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If you are expecting an exciting report, “How I Spent My Summer Vacation at the Spa in Monte Carlo,” forget about it. How about a report, “How I Spent a Week in the Local Hospital”?
I don’t know why my body signals the need for some total, “do nothing but flop on a bed and get fed,” just about every five years, but it does. Without any warning it does and I find myself once more in the caring hands of the local fire department, being carried off in an ambulance.
The ambulance this time was new, so the ride seemed more like a limo than any previous ride. When you’re wrapped in a pre-warmed blanket, have beautiful oxygen plugged into your nose, and affectionate, reassuring voices in your ears, it’s a great ride.
Getting to your destination, however, is another story. The spa crew becomes much less personal and far less reassuring.
We’ve all heard stories from friends and relatives about hours spent in emergency rooms either as player or spectator. Here’s another. For 14 hours I was imprisoned on a wagon, unable to move, at the mercy of the professionals, (not a George Clooney in the bunch), who appeared once in a while, sometimes just to get equipment, which seemed to be stored in enough places around me to make me wonder if I had been put in a supply closet, which had happened to me once before in another town.
I knew that even though a human presence was few and far between, I was being monitored by robotical machines, due to the electrical pads, which had been put in place after the first few minutes, and the electronic blood pressure cuff attached to a monitor.
Being me, it was hard not to wiggle. My arthritis began to kick in after a few hours and my artificial hips were feeling like their replacements. This meant my oxygen apparatus, still in my nose, would lose its place and with only one arm free, and that with an IV stuck to my hand, I was having trouble adjusting the thing. Sometimes I would get a blast of oxygen to my ear.
Eventually, like a decade later, it was decided to admit me to the inner sanctum for observation and some tests. It was then they discovered I couldn’t walk unaided and the process of being transferred from one wagon to another began.
This takes 4 people who grab a blanket underneath you, and hoist you up and over to the bed or whatever, where you need to be. I always find myself admonishing everyone to be careful and not hurt their backs, which is better than worrying that you may end up on the floor.
Finally, I was in a bed that felt like a cloud. My various arthritic parts could be heard sighing with relief. However, there was no trapeze hanging over it. Before you think I’ve flipped my brain, I must remind you that a few years ago I received two hip replacements that required the use of a trapeze over my bed to facilitate simple maneuvers like sitting up and turning over. Since the new hips aren’t too good, I’ve had to have a blessed bar over my bed ever since. I must admit to yowling in a hospital for the first time ever. Bless their hearts, when they discovered, again, how incapacitated I am, they ran out and grabbed the first trapeze apparatus they could find.
In a later move to another, private room, to which they transferred me when I was having one of the dozen or so testing sessions, they forgot the trapeze. Again, I yowled, and, again, it was put in place.
A new nurse who didn’t know all the facts, admonished me, “We need the bars for hip replacement patients.” When I filled her in on my story of why my fake hips have not been much of a replacement, she apologized. Did she think I was in training for Barnum and Bailey?
Anyway, I made it through five days of testing. Now I have to wait to find out if I need another operation. As I have often said, “your body is like an old car, still running. If you take it in for an oil change, it will fall apart.”
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