Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2009 08 18 Checking out of the hospital

Checking out of the hospital was rather hilarious at times. It took quite a while. My meds had to be fetched and getting them was not easy.

The hospital drug store is on the first floor and no elevator goes there. I was on the 2nd floor. Also the drug store has no cashier. The cashier is on the 2nd floor. So first the prescription has to be trotted outside, down the hill, and inside the first floor drug store. There you wait until your turn to present your prescription.

The druggist checks his inventory and prices, fills out a scrap piece of paper with all the prices. Then you hike outside, up the hill and into the doors to the 2nd floor. You stand in line and when it is your turn, you pay the cashier, and get a receipt. Then it's down the hallway, out the door, down the hill, inside the drug store, wait your turn, present your prescriptions and paid receipt, then wait for the drugs to be filled and handed back to you. Then it's out the door, up the hill, back into the front door and down the hallway to the patent's room.

Needless to say, the Doc's had determined I was too weak to collect my drugs on my own, so someone else was dispatched to do this for me. Of course their work and exercise for collecting my drugs, also included trips back to my hospital room to collect cash to go pay for the drugs and subsequently to bring me the change, receipts and bag full of meds.

WHEW! Buying drugs for a patient at the hospital, is not for the faint at heart. To make it more complicated, I was rejecting some of the overpriced designer drugs, and this was causing problems all around.

I didn't agree with the final diagnosis from the Docs, plus my white blood count was still high, in spite of all that was being done and some of the designer drugs, as I call them, are the type you see pushed on TV commercials and when you go to price them out, you find out they are $10 a pill or something ridiculous.

Meanwhile, I was trying to pack up in those tiny flimsy grocery bags, leftover from visitors who had brought me yogurt, juice, fruit, chocolate, clothes etc. So I had a bag of dirty clothes, a bag of clean clothes, a bag of toiletries, a bag of food. My friends had brought me simple foods to tide me over on days when the meals were not edible. So I had apple juice, crackers, peanut butter, cofort cookies, red and yellow apples, mango jam, fruit cups in a can and pudding cups in plastic. The thrush had become so painful, that I was only able to eat soft foods and no one had notified the kitchen, so my food trays had continued to come with foods too painful to eat (or too disgusting!)

One meal was this super dry very dead salt fish with a zillion bones. I packed it up in a styropfoam tea cup and took it outside to the wild kitty I had seen hunting around the hospital grounds. Breakfast that morning had been frozen fish sticks, baked rock hard and inedible. The well meaning apples my friend had bought were too hard for me to eat and my juice was sustaining me (and sending me to the bathroom rather often.) The fish sticks were also delivered to the wild kitty. One dinner had been overcooked tiny greasy chicken wings with no flavor, but the wild kitty enjoyed them.

There was a spot about 40 feet from the hospital, away from people, where I placed my wild kitty offerings. Once I left the spot and went back to the veranda, I could wait and watch, and if I had plenty of time, the wild kitty would show up in 10-40 minutes, and fight his way through the proffered food and eventually get it all down. Then he would saunter off, looking a bit less bedraggled.

My last day at the hospital, when I had announced tearfully, I wanted to go home and promises were made I could go in a few days, perhaps, and I had become insistent. I was disgusted because my yogurt had been ruined when it had been left out on the counter in the heat by staff, then subsequently thrown in the freezer after it had separated into whey and yogurt. When it thawed later that morning, after I had begged for it, the mess looked disgustingly inedible.

There was a certain staff member who kept scolding me not to eat ice cream and I would say "This is yogurt!" and she would insist ice cream and yogurt were the SAME thing. No matter how much I tried to explain they were vastly different, she shook her head and insisted they were the same. I suspect, but have absolutely NO PROOF that is was her, that let my yogurt melt and separate in the heat before being tossed in the freezer.

Some shifts let me access the refrigerator on my own and other shifts refused. The rules changed, every shift on this and many other areas such as the cold water fountain. Some shifts I was allowed to fill up my water bottle from the jumbo cooled water bottle on my ward and other times I was scolded and sent away empty handed or with a small triangular disposable cup of water that was good for about two swallows. When I had the energy, I could hike over to the new part of the hospital and fill up my water bottle at the secret water fountain which was unguarded. Shhhhhhhhhhh!

Back to packing to leave, there was the bag of chocolate from the sailor who had offered to sacrifice a boat, a float a goat or whatever it took to make the jumbys leave me alone and the Gods happy to improve my health. I had suggested Chocolate be sacrificed to appease the jumbys. I had assumed the sailor would consume copious amounts of chocolate as a "sacrifice". Imagine my surprise, when he flew in to go sailing and packed a bag of chocolate to bring to me to sacrifice!

OOOOPS! The patient is exhausted and will have to finish this story later...

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