Things I learned from being in the hospital:
- Hospital food tastes bad. Most of the food is really bland and unidentifiable. I know that they do this because of all the dietary needs of different people and I really did not expect restaurant quality food. I did find a few things that were enjoyable, like the breakfast rolls, but for the most part the food was not too appealing.
- Hospital food tastes good. On the other hand when you have nothing else to eat and you are starving the hospital food tastes really good. I was placed on the IV and then was not allowed to eat before my surgery. I ended up not having anything to eat or drink for 16 hours and at the end of that time I was ravenous. I normally eat about every 4 hours so to go 16 hours was really hard for me, especially since I could not even drink water. The hospital food tasted GREAT at the point and I wolfed everything down. I even ended up eating something that I do not normally eat.
Yes folks I ate chicken!!! I have not eaten chicken in YEARS but it tasted really good. That is what starving will do to you. I guess I was hallucinating from the lack of food for those few hours….so that does not count. I did stand firm on my decision not to eat green beans so I left those on the plate.
- Things are not what they seem. Have you ever seen on television the thing they have on the end of people’s fingers? I always thought that was something that pricked the finger like the IV line. When I spent time in the hospital I had one of those things put on my finger. It is used to measure the amount of oxygen in your blood and it does not prick your finger at all.It simply opens and closes on a hinge and somehow it measures your oxygen levels without piercing the skin. I thought that was so amazing and I wanted to take one home. I now look at hospital scenes differently because I know that little thing on the end of your finger does not hurt at all.
- IVs hurt going in and coming out. I had to have intravenous fluids while I stayed in the hospital. It hurt a little bit when they had to put it in but then once it was in I could not feel anything. When I was ready to leave the hospital they had to take out the IV and I really felt that when it came out.
- Hospitals use cheap toilet paper. The toilet paper in the hospital bathroom was really thin and scratchy. I do not normally use top of the line toilet paper but this was a new experience for me. I guess with all of the expenses the hospital has they need to find ways to save money. I would rather have cheap toilet paper than reused needles so that was not a big issue.
- Blood and Saline feel the same. I had to get a blood transfusion when I dropped to ‘critical’ condition. Since I could see that the blood was thicker than the saline solution I thought I would be able to feel the difference when I was switched from saline to blood. I looked at the liquid flowing through but I could not feel anything.
- Hospital employees have their own dark humor. Sometimes the nurses and doctors made jokes that I just did not see as funny. I could see the logic behind them since my mother is a nurse (and I read medical books and watch House, MD) but I guess you have to work there to really ‘get’ the jokes sometimes.
- Hospital beds are fun. When my friends came over to visit they found that the bed could measure the weight that was on it. They took turns sitting on the bed with me and playing with the scale. Shhhh, don’t tell the doctor! Hey I was too weak to stop them. Well that’s my story and I am sticking to it. We also adjusted the head and foot of the bed so that I could be as comfortable as possible throughout the day.
- This meant I had to have the head part almost vertical when I was eating but then when I started to feel dizzy again I needed to have it lower. I also elevated my feet sometimes so that I could get my blood flowing since I was not able to stand for longer than it took to go to the bathroom.
- Nurses do not care about how you look or smell. I felt bad most of the time and thought I looked horrible. I hated having to call the nurse each time I had to go to the bathroom…..which was every 1.5 to 2 hours, because of the amount of fluid they were rushing through my body. The nurses are accustomed to helping people go to the bathroom so that did not faze them. I still felt very self conscious and tried to avoid it as much as possible. I am not saying that I smelled like a rancid billy goat but without going into too much detail…I needed help with everything. I was just happy to be on a mainly liquid diet the whole time.