Hospital hangover


I bet there are doctors and nurses in this world who would like to wring the necks of patients who walk around sick and complaining to anyone who will listen for days, then wait until the middle of the night to seek medical help.

I confess, I’m one of those people.  But my creeping hypochondria got the best of me during the midnight hour and I sought refuge in that scary place on Hospital Road. The outcome was better than I could have imagined.

hospital hangover

After two days of walking bent over double from a mysterious stabbing pain, I threw a few things in a ziplock bag and drove myself to the emergency room. I had been tempted to go to bed and try to sleep it off, but I remembered my friend Ruthie who did the same thing and ended up in the back of an ambulance headed for Jackson.

Little did I know that one decision would launch a memorable week of pampering equivalent to a visit to an ultra-swanky spa.  I came out of the experience completely healed and what I witnessed in the hospital restored my faith in the medical profession and organized health care in general.

After having the necessary tubes inserted in the Emergency Room I received a shot of something that made me feel light as a feather blowing in a gentle wind. As I floated on over into La La Land, the capable and compassionate emergency personnel tried to figure out what to do with me.  It was decided I should be admitted into “the big house.” I had a moment of panic when I realized I didn’t have a hairbrush, make-up or lipstick.  No toothbrush, perfume or my double duty wrinkle-fighting Retin A could have dire results.  Being sick is is one thing, but LOOKING sick is serious.

gI_97898_TobyGown4To make matters worse,  I was wearing a very large open-backed frock compliments of the ER.  It was made of an unbecoming fabric held together by snaps and ribbons – not a good look for a sick person. To say I was impressed by my local regional hospital is an understatement, but I do wish they would try to gussy up their hospital gowns.  Something in a pastel dupioni silk (like this one) would be my choice.

The medication made the claws of my pain finally start to relax their grip and i was moved into Room 206 which was identical to a Hilton Hotel I visited recently, I discovered the television in my room was airing a day-long marathon of “Mad Men” which I had been watching at home on Netflix.  A full day of guiltless television watching while being waited on hand and foot?  What’s not to love about that.

My clever little “smart bed” was a cross between a Barcalounger and a Lazy Boy.  Volunteers dropped by offering beverages and magazines and I enjoyed chatting with a cute young man whose business card identified him as “Guest Relations.”  Apparently we were “guests” not “patients.”

Minutes later, the surgeon on call arrived. If I had been a casting agent looking for the perfect actor to play the tall, handsome and witty star of a daytime hospital this guy would get the job. He strode confidently into the room, while I secretly computed how many decades too soon I’d been born.

nursesKeep in mind all this is going on during a Category 4 Tornedo which had targeted our region.  Before the night would end, more than a dozen hospital patients from a neighboring town would be moved to my floor.  Nurses didn’t hesitate to extend their shifts. Some had been there since 7 a.m. and would remain way past midnight into the next day to care for the additional “guest” load.  I never heard a complaint.

Ultimately surgery was required and my stay was extended another eight days, but all my meals were served with a smile.  I got to dine on Popsicles and Jello – perfect fare for a girl with an overgrown sweet tooth.  The nurses and doctors were superb and they didn’t even snicker when in a Demerol induced haze, I reported that an airliner had landed on Hospital Road during the wee hours of the morning,

miraclesThe entire experience was pleasant and relaxed and I returned home after eight days feeling rejuvenated and well again.  Imagine that – I went to a hospital, got well and was treated like a queen.  It was a miracle. Now, don’t go rushing out to the ER unless it’s absolutely necessary, but don’t ever be afraid of the hospital especially if it has the letters OCH in its name,

5 thoughts on “Hospital hangover


  2. So glad you had a healing experience not so sure about the circumstances!

  3. I used to dread hospital visits, wanted them to be short and sweet. 24 hours was about right. In the last few years I have had three stays of 7 days. Hubby had one of 3 weeks. We went to University of Alabama in Birmingham. They have everything you mentioned, plus RoomService. Breakfast is served until 10:30 am, lunch until 3pm, and dinner until 7pm. Delicious food , lots of choices. You can even get a sandwich in the middle of the night oh, yeah, I got well too. Sweet!

  4. What a graphic, humorous, and positive description of your recent hospital experience. This one needs to make the Starkville Daily News if for no other reason than to give credit where credit is due to those in the profession who rarely receive the recognition they so richly deserve and to get the word out that we don’t usually need to go so far away to get quality care.

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