Monday, July 25, 2011

Alexis Is Back with a Vengeance!

Actually I do not have any particular vengeance; I'm just back. This should be my final night of incarceration. I've been told that if nothing highly unusual happens before tomorrow morning, I should be sprung from this joint by tomorrow.

I've had my computer back for an hour or so, and I've read comments, tweets, emails, etc. Thanks for the support of so many of you. Amelia, Amy, Aunt Becky, Cara, Catherine, Faery Chaos, Kristine, Matt, Maria, Rebecca, Rachel, Saints Timothy and Titus, sort-of-cousin Peter and his sort-of wife, and anyone else I've missed, thank you so much for your kindness.

To Dr. Drew (not THE Dr. Drew, by the way; I have no sex issues or addictions at this point, although I'll have a better idea if this is really true when they try to take my Vicodin away): Thanks for paying attention during medical school, escpecially when they taught the unit about how to removed ruptured appendices. Thanks also for keeping various human pit bulls at a safe distance from me.

To Pseudorelatives: Thank you for once again coming through for me.

To Uncle Jerry and Aunt Ilianna: Thanks for flying to CA to help take care of me and Auntie j.

To Timmy: Thanks for the comic relief.

To Mom and Dad: Thanks for showing up before the hospital finished me off. Seriously, I enjoyed your company.

Words of wisdom for anyone planning an extended hospitl stay:

#1 Bring your own sheets.My mom had a Kennedy obsession when she was a kid and has half of a library of books written by or about the star-crossed family. When I was in timeout as a kid, I was limited to the books in my parents' library, so I'm walking around with far more knowledge relating to the Kennedys than is normal or healthy. In one book I remember reading how Ethel took satin sheets to the hospital for the birth of her last child. I found her actions elitist and ridiculous. Then I had an extended stay in THIS hospital. Satin sheets, or at least cotton sheets with a thread count higher than 16, would've been a great source of comfort. I've spent extended time on another floor of this hospital. They must've given us better sheets on that floor. Maybe they figure people in this ward are so sick they won't even notice that they've been relegated to convalescing on sandpaper.

#2 Bring your own toothbrush. My gums are so messed up that my dental hygeinist is going to think I have gingivitis or some similar malady at my next checkup, when the real culprit is the hospital-issue toothbrushes.

#3 Be suere that friends from the outside world bring you contraband food. I would most likely be dead of starvation if I had needed to rely solely on the food from the hospital kitchen for sustenance. It's not that I mind eating glue and cardboard; it's just that I can only get so much of the stuff down in one sitting. As it is I've lost far too much weight. I would seriously be a skeleton if cousin Peter's ex and a few others had not come to the rescue.

#4 Make friends with the guards. I failed to do this with my first guard, otherwise known as the resident physician. I did much better when she was replaced with someone from the human species. A few times when the nurses would've let me die, he came to the rescue.

#5 Figure out which nurses are human and treat them well. They may save your life while everyoe else is sitting around drinking something from Starbuck's.

#6 Make most criticisms of the institution in which you are incarcerated inside your head. Choose your words wisely and censor your criticism well because you will pay dearly for any negative comment that makes it to the administrative level.

#7 Don't walk one step more than is medically necessary. Do what your doctor says you need to do in order to recover, but as far as any additional walking, remember that there's a perfectly good reason why God invented wheelchairs. I have a nasty multicolored bump on my forehead because I failed to follow my own advice in this regard.

#8 Keep a cell phone handy. This is particularly crucial if you are underage and the staff thinks they have the legal right to perform any procedure or prescribe any medication without your express consent. Hospitals kill people every day. Don't be a statistic.

#9 Keep extra provisions on hand. An additional remote control is a handy thing to have in the event that a nurse takes away the one you have. Additional snacks (with sugar and not good for you)within reach are a good thing to have, as are bandaids and dental floss. (IF everything else fails you, you can use the detal floss to braid a rope and climb out a window of the hospital to safety.) Don't count on ataff to bring you something as basic as lotion within twelve hours of the time your request it. Be prepared, like a Mormon with a two-year supply of food and essentials, only make it compact enough to fit in a suitcase.

