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Wordslingerus Interruptus

September 4, 2009

How insane are we writers?

I’ll tell you how insane we are.

I just spent four days laid up in a hospital bed, and all I could think of was ‘there’s gotta be a story in this somewhere!’

LOL

Until I figure that out, though, I’ll tell you about my little unexpected side trip.

I’d been having a lot of pain in my left leg for about two weeks, and stubborn creature that I am, though I highly suspected I knew what it was, I wasn’t about to go get it looked at – till the pain finally got so bad Monday that I didn’t have much choice.

So… I went to Acute Care – hoping that would be the only stop I’d have to make, and I’d be back home in a few hours.

Wrong.

I was sent from there to the hospital radiology department for ultrasounds. From there, I got to take a trip to the ER (BTW Jack, I caught the first half of MNF while I laid there on the gurney waiting for the verdict – Favre looked pretty good, eh?)

Got the news I’d been expecting – numerous blood clots in my leg, some large enough to be blocking my circulation – was admitted and got to go through the wonderful regimen of complete bedrest for at least 24 hours – no getting up even for the bathroom – then more time on my back as much as possible till my blood was in the normal range before I’d be allowed to go home. Shots in the abdomen twice a day, bloodwork several times a day… and I despise needles with a passion.

Now before I go any further, let me just say that I’ve had very little experience with the Illinois health care system. Not counting this past week, I can count on one hand with plenty of fingers left over the number of times I’ve seen anyone about anything in the four plus years I’ve lived here.

That being said – I’ve never been in a hospital before where I had to have ‘roommates’. I’ve been hospitalized in lower sasnak, Colorado, San Francisco, and Wichita Kansas, and was always by myself. I’ve also never been in a room that didn’t have its own shower. WTF? I’m in the burbs of the third largest city in the nation and there’s no showers in the hospital rooms?

I overheard talk that the construction I saw when I pulled in is for, among other things, allowing for one patient per room. I’d say it’s long past time. Hope they’re planning on installing showers in the bathrooms as well. If I were planning on staying in Illinois much longer, I’d be interested in finding out more about the health care system here. I’m already set back from my departure now with this new ailment and can’t leave now till I’m cleared for travel.

Now about my roommates.

Night one – I have mixed thoughts about this poor lady. She was on the phone non-stop the whole time she was there with me, usually fighting with one of her kids over cigarettes and pot. The family that tokes together stays together in her house, apparently. I also heard her talk about being concerned that she needed to get back to the business of being executrix of her murdered mother’s estate. Yowza. What a crew. I’m almost glad no family members bothered to come visit her while she was in there with me.

Her back was broken in two places. She’s disabled and on Medicare, had already been there a week, and they would not pay for her to stay any longer before she has her surgery in another week. WTF? She spent most of Monday trying to line up a comfortable way to get home till she returns for her surgery, because Medicare will not pay for an ambulance ride home, and she can’t afford the trip. Again – WTF? We’re kicking you out for a week with a broken back, and we’re not going to get you home in a safe, comfortable way. Tough shit, lady! Can we say HEALTH CARE REFORM please? I felt so badly for her that I was tempted to call a cab and tell them to send a minivan, two drivers and an air mattress to get her home – 17 miles away – but I wasn’t sure how much that would cost ME… and I have impending medical bills of my own.

I have good insurance, but I’m quite sure not everything’s going to be paid for 100%. If it were, I’d probably be back in a room again, near death from the shock. That kept resonating in my head. Her trying to find a way just to get home (when she shouldn’t have to – she should be able to stay and have care till she’s had her surgery and can go home, IMO) and my attending saying quite often “You have great insurance, so we’re going to…” Made me wonder if I really needed what he was ordering, or if he was ordering it because BC will pay? And what if it was all vital, and I DIDN’T have ‘great insurance’? What then? Tough shit for me too?

I can tell you one thing though – had I been allowed at that point to get out of bed, I’d have gone over to her bed, taken the phone from her, and told her good for nothing son who’s had her car all week to stop giving his mother a bunch of shit and get his lazy ass up here to come get her. He didn’t even want to stop by a friend’s house to get the money to buy a bodypillow for his mother to lie on in the reclining seats on the way home.

The lazy little sniveling shit finally agreed to pick her up – but wouldn’t even come upstairs to help escort her down – just kept calling from his cellphone sitting outside the entrance impatiently wanting to know when transport was going to have her down there. The modern technology equivalent of sitting in the driveway laying on the horn in his impatience. I’d slap the taste out of his mouth. She probably went home and split a joint with him.

I was counting my blessings. I’ve had my share of troubles raising kids – especially my youngest son – but I’ll tell you one thing, that boy has ALWAYS been there for me when I needed him. Always. As have his brother and sister. Last time I was laid up like this, he ran errands for me, did schoolwork ahead of time so he could leave class to drive me to followup appointments, I mean he did everything for me, and his little sister, till I was recuperated and could handle it on my own again. He even cooked. I just can’t imagine having kids so ungrateful and uncaring.

