When You’re Sick…Be Very Very Good


Recently, I got sick. Very sick. Probably the sickest I’ve ever been with a hemoglobin that dropped to one third of what it should be. Several days in bed in the hospital getting blood… Just what the doctor ordered.

You know how you dream sometimes about how wonderful it would be to spend time in bed reading, watching movies and generally vegging out? Well, turns out it becomes really boring after about five minutes, especially in the circumstances I experienced.

So here’s where I complain. I am a certified nurse anesthetist and I realize that hospitals need mattress protectors to prevent the spread of germs but the slick protectors cause you, the patient, to slide down in bed and you end up with your head off of the mostly non-existent disposable pillow and your feet nearly off the bed. Then when you try to push yourself back up in the bed you realize that the mattress is so soft you have nothing firm to push against and since you are now at the bottom of the bed, you don’t have a handrail to pull yourself up in bed. My first night in the hospital, I virtually got no sleep due to the bed, the traffic of nurses and technicians in and out of the room, and the intravenous pump alarming because the IV was kinked. It was placed in the antecubital vein at the bend of the elbow because the ER personnel felt they needed a big vein for blood.

blood for transfusion

blood for transfusion

Finally the needle had to be re-sited because it was kinked in two places. By that time I had a terrible headache due to the odd position my neck had been in all night and the fact I had been without food for over 24 hours. Then a transporter arrived to take me to the GI lab. When you’re tired and your imagination is overactive anyway, thinking the transporter looks like an undertaker in a horror movie is not far off the mark of what I was feeling.  And all of a sudden I thought I should be very very good.

thioI’m a woman who doesn’t spend time in bed and lying around nearly drove me insane. I would have liked to have a hidden microphone on the wall at the nurses station. I was accustomed to taking medications at a certain time of day and when that got changed to another time, I found myself questioning the RNs. I am sure they were sick of me by the time I left and I’m thankful they put up with me.

But, I’m better now. In fact, I feel pretty good and I’m planting my vegetable garden for the upcoming season. What has your spring been like so far? Have you ever missed and event because of illness?

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