Thursday, August 25, 2011

In Then Out

Yesterday, I had occasion to go to the hospital for an activity involving hoses, cameras and my gastrointestinal system...a minor procedure. Hubby deposited me at the front door and promised to meet me back at the gazebo outside in a few hours.

After being questioned in admissions and completing some routine forms, I made my way to the requisite third floor. While I sat in a hallway awaiting my "turn", I noticed that at some point, I had received a wrist band with my name and personal details printed on it. Odd...I had no memory of that. Several other folks were waiting and sharing horror stories so I decided to read my book...impossible to do when people are speaking loudly and animatedly about their lobbed off limbs and their friend who fell into a cement mixer. I finally gave up staring at the same page and looked eagerly toward an arriving orderly. turn.

I was escorted by the very friendly orderly to my superior government guest room. As he pulled the curtain around my bed so that my 3x5 living space would be separated from the half dozen others, he announced. "Take off your outer clothing and put on this gown and booties. If you want to leave your pants on it's ok. Put everything you remove into this plastic bag."  Hmmm...I've seen larger produce bags in the grocery store.

I followed instructions and was no sooner ready than a scowling nurse with a computer on wheels flew through my curtain.

Her:  "Have you had intravenous before?"
Me:  "Yehhh....owwww" as a needle and hoses were rammed into my hand and a clip was attached to my finger before my answer was complete.
Her: "How many surgeries have you had?"
Me: "One Ingrid, one Warren, and two knees.
Her: "Do you have any false teeth, crowns, bridges, use a cane, wheelchair, walker, hearing aids, do you have missing or artificial parts, implants, piercings, tattoos, scars?"
Me: "I have thinning hair."
Her: "Have you had any of the following diseases....MRSA, VRE or ESBL?
Me: "I don't know what those are."
Her: "Then you haven't had them. When was the last time you ate or drank?"
Me: " Last night at 7 p.m. except for a sip of water when I was choking during the night."
Her:  (looking horrified) "You drank water?"
Me:   "Just a sip. I was choking."
Her:  " You drank water? I hope you took off your pants and put them in the bag."

My bed was then driven into a hallway where I was given a warm blanket prior to being wheeled further into a surgical facility. An elderly anaesthesist with a strange hat, an English accent and a scary smirk then sprayed cherry juice into my throat, rendering my tongue, mouth and lips numb. I caught a glimpse of my doctor. A mouth guard was inserted between my teeth...then....

I woke up with a cup of cranberry juice in my hand and a request that I get dressed.

"Who's coming to get you?" I was asked.

"I'm meeting my husband at the gazebo." I responded.

"No, you can't leave. Someone has to come get you."

The orderly came to the rescue once again. He deposited me into a wheelchair, gave me what appeared to be a tour of the hospital and eventually drove me to the front door. "What does your husband's car look like?"

"Toyota...gray...I managed with my still numb mouth."

Fortunately he was able to pick out the right one from the fleet of silver vehicles and thus flagged down the correct husband.

Another eventful day in my life.

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