Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Doctors and nurses

OK, I’m home. At the least the part of me that isn’t my lower right parathyroid is home. Mr. Parathyroid is in ur pathology suite bein classified as adenoma.

The nurse who checked me in graduated in 1965. She was cool, calm and collected. The rest of the nurses averaged about 12 years old, or so it seemed to me. I was particularly taken by the little girl who was asked to put the IV line in. She was obviously new at it and I didn’t object because I’m used to people practicing on me – I have good veins. After about ten minutes fishing around in the back of my hand, she couldn’t hit the vein and someone else took over. I should shut up at this point as I just said I don’t mind people practicing on me… better me than some little old lady or some kid just learning what cancer is as they have to go into hospital.

They have great drugs in hospitals – I was able to try the famous Ambien for the first time and it was wonderful except they woke me up four times during the night to take my vitals which rather ruined the whole restfulness of the thing. And I’d refused Vicodin on the grounds that it didn’t work, so they gave me a liquid form called Lortabs, which in double doses almost did work. Stopped the ache, anyway. The nurse said we’d (my room-mate and I had) been authorized morphine but I think both of us thought it would be a bit pretentiously BAMF to order morphine when we’d both had less than an ounce of tissue removed. And I can’t speak for her, but I was worried about DEA agents hiding behind the blood pressure machines.

“Did I hear you say yes to morphine? You’re going down!”
“But it was prescribed to me by a duly licensed MD!”
No matter, kid, this is the US!”

Sound effect: echoey clang of iron doors closing.

I had a minor tantrum when I woke up from surgery and the nurse classified coffee as a full liquid, rather than a clear liquid. Once I’d made my feelings known she got me through the stages of ice chips then water, through clear liquid and on to full liquids in about 10 minutes flat so I could have my coffee. Gotta have coffee. Coffee withdrawal headaches are worse than surgical pain, and I know this for a fact.

The doctor didn’t appear all day the first day, but the dietician arrived several times and recited yumcious meal combinations that could be mine purely by me being a guest of the hospital. (Mrs. Next door was on liquids, poor thing, not knowing about the fast track tantrum-led pathway to soft foods.) Shortly thereafter, minions brought said meals. Boy were they good. I may have to go back when I’m hungry.

However, when the doctor didn’t appear the second day either, we had to organize a revolt. Roommate and I led a phone tree to get him there. Short story, it worked and we got discharged at around two in the afternoon. We had to chivvy the nurses a bit. (“But removing the IV is the very last thing we do.” “It’s okay. We’re discharged. You can remove them right now.” [Big velociraptor smile] )

The mother of Mrs. Next door, who knew from hospitals, advised me to “take anything not nailed down – you’ve already been billed for it”, so now I have some pink kidney bowls, perineum cleanser, toothpaste, tissues and deodorant. Perhaps I can put them on eBay?

I got home and immediately showered in phenol to get rid of the MRSA. Hospitals are bad places in many ways. I’m better off with my lizards as at least I’ve lived with their presumed zoonoses for 15 years.

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