Sunday, September 26, 2010

Living the high life at the hospital

It amazes me that people can spend their life savings on a hospital visit, and fritter away their precious time watching television.

DSC01166, The Rotterdam and Celebrity Cruise Ship Century
I’ve only been admitted to the hospital a couple of times in my life, and I’ll tell ya’, I try to make the most out of every dime they charge me. Watch re-runs of “Happy Days” when I could be counting the number of needle holes in my arms? What a waste!

Well, it just so happens that I recently had my appendix taken out. Of course, that meant a few days at the hospital in a private room, with an adjustable bed, nurses at my beck and call, and all the IV fluid I could lap up. Not to mention Room Service.

That’s right, I said Room Service. Dial a number, place your order, and lo and behold a “waiter” appears at your door with whatever your heart desires. Every meal adorned with some kind of garnish; every meal offered with a smile; every meal eaten with the full knowledge that nobody’s expecting a tip.

But what bugged me the most about my once-in-a-lifetime hospital mini-vacation was the patient down the hall who just wouldn’t turn down his television. Are you serious? All that opulence and he spent most of his time watching FOX or Oprah?

Well, not me bucko! I didn’t waste one single moment of my precious free time!

Money maketh Man
First on my list of things to do while in the hospital was to bet on how many people it would take to insert an IV into my arm. I wagered that it would only take one person and two tries, but I was wrong. It took three nurses then finally a paramedic to get the job done. I lost count on how many needle holes that came to.

I’m sorry for those who bet with me and lost, but I had no idea Casino Night on Floor Three was part of my package – and I’d never been to Vegas.

The next thing on my list of things to do was to attend the Tall Tale Sound Off at the nurse’s station. My assignment was to convince people that I’d just had a hysterectomy.

“I told my wife I’d had enough,” I said to anybody who would listen. “I’m through with having children.”

Of course, my regular nurses knew the score, but that one student nurse – I swear she had to think it over for a minute or two.

Then there were the Hospital Gown Races: How fast can you put on your gown with both hands? With one hand? With one hand in the dark without tripping over your IV lines?

Not to be conceited, but I do think I now hold the record in all events.

Ballroom Blitz in Orlando, FL
Next came the IV Cart Midnight Disco to the Bathroom event. The winner – the one who could successfully unplug the cart, dance it to the bathroom with grace and style, then back again, while at the same time keeping their exposed backside away from the door, just in case a nurse just so happened to pop in for some blood – was awarded an empty bladder and the sense of a job well done.

That one event in itself is the reason I have self-confidence just bursting from my stitches.

And finally, in all seriousness, I did break my “no TV” rule to watch a little bit of “American Chopper.” Can you really blame me?

Well, I disembarked from my little adventure Wednesday afternoon, Samantha the nurse gave me a final buggy ride to the parking lot, and that was that.

Thanks to all the doctors and nurses at Titus Regional Medical Center for making my stay a pleasant one; but, no offense, let’s not do it again real soon. Okay?

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