Thursday, April 30, 2009

Free at last!

From the title above, you’d think I just busted out of jail, or the psycho ward, or some other such place. And you’d also probably think that it just happened. But neither are true (so perhaps the title sucks).

The truth is I was released from the hospital late Tuesday morning, after arriving there scared and anxious early Sunday morning.

I spent a total of 51 hours there before I was discharged, my only captors the doctors listed below (and then a seemingly endless parade of other doctors and nurses after them).

I was amazed at the number of medical personnel that I met during my brief stay. And I wasn’t up walking around having a meet and greet. Oh no. I had to be wheeled in a wheelchair anywhere I went, even if it was just down the hall, even though I was perfectly capable of walking. These hospital folk were just those that entered my room.

The hospital is a trippy place.

I didn’t just realize this, I have been in a hospital before, but the only other two times I spent the night in a hospital I’d just given birth, and that newborn in the clear box next my bed was such a distraction that I did not have time to notice all the hospital-y things I did this time.

This visit I spent way too much time looking at this room curtain:

And later this room curtain:

And even though I preferred the first curtain, this second curtain was in a much, much better room.

I even stared at a framed photograph of violets on the wall for so long that the markings on the leaves morphed into various faces, complete with personalities.

Yeah, you’ve got a lot of time in a hospital to stare, and to think, and to worry, and to eat, and to read, and to watch the endless hysteria regarding the swine flu on TV.

During my stay I vacillated between feeling spoiled for engaging in activities like eating a hot meal that was just served to me in bed and reading for hours without interruption, to being bored out of my mind (remember the violets?) and somewhat irked at the amount of time I had to wait to get an ultrasound, or a shower, or some sliver of information from a doctor.

I was lucky that things worked out the way they did, and that I have access to such good medical care. You don’t want to be pregnant and bleeding, and when you call the labor and delivery nurse to tell them you are, and they ask if the amount of blood is more like a dime or golf ball in size, and you have to admit that’s more like a whole jar of change, you feel extremely relived when it all works out.

But after the fear subsides, and you’re left with 48 hours of observation, it’s just you, no internet connection, anyone who visits, the hot but tasteless hospital food, and the endless faces of the nurses and nurses assistants and nutritionists and residents and attending physicians and cleaning crew. Just you and Elise, Victoria, Christy, Didi, Soosan, Dr. Hull, Gina, Teresa, Dr. Wen, etc., etc. etc.

And although I met and talked to a plethora of doctors and nurses, I was discharged without being completely clear on what my activity level should be from this point forward; but what I can say without a doubt, is that I do not have high blood pressure and my normal body temperature is 97.6 degrees.


NucMEd is Hot said...

I know if you ask nice, they will let you have one of the curtains!

Hope you are Ok

Anonymous said...

I like the first curtain better too.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Me, You, or Ellie said...

97.6?? No wonder you're always freezing.

Ah, poor youi in, Beth. I'm so glad everything seems okay. And that you got out of there with the words "complete bed rest" written on your discharge orders......

Hang in there!

Dorothea said...

who knew we shared the same regular temperature?!
I'll give you your activity recommendation...slim to none :-)
I'm so glad everything went well and you have some ideas about curtain design. I'd like a few days like yours but without the bleeding part and preferably at a spa instead of a hospital..I think it's cheaper.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I'm not fond of those curtains at all. I think you should demand your money back!

So glad you and the wee one are okay, the thought of your change jar full makes me woozy.


Aunt Becky said...

Man, very little I hate as much as being hospitalized. So glad you got sprung.

Lola said...

Glad you're both okay! I did that same stint in the hospital three times when I was pregnant. It's just not any fun without the drugs you get when, say, your appendix need to come out. Talk about trippy ;)