Tuesday, August 24, 2010
If you were going to see someone waking up from a heart transplant, what would you bring her? Maybe a soft blanket, a favorite book or relaxing music? I didn’t want anything those first couple of days; I was perpetually hot, couldn’t focus enough to read anything and I wasn’t interested in music. But that’s not the point. The point is that I couldn’t have been further from caring about what I looked like – I was focused on not vomiting or moving. So when my mom showed up with a hairbrush and lipstick (which I don’t even wear outside of the ICU), it was a little ridiculous. In her defense, she tried to put herself in my shoes, and lipstick and a hairbrush were what she thought she would have wanted (though in that situation, I think even she would get over that). And I was eventually (several days later) grateful for the hairbrush, but lipstick? Really?
I can’t resist addressing the numerous “congratulations on your new arrival” and “it’s a boy” e-cards I received while in the hospital. During my first hospitalization, the selection of e-cards was even slimmer than it is now, and people sent the new baby cards just to be weird and funny, which I totally appreciated. On almost every one, the sender felt the need to explain the joke to me. During my transplant stay, I received even more of these cards, and the explanations became more and more detailed. People continually explained to me that my new heart really was a new arrival, so the card actually made sense. The funniest part was that every person who sent one of these cards thought it was the most unique and amusing idea! Don’t get me wrong, though, it was very amusing and I LOVED reading every one of them.
Nurse, my Bumex is working.
My neighbor in the hospital last month was one of many patients not allowed to get out of bed on his own. Therefore, every time he wanted to get into his chair or visit the little boys’ room, he had to ring his call button. When one rings the button on that floor, someone picks up a phone at the nurses’ station and asks what the patient needs. I heard it all from this restless neighbor over the course of a few days, but the best request for help was when he rang his bell and simply said, “nurse, my Bumex is working.” Since Bumex is a diuretic used to help people shed fluids, the subtext here is, “I have to pee…and I’m going to continue needing to pee every half hour for a couple of hours, so get used to it.” The only scenario more amusing would have been if he’d said his Colace* was working.
*Colace is a stool softener. :)