One of my ultimate favorite things to do is visit the hospital. It is right up there with changing the diaper of a baby infected with pin worms. Nothing makes you give up your privacy quicker. Never mind the patterned cocktail napkin you get to wear, when I went into the “private” bathroom in my room, I noticed my toilet had a white bucket in it. So every time I had to use the toilet, herds of nurses had to come see what I did. Some of my highlights:
“The doctor is coming to see you.” A few things on this one. First, it will never be the same doctor. It will never be the same orders or diagnosis or treatment as the last doctor. Second, you will never know when the doctor is coming. You could be teetering half in the shower, you may be asleep since it is past midnight or you could be hopelessly caught in all your tubes while trying to put a sock on.
“Try and get some rest” Personally, I think nurses, orderlies and technicians are given intensive lessons on how to sneak up on sleeping or “resting” patients to scare the hell out of them. It would be dark in the room, my pain is dampened by medicine, my tubes are finally untangled, I am half asleep watching “The Daily Show” and a technician slithers down from the ceiling to jab a needle in me and suck out my blood. Later, an orderly that was hiding under my bed suddenly whips me out of the bed, onto a stretcher and announces, “test time!”
“Here is a phone for personal calls” If you truly want to get well and go home quickly, nothing will do it like the phone calls. There is the well-meaning pal who wants to assure you that the lice the children had just turned out to be fleas. Your pal wants to warmly tell you she was sure that your husband is only a little hysterical and was seen clutching ferrets while screaming “kill me somebody” but is fine now. Of course, calling your family is always helpful. “Hey, Dad, just wanted to let you know I am in the hospital” “okay.” “Well, would you like the number to my room?” “Your mother will be home later, give it to her then” “oh, okay.”
“Your Diagnosis” Dear Lord, spare me this one. It will always involve more words than you know. It will sound either worse or better than it is. But you won’t know which. They are not really sure, but they know it will involve a risky surgery that they personally will not perform. Here is a number for a doctor that may or may not have time for this surgery. Or maybe a bunch of surgeries, we are not sure. Good luck!