Roomate #2 – nothing spectacular there. A woman with back surgery – morphined up and pretty much out of it so I got a good night’s sleep Tuesday night – except for the techs that kept coming in to poke and prod me to death.

Roomate #3 – Another phone junkie. TV junkie. Cuss the husband junkie. Found it rather ironic that the Catholic priest would come in to administer communion to her, she’d mute ‘The Price Is Right’ long enough for him to finish, then go right back to her game show and husband cussing. I don’t know why I found that odd, but I did. No reflection past paying attention for the few moments he was there, then forget about it till tomorrow. Maybe my Buddhist studies have made a different spiritual animal out of me. I tend to reflect on my spirituality a lot at numerous times through the day, not just when I’m meditating.

I don’t know how that woman is still alive. She wasn’t but a few years older than me, but massive health problems have taken their toll. She looks like she’s in her 70’s or 80’s and sounds like it too. I overheard her say she’d had five strokes, one heart attack, one brain aneurism, has diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney failure. She’s also on Coumadin. (which is what I’m on now, and most likely will be for the long term, if not the rest of my life) The regimen of meds they brought her was mind boggling. She had her blood sugar checked before and after meals, went down once for dialysys, and was poked and prodded far more, and more often, than I. Time to count blessings once again.

The most maddening part for me, though, was going through Starbucks chai latte withdrawal. I didn’t realize how seriously addicted I was till I was laid up in a room, unable to leave the floor I was on, knowing there was a Starbucks downstairs where I could obtain my fix! I wanted that worse than I wanted a smoke. I did find a nurse – just once – who took pity on me enough to bring me something to soothe my jones one morning. God love her!

And TV. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not much for it. I spent the first three days with mine off, but boredom overwhelmed me, and I succumbed. The thing that struck me was the ads for programs that are being ‘tweeted’… WTF? One said the writers, cast, etc was going to tweet their thoughts live as the episode played. Huh? Why? Did people actually follow that? Granted, I have a few I follow for personal interest, but I use it mainly as a source of information and networking. Tweets about tv program episodes? Okay….

I’m home again now, thank goodness, and on the mend, as long as I take it easy, and I will. I have a plan to leave this Godforsaken place that I have a love/hate relationship with, and spend a little time being a grandmother full time. I’m lucky in that I have a daughter who wants me there, and will take care of me till I decide I want to go out and work again. We’ll see how long it takes me before I’m ready for that. I’d love to be able to do it till the youngest starts school – but I know myself well enough to know I’ll probably get too antsy long before then. She’s only 1. LOL.

I plan to spend their naptime writing!

ETA: Boy, do I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on… y’all have been busy!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2009 8:14 pm

    Phew! What an experience! I’m glad you’re okay, though. And, yeah, some great writing material, here. No telling what you could make out of all this. Some great character sketches, etc.

    Favre did look good. I think he was blessed by the writing gods and he delivered, bringing them to an even record (4-4) for the preseason.

    • September 4, 2009 9:27 pm

      Yeah, I’m doing a lot better now, thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sadly, I didn’t get a single word written while I had all that free time. Me and my romantic ideas of doing things by hand. I had my little notebook in my purse, and a pen, but I also had a hemlock in my right wrist (I’m right-handed) that made movement difficult if not often painful. Eating was fun! I should have made them move it to the left one! Listen to the insanity – me, a total wuss about needles, would have had them give me one extra stick had I thought of it…

  2. Mike A permalink
    September 5, 2009 7:45 am

    Hello Kitty…I’m so glad you are doing better and will be able to spend time with those who care for you. Wishing you health and joy!
    Mike

    • September 5, 2009 11:47 am

      Thanks Mike ๐Ÿ™‚ You know I wish the same for you and yours ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. September 5, 2009 12:49 pm

    What a wild ride! Glad you’re doing better. Roommates in hospital rooms? No showers? Bizarre!

    By the way, I love the name of your blog. Too funny! (And, clearly, I’m procrastinating by being here.) ๐Ÿ™‚

    Elizabeth

    • September 5, 2009 12:59 pm

      Hello, Elizabeth, and thanks for stopping in! ๐Ÿ™‚ Galen’s been after me to read your blog, but… well… I kept putting it off ๐Ÿ˜‰ My blog is aptly named! The truth is always the funniest, no? ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. September 5, 2009 3:02 pm

    Glad you’re on the mend – and hospital roommates are an odd lot. I always found that I learned far more than I needed to about them there must be something in hospital food that loosens people’s tongues.

    I shall now stop procrastinating and get some editing done. (if anyone believes that, I have a bridge for sale – good price!)

    Elspeth

    • September 5, 2009 4:24 pm

      Hi Elspeth and thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I don’t know if it’s the food or the drugs, but some folks sure don’t seem to mind all their dirty laundry coming out in a hospital room. LOL.

      I’m using my recuperation as an excuse to procrastinate. Should be good for another week or two, don’t you think?

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