Sure, major surgery has its inconveniences which are to be expected (I pointed some out in Part 1 of my Hospitalization blogum located below) but what they are really good at is the little things. Little things mean a lot. Little things can be cute, as in kittens...little things can kill you, as in germs...and little things you can take for granted...well, they'll be the ones I'm referring to here. I can only speak on my personal cases of being in the hospital and for this story I'm sticking to things which occurred this time around.
- Bodily fluids and why are they fascinated with them in the hospital? Furthermore why do they have one bathroom for me and not another one for my visitors?? Do they know WHAT lurks IN my personal hospital bathroom? I feel like the consummate bad criminal in any killer movie when they reach to open the bathroom door...
"DON'T open THAT!!!!"
"Well, why? Whatcha hiding in there I can't look at?"
"Well, if it's nothing, tell me what it is."
"It's nothing I say."
"You aren't telling me the truth, are you?"
"You CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"
Why does the dialogue ever have to progress that far? I'll be honest with everyone here and now why those bathrooms are for the patient and the patient alone. They give you little bowls and containers with demarcation/deliniation lines...and they give them adorable little names...oh, like "hat". "Time to empty your 'hat'" they say. Well, they don't sell these hats in any haberdashery shop I've ever been in, nor at 'Bed Bath and Beyond'...they are WAY beyond what they sell. I think they get them from a guy who knows a guy who comes around in the back of the hospital twice a week...or they probably order them online or eBay.
Word to the wise...hospitalization is a series of private processes, especially for women who don't routinely sit on the sofa snarfing down nachos and guzzling back beer with men playing "pull my finger" games. Now, nothing's wrong with being that type of woman...but I'm not...I am more on the "demure" side of the fence. I don't want anyone to enter places to see things that even the nurses and doctors shouldn't have to see. So, when you reach your hand out to turn my bathroom door knob...let's just say the only way you aren't getting vituperatively scolded a well deserved "NO!" would be if I were in a coma...but if I were in a coma I wouldn't really be using the bathroom so you could probably use it. I believe you get the point here by now...even if that point is moot.
- I am 46...I'd like to be younger but I'm not. I have, to my credit, built up some medical vocabulary where I feel confident enough to speak to doctors and medical staff using and have them use back with me without my having that "huh??" look on my face. This comes from my odd habit of reading the PDR, medical papers, and hanging out at WebMD.com and MayoClinic.com much more than anyone should. But when a doctor says uncommon words, 99 percent of the time I know what they are saying and they don't have to spell everything out for me in plain laymen's vernacular. I find this to be a bonus and I think they appreciate it as well. But one thing eludes me during my stay this time and I will try to explain best I can. Enter one nurse after I rang the bell...the dialogue goes somewhat like this: Her: "What can I do for you?" Me: "Well, I have to be unstrapped from the blood-clot leg cuffs before I can toddle off to the bathroom and this is where you get to come in." Her: "Well, do you have to go 'tee-tee' or something else?" Me: "Ummmm - I only have to urinate." Now, I am not five or 10 even for that matter and I certainly hoped I exuded a little more knowledge than one click above brain-dead...why she called it "tee-tee" is a mystery to me...but I wrote it off as perhaps she normally works on the pediatric ward. And then after a bit of contemplation I figured I would indeed use this whole dialogue bit in a blog...yes, that's the way my mind works.
- For the love of all things sacred...please feed me something that might get my gastric juices flowing. Even Pavlov's dog would have just sat in the corner and licked his...uh...bells wouldn't have sent any salivary glands salivating in any experiments if he had pawned this stuff off as food in those experiments. And speaking of experiments, I think the Nutrition Department were conducting some of their own. During my "soft bland diet" phase, at lunch and dinner "something" which can only be envisioned as that dough blob that pops at full force out of the Poppin' Fresh dough cylinder when you poke the seam with a knife blade. Honestly, THAT is what it looked like and they were determined to get me to eat it and they had days and days to prove that theory.
-- Day one I was tempted to taste it - but I stood my ground as it didn't look like a pudding and it wasn't exactly an ice-cream as it never melted...so I put it in that illustrious food group in which Fruitcake belongs and sent it back. Voila! I'll get something else later for dinner. Or so I thought. There, mysteriously - right top quadrant of the tray...it was back again. Surely it must be a whole different one you are thinking. Au contrare...it looked the same...but instead of being pristinely white this time...it had diminished to "eggshell". Again I held my ground and returned it - surely it can't return again tomorrow I thought. Ha! I won! Well, I shouldn't pat myself on the back so quickly...plus I had an abdominal incision...it kinda hurts to twist like that.
-- Day two I hear voices from Poltergeist II in the back of my mind..."They're ba-aaak" - and sure enough, it was. Again, had I access to those paint colour swatches I could've discerned this one wasn't even "eggshell" anymore, but now was more closely graduating to "ecru". By the time they came to collect it - I made a joke about how it returns but always a shade darker...I think they either didn't get it or they now knew I was wise to them. I was certain it wouldn't make it to my dinner menu.
-- Enter my children who haven't had me at the house for days dealing with my witty banter (oh go along with me - I had major surgery) on a continuing basis...so I had to relay to them the "scary ever-colour-changing blob which shows up at each meal except breakfast" tale. My daughter hatched a plan - "Stab it!" she says. "NOOOOOOOOO!!!" I say..."Didn't you learn ANYTHING from watching those Sci-Fi movies from the 50s? That 'thing' will slide off the plate, slip under the door, kill three people at the nurses' station and then double back and break my window to kill me when my back is turned to it whilst I'm reporting the whole incident to the police on the phone!" It happens EVERY time - best not tempt providence. And, true to form...the colour was indeed a little darker still...and had lost some sheen...it was now fast approaching "faded ivory piano keys" shade. My son was brave, even with my cautionary words of impending doom...he totally annihilated the poor unsuspecting "upper right food tray blob" and alas, it came back no more. I really don't want to think about why it didn't too long so I'll just gloss right over that whole episode. But at the time, it was pretty much my only form of entertainment...so much so we took photos.
Word must have gotten back to the "mother ship" that I was not going to cave in and consume that thing so I believe they decided they had no use for me anymore and when the doctor came in to see me the next day he stated if I ate some "real food" and "participated" in some honest to goodness "pull my finger" jocularity, I could vacate the premises and be on my merry way home. For years I've tried to class up my interactive comedy website by not catering to the lowest common denominator, "fart jokes"...and here it all came back to bite me on the proverbial...um...arse.
So, again, some of the littlest things you take for granted are your ticket out...and this was to be the one time I would proudly proclaim "I did it!.
A Bit About Me
- Mariann Simms
- Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".