The first post I read this morning was from our dear friend Oneta. She brilliantly told the story of her hilarious events while she was hospitalized a while back. So glad you recovered from the experience, my friend. Everyone should go through a hospital stay, if not for the remedy for a malady, but because it provides us with priceless stories that no one believes. As with most stories, we tend to exaggerate over time and they become embellished with more than truth. Case in point:
In 1973 my husband took a job in Minneapolis. We had a house to sell in Appleton,WI, so I stayed there until everything was in place and ready to go. During that time, my husband began to experience chest pains. He got into a car and drove himself to the nearby police station. Step one of the story is enough to set off a series of funny events. By the time he reached the station his pulse was well over 150. An ambulance was sent. He was set up with an IV and stabilized until he got to the county hospital emergency room. His heart rate continued to rise and he was transferred to a ward with several beds They ranged in the very elderly, to a drug addict or two and an apparent suicide attempt.
His own personal bed sat right next to the rest room which was shared by all. They finally stabilized his heart rate, but felt he needed to be under observation until they discovered what was causing the problem. As he slept quietly, after a very traumatic experience, one of the men, attached to his IV, sauntered over to use the rest room. Instead he climbed into Paul’s bed and finished his quest right there. My husband hit his call button, the man was returned to his own bed and Paul watched as his bed was stripped and remade.
Tucked away again, just as he was about to fall asleep, an elderly gent decided to streak the nurse’s station. I use the term “streak” loosely. Picture Tim Conway as his old man character. They certainly didn’t need television. The entertainment provided was ongoing.
The fellow with the drug problem had enough of this hospital stay and began to pull all the connecting wires and began to bleed all over Paul’s bed. My husband is a very compassionate man, who should’ve been a doctor, so he sat the man down, hit the call button again, and began to administer first aid to the guy who now was spurting blood all over the place. The bed was again remade. The poor fellow went peacefully back to bed and Paul was wide awake. It’s true what they say, “don’t expect hospital life to be like going to a fancy hotel.”
The next morning a team of doctors and interns came to his bedside and talked about him as if he wasn’t there. They all seemed intent on getting to the root of his heart problem. One of the interns began to examine Paul’s neck and noticed some swelling. They did some more testing. The main doctor told the nurse to get in touch with me to let me know I should come right away. Of course Paul overheard this and detached himself from his life support, took a dime out of his trousers and ran to the public telephone to call me and tell me he was OK. My coming from Appleton was hardly an option since I was home with three kids who had the measles and a car that wouldn’t make it beyond our driveway. In the meantime, lights were flashing and sounds blaring as a team of emergency people ran to the ward to find his bed empty. They reattached him and finally he fell asleep, with one eye open.
The next morning the doctor told him that he had an overactive thyroid which caused tachycardia. What first was thought to be a heart problem now had a true diagnosis. It was treated with radiation a week later. That’s a whole continuing story.
Moral of the story, if you have to go to the hospital, make your reservations in advance.