I went to the hospital last week. It was horrible. The emotional scars may never heal.
It wasn’t the doctors, though they did get my diet orders mixed up. Carbs are essential for managing my condition. When I started to have a flare-up, my personal doctor asked me to take in about 80-120 grams of carbs per meal. That’s a loaf of French bread, folks. I love my doctor. But the hospital team got my condition confused with a related one and had me on a diabetic diet. I had to choose between a muffin or a glass of juice. They did get it straightened out within a couple of days, so no harm no foul. And in the meantime my peeps kept sneaking me in stuff to keep me from dying. The doctors weren’t the issue.
The food wasn’t bad, either. “Not bad” doesn’t actually imply “good,” but I could eat it for the most part. Eventually they gave up trying to calculate carbs and just sent icky vanilla Ensure shakes on every tray. I am now using them as bowling pins. But the food didn’t ruin me forever.
The nurses were amazing. And the CNAs. They have to do some pretty awful and uncomfortable jobs in the course of their day, but they were always pleasant and accommodating and tried to help maintain my dignity. I didn’t know for three days that there were no sodas available on the floor because every time I asked my nurse for a Coke, one magical, lifesaving beverage appeared. With a smile. They made my stay bearable. Hug a nurse or CNA today. I really mean that.
The television was the problem. I knew I was a goner when we were admitted through the ER and were trapped in a room with cable television. My doctor had called ahead to get treatment set up, but it was still a lot of hurry up and wait. The TV was stuck on ESPN. The announcers continually blabbed on about NFL drafts. Which wouldn’t happen for another eight hours. Grown men playing pretend. “What will happen if Team Z chooses this quarterback? And then this team chooses that guy over there? And then they’ll invite Roger Staubach (the only football player whose name I actually know) over for a tea party, and they’ll all wear fancy hats?” I think that last part happened. Anyway, I thought Sports Center was bad. And then someone changed the channel.
They finished my treatment and were trying to decide if I was well enough to go home. Picture it. My husband had to leave to pick up kids from school. The medical team left to let me get some “rest.” I was flat on my back, unable to stand on my own. And the Kardashians came on the screen. No remote control. No emergency call button.
I have heard of Kardashians, of course. But I thought maybe they were a line of expensive shoes or handbags or something. I was taken quite by surprise. After watching those hate-filled Barbie dolls for five minutes, I was writhing in a whole new agony as my brain cells spontaneously combusted . I begged for an anti-emetic. And for someone to change the channel. Good grief! I had been forced to pee in front of five different people with my tushy hanging out of the back of my gown, and I still had more dignity about me than that sad family.
An angel of mercy did finally appear. Though she declined my fervent request to hit me over the head with a croquet mallet, she did at least change the channel. And I am grateful. But I will never be the same.
*** I couldn’t bring myself to include any images of Kardashians. Their dead, haunted eyes give me the willies. If you’ve never heard of them, count yourself lucky. Or just Google them.