The hospital is a weird place. Think of how many people touch you. Someone greets you, signs you in, takes down your information. The nurse asks your name, birthdate, weighs you, checks your vitals. Someone pokes you with an IV, and if they suck, someone else pokes you again. You might see an “Attending,” but I’m not sure what they are attending to because they don’t stick around too long. The doctor in charge comes to greet you to let you know he’s arrived. He’s in the official white coat that is followed around by people in shorter white coats that look more scared than you are.
It’s bad enough your sisters think you’re faking your headaches for attention, but then professionals tell you that you “google too much”, and that you just need Benadryl because they have “seen worse.” I hate to break it to you Dr J, but your migraine cocktail didn’t do a darned thing to the tennis-ball-sized tumor in my brain that Google suggested you should scan for – but what do I know? I promise that I wasn’t throwing up for months just to get a “beach-bod…” even though I did look pretty good after losing 25 pounds in one month. Some people use the ER for their family doctor, so the hospital can’t give a scan to everyone, but when you see someone lying in their own vomit, she probably isn’t faking for a Dora the Explorer sticker and cardboard pajamas that don’t cover the backside.
I slept for 40 hours without getting up to eat or pee, so we went back to the ER and someone with good sense approved scans and told us that I won the Rare Brain Tumor Lottery. Within 5 minutes, my room had 14 doctors in it. I had so many questions. Where did they all come from? Who would be the one cutting me open? What is the average ACT score among them? How much money do you make? Are you going to get a good night’s sleep before you touch my brain matter? Is the beautiful woman doctor in the Jimmy Choo shoes going to be mine? Because I want her! My successful surgery was actually done by the new guy. I’m glad I didn’t know he was the new guy until AFTER the surgery. He arrived 2 days before I did. Let that sink in. His first major surgery at the hospital was on me.
I came out singing Ben Platt’s “Ease My Mind” one hour after surgery. My sister turned on Ben Platt’s “If I Don’t Live Forever” first.
Why on EARTH do they test the fire-alarms at three and five in the morning? They always tell you “get some sleep.” Why then do they wake me up every hour to give me oral medicine (can’t you use the IV since you poked me for it?), take vitals (after I confirmed the secret code–name and birthdate), ask me if I need to poop (knowing the meds stop me up). Does anyone else notice that we get different nurses every shift and although they spend lots of time typing up reports, when a new nurse comes in, you have to answer the same questions all over again. Yes, tennis ball size. Yes, surgery. Yes, my pain is a 10. Yes, I would like more morphine. No, I didn’t poop.
It’s a well-known fact that some meds make you constipated and others reverse the situation. The outcome is messy and EVERY TIME, in walks the hottest male nurse. Do they only save these guys for sponge baths and dirty work? There’s nothing like looking into the eyes of a man who should be the next Bachelor and giving him your daily stool update.
When you’re sick and you look worse than you’ve ever looked, everyone wants to tell you how fabulous you are holding up. After they shaved my head, I was complimented on how perfectly round my head was. “You are glowing.” (I haven’t even started radiation yet.) “Have you lost weight?” (Yes, the brain tumor was at least five pounds.) Everyone’s lying. I looked like I’d been hit by a bus. At this point, I want someone to just be honest with me. If a stranger came up to me and told me I looked like hell, I might just give him a hug.
My last PSA: if I’m not crying, don’t sit by my bedside and cry for 5 hours because the tumor is cancerous. Consoling YOU is using up all the extra brain cells I don’t have to spare.
You know what you can do? Keep those cookies coming! Chocolate Chip, please. Turn up the music on the way out and please tell the hot nurse I have to poop.