Wednesday, August 1, 2018

"Resting Comfortably"

(My last mention of the subject, I hope swear.)

          First (last Tuesday) the hour in the ER waiting room, being called in for triage and trying to explain symptoms while doubled over, and then being sent BACK to the waiting room.

          Next, finally achieving a gurney beyond the closed doors but then waiting another eternity for a pain med. “Sorry – computer glitches.”

          After the blessed pain med,  a CAT scan? Sure!

Spending the night on that same gurney in the ER because there are no beds. Heaven!

          And so what if the bed I scored the next day was so sprung it had a hole in the middle, creating the same dynamics as being sandwiched inside a rogue beach lounger.

          I didn’t realize how good I had it for the first three days with a roommate who was in delirium most of the time and muttered and yelled only occasionally.

          And fine – the migraine that showed up on the second day was almost kept in check by the pain med. (Thanks to the pancreatitis, my tried-and-true migraine med is now verboten.)

          I was coasting along on lots of naps, good pain meds, and a changing array of medical visitors to break up the time. Life was pretty good.

          On the fourth day my roommate left and a new one arrived, one who was deaf and also apparently unable to absorb much information.

          When you have an IV in the fold of your elbow, you must keep your arm straight or you’ll cut off the flow. And the pump will respond accordingly, beeping and beeping and beeping. And then BEEPING! and BEEPING! and BEEPING!!!

          In would come the nurse/nursing assistant. “Don’t bend your arm, Muriel. There ya go, sweetie.” Beeping would end, nurse would sail out. Beeping would immediately begin again.

          Meanwhile, we tried Tylenol for the migraine, since my pain was down otherwise. My migraine’s response, “I LAUGH at your Tylenol! Ha Ha!”

          The coup de gras - Hailey the nursing assistant, bless her 19 year-old heart, who bopped in and said to Muriel, “How ‘bout some TV?” and turned on the other bed’s unit, jacked the volume up to the point where the dishes rattled in the hospital kitchen three floors down, and bopped out. The audience clapped and yelled, and Rachel Ray roared, “DELISH!!!

          Dante would have immediately begun a tenth circle to his Inferno.

          I rang the call bell.

          Derek, the nurse on duty, immediately reduced the volume to the level of a cat padding across a carpeted living room.

Derek is a god.


  1. I"m sorry. I was the guy who'd come in sometime, usually in the morning with a stethoscope in the pocket of my white coat, your chart in hand, smile, say "it's looking pretty good." and say something to the nurse in attendance, and leave. My apologies for my brethren.

  2. Mo9st of the hospitals up here have private rooms....what a blessing that is! Pancreatitis is no what you fat at all. I hope they figure out what triggered it. Take Good care of you! :)

  3. Oh dear lord. What was worse - the pancreatitis, the migraine, or the roommates???? Thank goodness for pain medication (except that it didn't help your migraine). Are you home yet? -Jenn

  4. I hope that now you are home things are MUCH better.

    1. Yes, indeed Home Sweet -and quiet - Home.

  5. I hate when migraines laugh at medication and kick up the thumping a notch or two. and I love earplugs, so I don't have to hear things I don't want to. On the other hand, why didn't someone think to splint Muriel's arm so she couldn't bend it?

    1. I suggested it. They said that would have fallen into the no-no category o f "restraint".

  6. That sounds pretty bad. With that ammount of pain, you'd think that you would have been dealt with quicker.

  7. Oh my. I hope it's a long time before I have to go back into a hospital. My last stay (ten years ago) was no picnic and there were times when I felt completely abandoned. You brought it all back with this description. :-(

  8. Yikes, one misery after another. I too thought they should have splint her arm. Migraines are miserable. I fortunately outgrew mine with menopause but I do remember that blinding pain.
    Hope you are home now and MUCH better.

    1. The day menopause ended, the migraines did too. I can live with night sweats, mood swings, strange cravings (do not ask), all of it. The migraines are gone.

      What a messy bit of hospital you went through.

      I only once had a roommate, the first time I was hospitalized, she was spanish and deaf, quite old, and dying of stomach cancer. All I could do was smile at her.
      Now, though, they have enlarged the hospital and people go home sooner than they did, so I usually end up in a two bed room with no company.

      I hope you feel better(er) soon, and don't have to go through that again. And please, if you need to vent, hey, this is your blog, vent away. Sometimes it helps.

  9. One heals much better at home. Have not had to visit a hospital for ages and not looking forward to the next time. glad you still have your sense of humor.


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