Friday, July 25, 2008

Random notes from the hospital

1. My sister-in-law and brother are the best people in the world. They flew down from Chicago the day before my surgery. On the day of my surgery, Norman, my brother, went with me to the hospital for surgery while Kerry, my sister-in-law, helped Marjorie get Kyle off to school. After that, Norman and Kerry carted my family to the hospital every day, played with Kyle, and helped-out immensely. I don't say this enough, but love them both.

2. Thanks to everybody who dropped-by, sent cool stuff, or called. I really appreciated it.

3. Having a tube down your nose that sucks goo out of your stomach is not fun.

4. Waking-up from surgery is a good thing.

5. Waking-up from surgery with five different tubes going into or out of your body is not much fun.

6. Walking with all five tubes is difficult (at best). (Hospitals are very big on walking as soon as you can, even if it takes 30 minutes or more to get all of your attached gizmo's moved to an IV pole with wheels.)

7. Staples (instead of stitches) look weird and when you have over twenty of the little suckers, it looks like a freaky zipper down the middle of your belly.

8. Many nurses are bright, energetic, and proactive. Many are not. My nurse my second to last night fell in the latter category. She started her shift by telling me my blood sugar was high and that she would be back shortly with an insulin injection. Five minutes later, she came back and said, "sorry, wrong room."

9. Some nurses can be intimidated (usually the ones that are not bright, energetic, and proactive). When Nurse Wrong-room woke me up at 3:00 AM and said it was time for me to get IV's put in my feet, I yelled, "YOU GOT THE WRONG GUY. I'M GOING HOME TOMORROW!" and she backed-out of the room in less than a second.

10. IV's in your feet really, really hurt. Before my surgery, I signed-up for this study on a new blood thinner. In classic double blind technique, I got a "mystery injection" every day and only some dude in the pharmacy knew whether I was getting the standard drug or the new drug. On the last day they wanted to see how everything looked by doing a "veinogram", which involves sticking and IV in your foot, injecting dye, and taking lots of x-rays really quickly. (So Nurse Wrong-room wasn't entirely off base, but the order said to start the IV's around 8:00 AM, not 3:00 AM.)

11. Getting out of prison is easier than getting out of a hospital. When I was in the FSU Circus, we preformed a show at the Jack T. Rutledge State Correctional Institution outside of Columbus, GA. After the shows, we tore-down our equipment and loaded it in my pick-up truck. It took less than 30 minutes to have to guards thoroughly check my truck and its contents before I was allowed to leave. In contrast, it took nearly 18 hours (yes, I said "hours") for me to leave the hospital once the word "discharge" appeared on my chart.

12. Being on a "clear liquid" diet for seven days straight sucks.

13. Three spoonfuls of Cheerios will make you full if you've spent the last seven days "eating" nothing but water, juice, broth, and jello.

14. Coming home is the BEST THING EVER.

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