To Quote ET, “Ouch.”

If you have to go to the hospital, I suggest outpatient treatment if at all possible.  They don’t keep you overnight, you get to go home for dinner and you get to sleep in your own bed.  They don’t get to wake you up in the middle of the night to take your blood pressure and a blood sample (but not at the same time) and if you don’t stay, it removes two of the most annoying things about being in the hospital, daytime TV and hospital food.

I consider myself to be in pretty good health, but I’ve been in three hospitals in the last three years.  Clearly, I should have purchased the extended warranty on myself and just as clearly, it’s too late now.  Two of those visits were for repairs rather than for illness, which is why I still regard my health as generally good.  All three hospitals had severe parking problems.  All three were under construction.  All three are still under construction.  Is there a hospital anywhere that isn’t under construction?  Is there one where it’s easy to park?

Long Island Jewish Hospital has valet parking for those who wish to take advantage of it.  It’s still not easy though.  They don’t have enough room to leave the cars or enough valets to park or retrieve them quickly.  There is a charge for the valet parking, of course and it also costs four dollars an hour to park there without a valet.  So, if you’re a visitor, you fork it over, but if you’re a patient and either you or your insurance company is spending thousands of dollars a day, they do validate parking.  I think that’s nice, but it also strikes me as funny for some reason.

I had rotator cuff surgery recently and as one of my friends suggested, I hope to be rotating and cuffing like I used to pretty soon.  I recommend you do everything you can to avoid injuring your dominant-side arm.  And, no, I will not now become a starting pitcher for the Mets.  Starting pitching is the least of their problems and if I were pitching for them it would be the most of their problems instead. 

What is it about hospitals that allows doctors to be on time within their walls, but nowhere else?  I think they have these procedures very early in the morning so that you’ll be half asleep and they can save money by using a little less anesthesia.  I had some trouble with the anesthesia the last time I had surgery on my shoulder.  This anesthesiologist spent some time with me talking to me about the problems and reassuring me.  I wound up telling him that he was the doctor and as long as I had told him what my issues were, I’d trust him to use his best judgment and his skill.  That turned out to be a good decision in this instance.  We both learned from my previous experience.  I had less trouble this time.

Why is it so cold in the hospital?  The last operation I had was in December, so I thought they were conserving energy, but this one was in August, so that’s not the case.  I told my surgeon I heartily approved of the heated hospital gown they gave me.  He said he was jealous because he was too cold too.  The obvious solution to that is heated scrubs.  I wonder if someone’s working on that.  If you’re interested in the concept of heated hospital gowns, search the Internet for “Bair Paw.”

I don’t know how I could have done this without my wife.  I’ve thanked her over and over, but I’m now thanking her in public.  She’s not as confident of her driving ability as she should be, so I had to figure out how to get to and from the hospital on local streets, but she got me there and back safely.  She worried about me and I hate to make her do that, but it’s proof of how much she loves me.  I feel the same way about her and I don’t need any proof, so I still hate to make her worry about me.  I worry about her too.  When I spent more time than expected in the recovery room, I wanted them to tell her I was okay.

She got me medicine, got me food, cut up my food so I could eat it (I bet she thought she was done with cutting up other people’s meat).  She bought ice packs and brought them to me, changed dressings and helped me dry off after I showered too.  In other words, she did everything I needed and most of what I wanted, and thought up some stuff to do for me that I hadn’t thought of too, just like she always does, only I needed more than usual. 

Although I deserve very little of the credit, I am getting better.  So far, most of the credit goes to the doctors, nurses, technicians and other staff at the hospital and to my wife.  Soon, I hope to add physical therapists to the list.  Like so many other things in life, I don’t like physical therapy, but I know it’s good for me.

Author: Tom

I know my ABC's, I can write my name and I can count to a hundred.