Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Now I Have a Stomach Ache....

Due to the fact that one of our friends is seriously ill I have spent 3 of the last 5 days at the hospital. Due to the fact that I have spent 3 of the last 5 days at the hospital I have extraordinarily dry skin and a stomach ache. I believe that my stomach ache is equal parts worry for my friend and the result of eating foods that primarily originate from vending machines.  I have also discovered that having full bars on my cell phone does not mean that anyone is going to be able to hear me when I call and that I can't work the doors on the bathroom stalls. I locked myself in three times...

We learned a lot of things while pacing/roaming the hospital halls this weekend. For example, being scheduled for surgery at a particular time doesn't mean anything. The nurses and doctors will tell you that you have been scheduled for 5:00 pm but what they really mean is that they will come collect you at some point in time, but that time will *NOT* be 5:00 pm. We learned that even though the doctor/surgeon may tell you that it is okay if you spend the night with your invalid friend the night nurse will immediately veto that plan and send you home well after midnight. Don't mess with the nurses! We also learned that a person who has lost 3 units of blood can still make Stargate Atlantis references, and I personally learned that they serve delicious juice in the blood bank (orange tangerine if you were wondering).

I don't mean to downplay the seriousness of the situation, but making jokes about it helps me cope. I'm what I like to call a "fixer". I need to take control of and lead difficult situations, I need to resolve problems, negotiate solutions, I need to fix things and make them better. Being a fixer runs in families. My Dad is a fixer too. When I called my folks to let them know what was going on with my friend my Dad's answer was to offer me money intended to purchase yet more vending machine foods and to tell me that I could sleep in their spare room (which I did and it was comfy). So being unable to fix things I paced, tried to knit, asked endless questions of the medical staff, constantly phoned and texted people with updates, obsessively made the bed each time my friend got out of it, and was just generally a nuisance. I'm sure the nurses will be glad to see us all go.

So today my friend is doing better, she'll be recovering from surgery the rest of this week, and I'm hoping she'll have a clean bill of health from the doctor. The rest of us will resume our normal lives, our work, and caring for our families with this week's exploits at the hospital fading into our memories. The only souvenirs of our visit will be the plastic jug my friend has been sipping water from, the odd bits of change that were returned from the vending machines, and our stomach aches.


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