Sunday, September 27, 2009

What's Not to Love About a Hospital Stay

My mom is in hospital, has been for over a week now. It has all been worrying and stressful and surreal. Watching everything going on, I have begun to think that the nurses have to go through cashier training of some kind. Everything is bar-coded now. Scan the pain meds. Scan her. Scan the IV drip. Scan her. Scan the bedpan. Scan her. You get the picture. I know that it is designed to help the hospital staff keep better track of what the patient has been given. I also know that the care she has received here has been wonderful. Still, somewhere in the back of my mind, I keep picturing the receipt tape getting longer and longer. Any moment I expect someone to ask us how we will be paying or if we want paper or plastic. I wonder if they have double coupon days.
She is doing better and making us laugh.
I seriously wouldn’t be surprised to see a bulletin posted for the ICU staff.
Attention: No More Male Nurses for Room 12
I’ll explain. During her stay here, mom has only had a couple of female nurses. One evening, dad, my sister, and I are sitting around her when she informs us that she has spoken to her nurse about Sister being single. Mind you, she starts this conversation just prior to her pain med / sleep aid cocktail. This leaves us going stir crazy wondering what on earth she said. The next time we are alone, and she is lucid enough to talk, Sister quizzes her. Apparently he asked if he could do anything else for her and she said he could marry her daughter. Sister is, understandably, embarrassed and I can’t help but laugh my tail off.
During the course of subsequent conversations she tells us that one of her physical therapists has a single son. “He’s a commercial airline pilot.” How that conversation got stated we’ll never know. Then, when another nurse is in the room, she proceeds to ask him if he is married and his age. Once he leaves, she tells us that she will have the talk with him tonight. “What talk?” Sister asks. “The one I had with Nurse One,” she says. Sister refused to let us leave until after shift change that night. She is under the misapprehension that mom won’t say anything if we are here. I don’t know why, it hasn’t stopped her before.
Mother is a very firm believer that there is a purpose for everything that happens. We believe she has decided that her purpose for being sick and in hospital is to find Sister a husband. At least she has good taste, all the nurses she has asked have been handsome. And conveniently single.
Sister just informed me that she is going to let mom get better… and then she is going to kill her.

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