For those of you who don't know, my husband had his final cancer-related surgery on Tuesday. We're out of town (10 hours away) and he's been admitted to the hospital to recover. To give you an idea: he has an 6-8" abdominal incision which needs to heal before we can leave. Really, he only needs to fart and poop on his own, which really shouldn't be a problem for Matt. However, in the meantime, we get to crash at the hospital. I have a couple of concerns.
First, Matt had a roommate, Mr. D. Mr. D had surgery, then complications. Instead of regular observation, Mr. D had doctors and nurses visiting him about every 45 minutes. Then Mr. D's wife and sister stuck around for support. Mrs. D was very considerate of Matt. Sister D was very considerate on just about nothing. She talked SO loudly, never looking to see if Matt might be asleep. Then Mr. D had coughing fits. After the talking and the coughing, Matt would settle in for a nap...until his IV drip started beeping and his nurse came to see him. And then Mr. D's stuff would beep. And then Matt's doctor came in, followed by Mr. D's nurse, then my friend, then the chaplain, then the nursing students, a respiratory specialist, another coughing fit, a phone rings, the head nurse, proctologist and some strolling minstrels. SERIOUSLY!! Grand Central Station...and they tell Matt to rest and heal?!?! Yeah, sure. It's amazing the kind of privacy you can get with a couple of questions and $50/night.
Another beef I have is with the food. Matt last ate at 11:30 pm, Monday night. Wednesday morning they put him on a clear liquid diet. He orders some juice. Here's a man who hasn't had any nutrition in two days and he gets lemonade with 15% fruit juice. It's the last ingredient on the label, the first two being filtered water and high fructose corn syrup. Mmmm...healthy. And the chicken broth? Yeah...when it cooled there was clear liquid on top and a settled "chicken" powder on the bottom. What?!?! Thanks to the kind generosity of my friend Beth, Matt has been able to enjoy the 100% of Juicy Juice, as well as some organic fruit leather, which I'm sure will better aid his body's healing process then the three varieties of jell-o. Oy.
Now, please don't misunderstand me. I'm not complaining about this hospital. The facility is excellent and the staff is wonderful. I'm just noticing how patients are treated. Matt was actually pretty spoiled during his chemo...he had a full menu from which to choose, plus I could bring in ANY food for him to eat, and he always had a private room. We never realized how important that was until trying to squeeze two patients, four family members and 56 medical staff into a 200 sq. ft. room. Sheer craziness.
Should a hospital stay ever be needed for you, I hope you will remember this two important points. If you should forget, however, I wouldn't worry too much. After two nights of continuously interrupted sleep and a massive sugar buzz, it'll all come back to you.