A final encouraging word.
UGH! My back won’t relent! It’s been two weeks without respite.
OK. I’ll pop these two pills I got from the pharmacy. Thankfully the pharmacy is open on Saturdays.
One baclofen and one prednisone. These have got to work or I’ll go stark raving mad! I’ll lay down for a few and hopefully wake up in better shape.
What’s that? What are all those lights?
Where am I?
A guy comes up and looks down at me. “Do you know where you are?”
“No, what’s going on?” was my reply.
What’s that? What are all those lights and shiny metal?
A different guy approaches. I look around as he does and note the brown wallpaper. This thing I’m lying on is hard as a rock. This guy asks the same question “Where are you?”
“I don’t know.”
He walks away and joins the other guy in a big room with bright lights and lots of stainless steel, like a big fancy restaurant ballroom.
I can only lift my head a little but I see them sitting down in what appears to be a restaurant booth.
I must be fading in and out. Nothing is connecting.
The darkened room I’m in makes the brightly lit room all the brighter, I squint to see into the other room.
I notice one of the men walking towards me except this time he approaches on my right. He leans forward towards me. I take a mighty swing with my right arm. Whoosh! The sound it makes when it hits the air.
The next time I wake up, it’s dark, pitch black. What? I am really befuddled. I can’t connect two thoughts together.
A thought slammed in “ What do these two guys want with me, (overweight, bald, shortsighted, and a fashionably old coot like me (let’s cut the crap eh? I’m old, fat, bald, and I fart).
Does this something do to with me and or my body? “I must be shanghaied” was the only thought that came to mind, as in an old black and white Charlie Chan movie.
The next I knew I woke up in a doll house. I woke up once and heard kids running around. I woke up a second time and heard adult voices. (Wait is this real? I am beginning to question reality or was one just in my mind. Maybe neither! I don’t think I will be using the expression “out of my mind” anytime soon.)
Peering through an opening and I saw huge dollhouses. Large enough for live kids to play in. What? Colorfully painted, spaced wide apart for it was a huge room. At one time I worked for a company that had a 100,000-foot warehouse. That’s about the size of this room.
The next time I awoke was in a hospital bed in a brightly lit room.
I was still paranoid about what was going on and was suspicious of every visit by a woman in nurse’s scrubs. Even if, every encounter was short and each woman was pleasant.
It was hard to remain hyper-vigilant because I was seeing everything through jaded eyes and a foggy brain. What the heck is going on? Being shanghaied in a black and white movie was still bumbling around.
The next time I woke up it was daylight and I didn’t seem as groggy. Soon, maybe, I would be able to have a sober thought. I thought I should keep track of this stuff so I could it all into the police.
I could see other nurses just outside my door. I assumed it was a nurses’ station.
I started having a male nurse come in once in a while. How did I know? They wore different color scrubs with name badges indicating their first name and position, RN, CNA with the name of a hospital I recognized.
I think by the second evening my mind had begun to clear and I realized I was really in a hospital and a good one. I had been in here before. The only thing that suffered was the food quality. My favorite meal has been replaced. I wrestled with the menu to find what might become a new favorite. I was really upset and couldn’t stand the thought of what they had done to MY meal (get a grip).
I finally saw the date I had been admitted. I calculated I was registered for 6 days in the hospital and with maybe another two days on the front end. One of the nurses had mentioned that I was pretty out of it due to being drugged up. Huh?
The next day I still spent sleeping. But the staff was having a doctors’ show and tell. Doctor after doctor, therapist after therapist same in. It is true it is hard to get rest in a hospital.
One of the best serendipitous moments was being recognized by a woman that had worked with me forty-some years earlier. Her younger sister had babysat our three boys. Those were very pleasant moments. She was a charming young woman then and continued to be one to this day.
During an exercise walk yesterday I mentioned to the person supervising my slow, painful walk. A wonderful moment in my life is when a former employee comes up and introduces himself or herself to me and mentions that I had been a positive influence on their young life.
That is the most rewarding thing that can be ascribed to another. “ A positive influence “ is one of the kindest and greatest epitaphs a person can receive. What are you hoping to hear from someone you mentored?
These unprompted comments are not unscripted. How many hours of self-reflection did this person spend over the years evaluating their life’s work against the standards you set?
How many hours of self-reflection did you spend in forming your ideas, and forming your plans on how best to coach your staff?
After my breakfast of French Toast and a chocolate malt cup — yes those are both on the heart-healthy diet, as long as I don’t eat anything else. Then, as the minutes of Tuesday multiplied so did the number of doctors, specialists and therapists multiply. An old saying flashes “ if you want to get well don’t go to a hospital. The last time I had even heard of new diseases related to hospital environments, I was told that there is a serious one that is an infection that often doesn’t end well.
When basic human functions go awry there is hell to pay in the pain department. Enough said.
It is really a good thing they got me hooked on those warm blankets to keep me coming back. Relaxing!
There are always some dumb things I do each stay. On more than one occasion I have left an Apple charger or cables when checking out. That gets expensive very quickly. In addition to leaving a headset behind. I started this stay with a real knuckleheaded goof.
I was lying in bed trying to find something to read ( cell phones & other electronics don’t play well around medical equipment) when a nurse came and volunteered she’d go to the library and find something.
She returned with a book about nursing. I laid it down thinking I would take a few minutes’ nap. I woke to a lot of talking in the hall. I tried to get someone’s attention to ask a question but their conversation was more important so they didn’t pay attention. I sat and stewed for a short time but a thought licked on how to get someone’s attention. I grab the book and fling it so it landed right in their midst.
I discovered the next day how mad that nurse got that brought the book and I threw it back.
This seems to be a good place to end this story.
A nurse just came in letting me know I am going home tonight!! Yahoo, I was settled on getting discharged tomorrow, but with Covid, they needed the room. So I’m going home tonight! That is the best thing about being admitted to the hospital-GOING HOME! It’s even better than the warm blankets.
I hope, if you run into a former boss or co-worker and they were positive in your life, please let them know you appreciated them and what they taught you.
How can we be all of the things we need to be and still carve out enough time to learn what we need to learn. The mechanical things yes, but even more how do we best interact with bosses, spouses, family, friends, and acquaintances. Maybe even more so in this year 2022, how do we react to the guy that just cut us off while speeding along, inside a multi-ton vehicle at 70 miles an hour?
I love this quote from Albert Einstein “ Strive not to be a success, rather be of value.”