#10 Avoidance is the best proactive measure. Stay away from hospitals in the first place if you can. Stay healthy enough that you do not have to worry about any of this stuff. Only venture inside a hospital if you are fairly certain that you face imminent death if you stay away.

Thanks again for your kindness. Stay well and sane.



  1. Thankfully I have only been admitted to the hospital 1 time, and that was to give birth to my son 10 years ago.

    Glad to hear you're doing better and hopefully free by now :)

    Sanity is entirely up to interpretation and perception (heehee)!

  2. This sounds like good advice!
    I'm glad you finally will be released soon.

    When I was at a clinic in Cuzco, Peru. I had Kelly Green Sheets. I thought that was the coolest, even though I was semi-conscious at the time... ^^;;

    Congratulations!!!! :D

  3. When I stayed in hospital -eye hospital to have my cataracts done- I ate what was probably one of the BEST vegetable curries I have ever eaten.

    Birmingham Eye Hospital (Birmingham UK) has a really good catering department!

  4. Faery, my guess is that nospitals treat new mothers semi-decently. At the very least, nurses would be acting suicidally if they did not tread lightly in one of the more combustible areas on the planet. With all those hormones floating around, the maternity ward could be a dangerous place for nurses who did not mind their manners.

    Amy, if it's not insensitive to inquire, why were you in a clinic in Peru? I could totally get into kelly-green sheets, especially with being half Irish. I usually pretend that I'm 100% Irish and forget about the French Canadian part unless it somehow benefits me, which it has yet to do in sixteen-and-one-half years.

    Matt, how long ago did you have cataract surgery? Here in the US it's practically a drive-through procedure regardless of the nature of one's catarscts (posterior subcapsular or whatever). I've never heard of anyone being in a hospital here following cataract surgery for long enough to have a meal. They're lucky to get a sip of ginger ale. My aunt had the surgery when she developed cataracts at 41 because she took steroids for eye involvement with Graves' Disease. I've also never heard of a hospital cook preparing anything as imaginative as a curry dish. I probably wouldn't like it; curry is not on my Donner Party list, but the smell doesn't appeal to me. Still, I give the chef points for boldness, amd I would try curry long before I would eat any sandwich that had mayonnaise on it.


  5. Well, the nurses sorta sucked :( One was telling me to "get mad" at the baby so I could push him out. Um, yeah b*tch, I don't think so.

    After the kid was born, I had not 1, not 2 but 3 different nurses try to assist with the whole breast feeding thing. Thankfully we figured it (after I left the hospital), because each of their advice had completely sucked.

    The ped. dr that comes around the hospital was only there for literally 5 minutes and then onto the next patient. Which I can understand, but it would have been nice to have a little more of a conversation than him looking at my kids poop and shuffling out the door.

    As for Curry, my kid LOVES it and every time I make rice, he wants curry in it. Every. Time. It takes better than it smells :)

  6. It's a funny story, Alexis, The surgeon wanted to give me surgery under a local anaesthetic, but when he saw me in the waiting room for my initial appointment he noticed what a fidget I am and realised that he wanted me knocked out before he would do the operation! So that meant an overnight stay.

    There's a high number of Asian (meaning in the UK Indian or Pakistani) people living in Birmingham, so they like to have some food they'd like to eat. Though my Indian mate Pip loves nothing more than to get in some lagers and then eat a big plate of fish and chips!!

    I had cataract surgery in my mid-40s, they think it was probably because I used unscreened green screen computer monitors which pumped out radiation and have been implicated in a cluster of early cataract victims.

    By the way, I love curry, but I am lucky as my wife's family originate in India, so I get the real stuff, her own family's recipes. They do not use chillies for heat, just ginger, as her family came from Southern India and chillies are not much used, there.

  7. My dad's computer doesn't seem to want me to sign in, Matt, but it is I, the real Alexis, here. I could give you the signs and tokens, but some would consider that blasphemous. Anyway, if my words were not already posted, I can see how the "real" curry might be an improvement over a westernized version.