Loyal readers of this blog probably figured out that I was once again in the hospital last week, from Monday night through Friday afternoon. My old buddy Mr. Bowel Obstruction once again paid me a visit. This time, he stuck around far longer than usual, and caused pretty significant pain. It took so long to resolve that every day that went by felt like one step closer to emergency surgery. I’m thankful that it finally resolved without the need for said surgery.
I went to one hospital’s emergency room, where I was diagnosed (though I seriously can diagnose it by myself without the need for a CT scan, but the doctors are funny about people self-diagnosing). However, there was no room at that particular inn, so once the CT scan indicated the problem, they loaded me up into an ambulance and sent me down the road to a nearby hospital that had a bed. And believe me, that’s basically all this room had was a bed. It was so small that the nurse’s station sat right in front of the only sink in the room, thereby making washing my hands a problem…..
Eventually, the nurses agreed to swing the computer to the side far enough to allow me to reach the sink.
My medical care was good, though things transpired a bit differently than what I am used to. Usually, by the next day following my ER visit, I am starting the routine to get out of the hospital: first tolerate clear liquids, then tolerate full liquids, then tolerate regular food. It generally takes a couple of days.
This time, things went a bit differently for a couple of reasons: 1) the obstruction took very long to resolve; and 2) the doctor’s daughter was graduating from DU on Friday morning. He called the nurse early that morning to warn her that he had the graduation and then a brunch. He promised he would be in after brunch. Well, methinks brunch turned into happy hour because at 3:30, he was still a no-show and I had been eating nothing but chicken broth. She finally called him and asked how to proceed. Here’s what he said: She has had about a billion bowel obstructions in her life. She knows her body. If she says it has resolved, it has resolved. Tell her she can be discharged and carry out the rest of the food regime on her own. And then she heard him holler Hey Ralph, I’ll have another, make this a double.
Well, that last part I made up.
So, my ever-so-kind nurse (whose name is Jamie and whom I hope to never see again despite her kindness) filled out the discharge instructions and went over them with me. Soft foods for the next week or so, she told me. What do you mean by soft, I wondered. “You can mash it with a fork, she explained.
I have subsequently learned that with enough force, you can mash an olive in a martini with a fork.
I’m feeling much better, thank you very much. I’m talking to you, God.
By the way, this is a view of a sunrise I took from my hospital window one morning when my IV woke me up at 5:15 by telling me the bag needed to be changed. Beautiful…..