Missed me? Well, I was in the hospital recently for 6 days and 5 nights.
After I heard the words (the scariest words that I have ever heard) “You have a blood clot in your lung” and after the trip in the ambulance to the hospital, the learning experience about our health care system began. And here are some of the things that I learned:
- In a panic, don’t overstate your weight by 100 lbs because it may affect your meds dosage
- Leave modesty at the door — they’ve seen it a million times
- Until you’re “in the system”, do not expect to be fed. Quarters and vending machines are life’s sustenance
- Looking for your next stop? Look no further than the paper that is delivered every morning.
- Don’t suspect a porno movie when you hear someone yelling in another room “Swallow it! Swallow it!”. It’s just a nurse trying to get a patient to take their medicine.
- Expect food when it’s delivered to you, not at the same time every day. Expect some feelings of intense hunger.
- Eat peas even when you hate peas. See learning above.
- No one cares how you smell but you
Now, I could comment on how the doctors and nurses treated me, how I never saw the same therapist or laboratory person twice, how out of the loop of their own care a patient feels, or how isolating a trip to the hospital can be. But I purposefully chose to concentrate on the positive and the ridiculous during my stay. (And besides, there are plenty of well researched, cited and professionally written articles and books on our health care system without me trying to act like an expert. All I can write about is my stay.)
The positive and the ridiculous helped me keep my calm. Helped me to combat the fear that came to me along with the understanding that I could have died. I have had another moment in my life in which I will now begin to measure events: things that happened before my embolism and things that happened after my embolism. I have a feeling that I may be one of those schmucks that decides to live life a little differently as a result.
Here’s the best part: I have a wonderful memento of my stay. It’s the most expensive piece of jewelry I’ve ever owned:
Matt and I are estimating that it will cost $50K. Luckily, we don’t have to pay “retail” since we have insurance. I want to buy a bedazzling machine and bling it up. I think I can dress it up or down.
Finally, in the spirit of not taking myself to seriously, here’s a conversation Matt and I had at breakfast this morning. We were talking about his cold and how he was feeling better today than yesterday.
matt: Freaking hospital. That’s where I got this cold.
me: Well, at least you can’t catch a clot.
me: Even though I can throw one!!
(major laughing on my part)
matt: Much funnier in your head than said out loud.