Hospital Antics

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Is it too much to ask for a little diversion when undergoing a 6-hour infusion in the hospital?

Next Thursday I’ll have my first IVIG infusion.  Need get to the oncology/hematology department at the butt crack of dawn.   Hospital instructions included  a veritable cornucopia of random advice: bring a blanket/or jacket in case I get chilled; bring my own lunch and they’ll store it in their fridge; bring headphones if I want to watch the bedside TV; drink a lot of water before arriving so they can easily find a big fat vein to stick; wear socks.

The last thing I want to do is go to the hospital.  Under any circumstance.   Hospitals are full of doctors, nurses and patients.  Everybody washes their hands, right?.  Right.  The sick people infect the visitors.  The visitors subsequently get sick and wind up in the hospital.  It’s a vicious cycle.  In addition, my immune system is filled with deranged T-cells that can’t tell an antibody from an antigen.

Unfortunately for me, I can’t avoid the hospital this time.  I have lost pharmaceutical control over my immune system … translation … lots of money and time for lupus medication that did not work.   So I’m stuck, pardon the pun.  Ever the optimist that we can make lemons out of lemonade (pardon the slip), I decided to make a fun list of things to do while a needle is stuck in my arm for six hours.  In no particular order, here they are.

1.     Take cell phone pictures of the arm in question.  Send them to friends.  Or not.

2.     Zone out in the Happy Place part of the brain that copes with stress. Take drugs if that doesn’t help.

3.     Write blog entries

4.     Organize and moderate a patient panel to discuss healthcare reform.  Will keep you updated.  Or maybe take over the hospital.  “Death to the insurance carriers!!”

5.     Working with my jewelry kit, design and make bracelets.

6.     Call for pizza delivery because a cold boring sandwich is just a cold boring sandwich.

7.     Hire a stripper.  Or convince someone to do it for free.

8.     Learn to juggle with one hand.  Just don’t anybody sit too close or you’ll get bonked on the head.

9.     Read a book about coping with Lupus. Oops! I already threw it out the window last night.

As you can see, this list isn’t very long.  And yes, this list isn’t very good, either.  So send in your suggestions!  Drop me a line!

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6 responses »

  1. Strengthen opposite arm while waiting by weightlifting. Then, see how far you can embed a sharp pencil in their drop ceiling tiles.

    Learn the Alto (II) part to Ode to Joy, then sing repeatedly (in German). Give $10 to the first person who guesses the song.

    Pretend you are lying on a beach resort in Key West and keep asking the nurse to bring you margaritas.

    Count to 100 using Roman Numerals.

    Make your own crossword puzzle.

    Hmm. I don’t think my list is very good, either.

  2. I think you should imagine that Johnny depp or Brad pitt are the ones gently inserting the needle into your arm. Then they sit by your side and read romantic poetry until you are done…all the while dropping sumptuous grapes into your mouth! Then when it is all over….get a massage…again you pick the giver!

  3. 1) Hospital TV’s suck (sorry, just no other way to say it); either you get the local stations (yawn), basic cable (blah) or “patient medical information programing” with titles like “You and Your Pancrease” (blech!).
    Use a portable DVD player (you can borrow ours if you want) and watch “Sleepless” or “Casablanca” or maybe run out to Redbox the night before and pick out a grown up movie or two for a buck-per-night rental (yes, I’m cheap!!).

    2) iPods.
    Believe it or not, I think this is one of the best ways to get thru an 8 hour day of mind numbing experiences (I use mine all the time at work).
    The smallest iPod shuffle is like $45 at Target.
    Install the software free from Apple, load up your cd’s and set your play list to what you want to zone out to. (Like I said, I use mine ALL THE TIME AT WORK and nobody bother’s me when the ear buds are in and my upper body is rocking like an psycho street person!!!)

    3) Invent your own entertainment.
    Bring some 20 oz soda bottles (cheap), shake them up and watch the nurses bend over and clean up your mess.
    (Yes, I had patients doing that to me when I worked in the hospital. Made me feel like a cheap piece of meat, but what the hell! YOU need a laugh from time to time and those nurses aren’t gonna read this blog anyway!!! LOL!!)

    4) Telephone Roulette
    Grab the phone at the bedside and start dialing random numbers until somebody answers (usually 4 or 5 digits will do the trick). Don’t start with a 9 – you’ll end up with an outside line and another charge on the bill. When somebody answers, order pizza, ask for Sir Albert in a can, check if their refrigerator is running or ask for the time and temp.
    Who knows? You might get the extension for another patient (maybe a HOT GUY) and strike up a conversation on what you like/dislike about the joint? Maybe you’ll get the hospital president’s extension and you can rip him a new one? Fun, fun, fun!!

    5) You and Your Lighting.
    Your body can’t tolerate the overhead lighting. Demand the staff turn off all the flourescent lights.
    Bring glow-sticks from the dollar store and make the staff carry them into your room (like a torch or something!!) Put black-light paint on your body with mystery phrases (“If you can read this, I must be really, really sick”, “DNR”, “666”, “Help me!!”) that appear when the glow sticks are shined on the writting.
    Watch the faces on the staff when they realize what they are reading!!

    6) Personal Appearance:
    Go to White Castles the night before. Enjoy the response by the staff to your body’s response to the onions!! Nibble on Dorritos and Fritos during the procedure (everybody on staff loves “corn breath” when they have to get up close and personal to you during the procedure, don’t they!?!?).
    Wear a “Superman” shirt with a big red cape when you check in (just like Stephen’s pajamas when he was a kid). Just nothing too naughty (let’s not distract the staff TOO MUCH during the procedure; if they want to see the goods, it’s gonna cost dinner at least!!!).

    If I can think of more, I’ll let you know!!

  4. Yeah, well little bro, I’m gonna pass on #3 and #4. I’m scheduled for about 9 infusions and don’t want to make any enemies just yet. And I’m gonna pass on #6 too. Sorry but I’m just not that kind of girl. I really like #5, though and if you want to buy me an iPod shuffle go for it! 🙂

  5. Thanks for stopping by my site. I added you to my link exchange. Right now its a mess, something I need to update, but haven’t got to it… Hope it all works out at hospital. I think we live with this crap we have the right to RANT AND RANT. I responded to your comments.

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