Sunday, September 6, 2015

Be Honey

I just spent seven days in a hospital. 

Not as the patient.

My brightly colored bracelet read “Patient Care”

AKA:  “Wife”

This bracelet allowed me to sleep in the patients room, have my parking validated and drink as much ginger ale as I liked - until I could recite the alphabet in burps. 

(In a hospital, entertainment is up to you….) 

I could sleep in two chairs pushed to gather, the window bench or, if lucky, (and an order got issued) a cot. 

If you see a cot roll into the room, you might feel as though you have just won the lottery, burst into tears and wonder how in the world Publisher’s Clearing House found you in the hospital!

But, after one night, I decided I preferred the window seat. 

It had a window. 

A window in a hospital room is important. It reminds you that this is a pause in life. Your real world awaits...

In a hospital, nothing is more true than this adage: 

“You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar."

YOU DO NOT, under ANY circumstance, want to annoy your nurse. 


Bruce Lee said “Be Water

I say..”Be Honey” 

I noticed, in my seven day stay, there were three types of nurses:

The Excellent

The Good

The Bad

1)The Excellent Nurses rise like cream and you usually find them in the the ICU where it’s literally a matter of life and death. We had three excellent nurses in the ICU. They might as well have been doctors - excellent in their care and knowledge. Thoughtful, caring people who said things like “guests are not allowed to sleep in the ICU rooms, but if you fall asleep in that chair…I won’t wake you." 

2) There are many Good Nurses. Most people who have a calling into nursing are caring, good people. Good Nurses are also happy people! In seven days, there’s time to get a peek  into a life. I noticed that the happy nurses, as much as they love their work, have more going on then their hospital jobs. It's not their only source of fulfillment. They salsa dance…

3) The Bad Nurses steal your iphone charger. 
But, you’ve been warned. 
“Do not leave your valuables in your room unattended." 
But honestly, with all the losses that can occur  in a hospital…I'll take an iphone charger. 

And, Your  welcome…..

Random hospital observations

All the doctors looked about 18. 

 How did I possibly arrive at my age without earning my medical degree?…..

Alas, it’s too late for me. No one wants a doctor who can’t remember where they parked at Krogers..

But, it’s never too late for crochet!

About as close as I'll get to stitching anything…

2) It’s OK to walk around in your PJ’s. We’re all Wal*Mart People in a hospital…

3) If a hospital volunteer sees you sitting alone in the dinning area - they might strike up a conversation! Like the friendly 86 year old man who asked how I was. He told me he was just glad to be above the grass as opposed to being under, and that before his work at the hospital, his career was in hospitality.
He said in his field, the term “86” had a certain meaning. 
“Off the list” 
He said he hoped to make it through his 86th year with out being kicked off “THE LIST”
He said he enjoyed life, work and people. 
He said he was slowing down a bit - and that it took him and hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes. :) 

“Laughter is as a medicine”~ 

I started to wonder if I knew any 86 year old women I could introduce to this kind, humours gentleman. 

And by “any other women”…I meant my mother. 

I would love to sit across from him at my Thanksgiving table. 

He and his conversation were what I was thankful for that day.

One tends to count their blessings in a hospital..

I think of him often.

I pray he stays on “The List” for a long, long time. 

The Good Nurses encourage walking. 

Lots of walking. 

Walking around in little circles allows you to peek into other patients rooms and wonder if they still have their iphone chargers…..

By day six, we ask if we would be allowed to walk in circles outside. 

We wanted to see and feel that big yellow circle in the sky. 

We're granted permission from our favorite Good Salsa Dancing Nurse. 

She unplugs the heart monitor my “patient” is tethered to. 

It feels like this: 

It turns out my “patient” wants to breakout.

He wants to get into the car and drive to Mc Donald’s for “good coffee."

(Never mind the very fine coffee station serving freshly brewed organic coffee, mocha’s, or any other skillfully prepared barista concoctions you can thing of right in the hospital dining area…)

My patient is the Marty Crane of "Can't a man just get a plain cuppa Joe around here?"

We do it. 

Faces are changed to protect the guilty.

I look down at my bracelet. 

This is not good “Paitent Care”

This is just NOT good patient care. 

I look over at his bracelets which say things like “Fall Risk”

I am 56 years old, and forgot to get my medical degree. 

I am a Bad Nurse. 

My crochet skills amount to the friendship bracelet  level….

By the time we are officially discharged from the hospital, we had three separate breakouts.

The first one was ridiculously frightening and guilt inducing.

The second time got a little easier. 

By the third, we were a regular Bonnie and Clyde. 

The third escape included an actual sit down meal at the lovely Oakhurst Cafe and Inn. 

Poached eggs in a wine reduction shakti mushroom sauce over asparagus anyone? 

Highly recommended on your next breakout.

(and no one seemed to mind a few wires sticking out of a t-shirt over pajama bottoms…)

When we got back from that outing, Salsa Dancing Nurse comments that we were gone for three hours and that must have been quite a walk!

“Three hours? Really? It didn’t feel that long - we better take a nap!….”

Be honey….

No one wants to be in the hospital. Unless it's floor 8 where the babies are welcomed into the world. 

The rest of us are sitting, crocheting in the family rooms waiting for a 6 1/2 surgery to be over and hear the doctor call your name and say it all went well. 

It's why there are so many touches of beauty around the place. 

A baby grand piano in the lobby. 

Beautiful art, pottery, fresh flowers in tall vases and sculptures on display. 

We need to wrap ourselves in beauty in the face of sickness and possible death. 

There's always pie. 

Thank you dinning people for the pie. 

When I look back at my seven day stay there, (and because I chose to focus on the positive)

I think a lot of people there were.... 

Being honey. 

And, I'm truly thankful for the good, sweet people who chose honey over vinegar.