Tuesday, October 07, 2003


Last night, just as I sat down to write my blog entry, my husband came into my office and asked me to take him to the hospital emergency room. ASAP. Over the past few days he had been experiencing some complications from a hernia operation he'd had a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, he'd finally had just enough of the pain to acquiesce to emergency room care. (Something I'd been trying to talk him into for four days.)

Hence the abbreviated blog entry yesterday.

I've had enough of hospitals. Truly. Since September 11th, I have spent countless hours in three different hospitals in two different states, for too many reasons.

It all started on September 11th with my brother (in NJ) having elective surgery on his ear to correct a hearing problem he was having. Since his wife had a trial that day (she's a lawyer) and couldn't be there, and I didn't want my mother to have to sit all on her own waiting for him, I offered to accompany them. That day started at 6 a.m. for me, and I didn't get home until around 10 that night. (The operation went well, my mother wasn't lonely, and I am very glad I was there to help my brother.)

The next day, my husband had to get blood work done in advance of his upcoming hernia operation, so we went to the local hospital (PA) for a couple of hours. Simple enough.

The hernia operation itself came on September 23rd -- also at the local hospital. That day started at 5:15 a.m. and we were already home by early afternoon. (Well, my husband was at home, I was at CVS getting prescriptions filled for what seemed like the rest of the day.) Then the at-home recovery started. I work at home, so I was here to help when needed. I came to realize that my real challenge was in keeping the "stuck at home blues" at bay. This is not a task that I take to easily. While I am fully capable of fetching water, heating soup and making ice bags, as well as helping with various man-chores, such as backwashing the pool, taking out the garbage, and removing drowned mice from the pool filter, I am not very sympathetic to whininess. But we managed, and to this day remain married.

In the meantime, a close friend was having pneumonia-like symptoms for a couple of weeks and, after a few outpatient tests, ended up in a hospital a couple of towns over, where he remains still, today. So I got to become familiar with the interior of that hospital as well. He should be getting out soon, thank goodness.

Last night's trip to the emergency room topped off my month-long hospital run. We attempted to go to the local hospital less than a mile away, but it was packed wall-to-wall with limping, hacking, bleeding and otherwise unhealthy people. So we went to the hospital a couple of towns away, instead. We arrived at 9:30 p.m. My husband was poked and prodded and tested and questioned. After getting a needle in the buttocks that looked to be the width of a basketball inflator pin, he was released about half-past twelve.

I could not wait to go home and take a shower to extract the antiseptic smell from my pores and scrub the imprint of the uncomfortable hospital visitor chair from my butt.

Three-and-a-half-week period. Three different hospitals; two different states. No more, OK? That mercury retrograde thing was supposed to be over September 20th, but I fear that I accidentally replaced it with my own personal retrograde, and I am telling you right now, NO MORE. I just plain refuse. Nobody else I know is allowed to get sick or hurt. Ever. Got it?

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