good luck”. He laughs. I laugh. He thinks he found a good vein to use, and pricks me with his needle. Nothing comes out (seriously). He looks for a different vein; same thing. I tell him “told you”. He chuckles. After a few more tries he gives up and has a look of dejection on his face. I defeated the champion blood sucker because I had run out of blood in my body.
Actually, what was happening was this..
If any of you reading this have had extended stays in a hospital at some point in your life, may I say “Bless you” and I sincerely hope you are much better now. You especially will understand what I am talking about regarding having blood taken from you three or sometimes four times a day.
With my having been in the hospital for as long as I was, it was literally starting to take its toll on my blood vessels. They were basically running out of blood. The lab techs would ask if I was drinking plenty of water, as it would help the flow of the blood. Unfortunately I was on a fluid restriction; 1500mL per day. So that did not help, me or the techs. Eventually the lab stopped trying to get blood from me four times a day.
In the meantime, the nurses had placed a sign on the door to my room to indicate that I was on a fluid restriction. Why they did that I am not sure. I kept asking the nurse or her aide if they would change the sign so it would read “Please do not water the patient!” They all laughed but said it could not be done or they might get into trouble.
Now, as far as food was concerned..
The hospital food was actually not too bad. I was surprised to find out they prepared most of it themselves. After three weeks of having a limited selection to choose from, I began craving some other foods. Which of course I was not allowed to have while in there. And it did not help with all the food commercials shown on television. Plus, some of those being advertised had restaurants either right across the street or just down the road a few blocks away. Fried chicken; pizza; homemade-style burgers and fries; etc.
I was also having cravings for some of my Philly favorites – soft pretzels and cheesesteaks. Neither of which can be found down here. At least not true honest to goodness soft pretzels and cheesesteaks. But I was never able to successfully con any of the staff to get me any of the foods I was craving. Even after describing the deliciousness of these items to those who never had the pleasure of partaking a true Philly cheesesteak or soft pretzel. You could tell they were starting to crave those things also by the hunger in their eyes and drooling of the mouths. Alas.
Anyways, I’m home now. Healing slowly but healing at least. I still can’t have some of the foods I was craving. Eventually I will have to make my own soft pretzels and Philly-style cheesesteaks I guess. I’ve done it before. As for my blood, I think it is gradually replenishing itself.
And as for my weird sense of humor, that is gradually healing as well. So I hope to begin writing more and posting again soon.
Oh, and one bit of advice. Especially if for whatever reason you have a lengthy hospital stay. Try to get a room at the end of the corridor, near the stairwell. You’ll have better air flow, and won’t set off the smoke alarm as quickly when you light up the bbq grill to cook up some ribs for dinner. And don’t forget to make enough for the nurses on duty also. They will appreciate it!