Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hospital Escape!

My dad sent this email to his brother, describing the desperate steps he had to take to get out of the hospital. Haha! He gave me permission to share it here on my blog with you, dear readers. He claims that every word of this is true, except for the part about the hatchet (which was part of a pain-pill-induced dream). His hospital roommate was a Native American man, so there really was an Indian in the room.

Dear Dave.
You would think a nation that could put a man on the moon, and then, 30 years later design little wheels on their suitcases would design a decent hospital bed that didn't let its bottom sheet slide down to your feet while your sweaty bottom sat on a plastic mattress cover.

All I could do was hit the call button and request "2 sheet sliders" to come rescue me.  With the chest opening, everybody did not seem to want me to move myself yet. It was an easy call for me. I'd rather spend the night on the streets than in a hospital bed. The street people are smart and have a lot of empathy.

I never did get to sleep very well under the sedative. I was still with vision when they told the little Native American fellow it was his turn. He threw his little hatchet from across the room while two big orderlies held me up with my back to the heavy oak door. Split my chest dead center!

I did sleep pretty good then for a while. Nobody told me that two people would try to retrieve the air tube from my throat. I really thought I was choking to death and it was up to me, alone, to kill the two folks trying to choke me and that I had to escape on my own. Nancy was present for that one and she said I put on a pretty good show while they vacuumed out my throat. My mouth is still full of bruises.

Had a different nurse for every day and every shift except for "ding bat Judy" an RN about 55 years old. Had her for two night shifts, night 2 and night 3. I only could take it for 4 nights all together.

The first night Judy showed up I really needed a pain pill. At 9PM she came in and I told her I had to sit up to swallow because of my beat up throat. She helped me halfway through the sit up exercise, the one where she pulls your torso up to a sitting position while you swing your legs down towards the floor. I had never stopped half way before so I wasn't used to the view from there. Judy let go of me and said, "I'll be right back. In case you have forgotten to keep track of the time, it is about 9:00 pm. There I am, My torso sticking up a 45 degrees and my legs are crushing my catheter tube and all the little things attached to it.

By 10 PM I notice the cat tube is full of blood, I can't reach the call button, my upper body is in one big cramp so I started slithering myself back up on the bed and lay on my back trying to not pass out. At 10:30 Ding Bat (her name now) shows up and asked me if I needed anything. I told her about all of her shortcomings and the origination of her parents. First thing she did was empty the catheter bag to hide the evidence, and then she said, "just a minute, I'll go get your pain pill. I really can't remember if I ever got one from her or not. She went off shift at midnight.

So, you see Dave, It is not bravery at all. Strictly self defence.

By the third morning always be up before your doctor makes rounds. Leave your bed in its usual mess. Walk down to the big waiting room with the north view of the big city and pretty soon one of the office administrators will come up to you, "Are you Kendall Jenkins?" Your doctor is waiting for you. " Then, always walk as fast as you can towards your room. As you pass the hall intersection and see your doctor out of the corner of your eye, ignore him and try to walk even faster. Pretty soon you'll hear, "You must really want to go home, I can't even keep up with you!"

Walking fast is never more that a pain level of 3, while keep reminding yourself that being in that hospital bed is about a pain level 6!

So, That is how I always get out as soon a I do!

Next, remind me to tell you about the "no go female toilets."

Love, Ken

3 comments:

Dorothy said...

This is great. I love your Dad's sense of humor! Please thank him for letting you share this, and let him know we are cheering for his healthy recovery.

Mike said...

I had a similar experience in a military hospital

Polly said...

This is hilarious! So glad he's feeling better and doesn't have to deal with Ding Bat Judy.