This Ain’t No Grey’s Anatomy

Posted on April 20, 2011

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Joyce, a close friend of mine who lives in Florida,  took a fall a couple days ago.  I was visiting my son in Charleston when the phone call came to tell me what had happened.  I flew home, packed, turned around and flew to Florida to spend a week helping to take care of her.  Her surgery was yesterday.  I’m sitting by her bedside, typing this.  I’m also observing life in her hospital room.

In addition to Joyce, there is another patient in the room who has had enough phone calls now and has told her story enough times that, should she ever fall asleep, I could answer her phone and be her. 

There are three kinds of people who have come into the room while I have been sitting here: medical staff, non-medical staff,  and a visitor. The total number of people has been consistent, approximating fire code violation for excessive number of people at any given moment in a space this size.

Medical staff: Doctors, nurses (RNs, LPNs,) nurses aides, respiratory specialists, PT people, people with some kind of medical garb who walk in and look around and walk out. 

Non-medical staff: cleaning people, food service people, social workers,delivery people, people who walk into the room by accident, people without medical garb who walk in and look around and walk out.

Visitors: This category has consisted entirely of one extremely decrepit, deaf  visitor who came to see Joyce’s roomate.  The roommate, having not told her story since the most recent phone call three minutes before, had to fill him in.  This elicited a decibel level fron her that would  not only have cracked eggs , but would have sent the chickens screaming into the night. But, since deafness seemed to be the lesser of her visitor’s issues, he wasn’t any more educated about his friend’s condition when he was wheeled out than when he was wheeled in.

At no time has anyone, including the visitor,  put a roll of toilet paper in the bathroom.

About 30 minutes ago someone came in (medical garb, wheeled medical machinery with lots of dials and lights) to say she would need 15 minutes of Joyce’s time.  Time is something Joyce has right now, especially since sleep isn’t a possibility. I took this opportunity to get lunch.  I  followed the route to to the  hospital cafeteria (one elevator, at least nine hallways, two rest stops with mini-marts, one visitor’s center).  After lunch, I managed to find my way back to Joyce’s room without the aid of a GPS, although I did make minor wrong turn at one point and was lucky enough to observe open-heart surgery firsthand.

I’m  back in Joyce’s room now.  I’ll leave around 5 PM and be back tomorrow, in my usual place.  I’ll go to the cafeteria again, and will take the same incorrect route back.  I understand there will be an elf ear transplant in OR 5.

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Posted in: humor, satire