9.12.2011

for being able to leave the hospital world

i'm sitting here in the friends and family surgery lounge at the jersey shore university medical center, waiting for kcface to get out of back surgery. and guys, the hospital world is so strange.

i remember my mother coming home each night after being with my nana all day in the hospital, and telling my father and i about her day. it was always hard to act enthralled when she'd go into details about dealing with nurses and doctors and the meals she'd had that day and the people she sat with in the waiting room while this person i didnt even know was visiting, and things like that. it was a lot of the same things over and over. and she really knew that hospital through and through. so much so, that when i visited my nana in the hospital, i felt as if i was also visiting my mother's hangout those days. she knew every turn of that place.

and that is not something you want to be able to say.

you dont want to know a hospital like that. cuz if you do, it means two things:  someone you love is really sick, and your brain is full of knowledge you didnt want.

you know what time they clean the bathroom on the floor your person is on. you know which bathroom is hidden and always clean to begin with. you know what they have on fridays in the cafeteria, and you know the most direct way to the parking garage where you park on the basement level b/c you know no1 else wants to, so there are always spots open--even near the entrance. you know which nurses to talk to, and you know which people are nurses in the 1st place.

and, the smell of the food in the hospital might not even make you nauseous, but elicit hunger and remind you to eat.

i hafta say, the food here is pretty tasty. i had some chicken fingers and garlic and herb mashed potatoes a few hours ago, and a fresh nectarine. but now, as im anxiously awaiting the completion of my boo's post-surgery recovery, a few people around me are eating their late lunch and it is making me want to throw up. their food smells absolutely disgusting..straight up, like sick ppl food. actually, like makepeoplesick food. it smells like salt and fat and industrial-sized everything. and a side of preservatives. why these ppl think its ok to make everyone else watch and smell them eat their lunch, i do not know. plus, these ppl are fat and talking about how fast they eat, chose beef barely over chicken noodle, and how they took all the sprouts and veggies out of their tuna salad wrap and ha-ha isnt that funny?

(no, actually, it isnt.) 

but i guess things get funny when youre staring at these walls all day long, trying not to let the worry and concern overcome you. surgery has to go fine, even if they are messing with your spine. blagh. i cannot really handle any of these details though. i couldnt tell you what the hell they did to her back. something was coming out. and now my ankles are weak and tingling at just typing that.

seriously. i dunno what i think im doing here, trying to be supportive. i cant handle this shit! when i was 5 years old my sister came home from a sweet sixteen with a gash in the top of her foot and i took one look at it and collapsed. out cold. bam. down on the kitchen floor. no thanks. dont wanna talk about blood and guts. but maybe this is why i get so lost in hospitals. today, i went down for my bite to eat before my honeybee went into surgery and i came back almost an hour later. maybe i didnt get lost, but just, you know, redirected by my daze of squeamishness. i dont know. but it happens all the time.

visiting my grandmother once, i tried to find the bathroom and ended up three floors down, in the laundry room where there were bed sheets hanging all over the place and as i tried to navigate through there, i thought for sure someone was going to come running out of the next line of sheets being chased by someone with a chainsaw and a crazyleathermaskface.

(they didnt.)

another time i ended up in the detox wing thats supposed to be totally confidential and supersecretlockedup, but wandering around with this pretty face will get some doors opened for you it seems cuz i made it all the way through, looking for the name i needed on all the doors, without anyone stopping me. when i couldnt find her name, i stopped someone in scrubs and i asked for my grandmother. i said which part of the hospital she was in, and they freaked out saying HOW DID YOU GET IN HERE and escorted me out, directing me back to the front of the whole hospital.

what a maze! how am i supposed to know where im going? you ask where the cafeteria is and the person with a sandwich in their hand goes, "it's right through those doors" but really it isnt and you end up on another floor where youre pretty sure you shouldnt be, cuz no1 else is wearting anything but scrubs and all the doors say TEAM MEMBER ACCESS and youre like, are they talking about the same team im talking about? but they definitely arent so you keep walking until now you have to pee and have seen enough icky-looking medical waste boxes that you dont even want to find a cafeteria anymore, and the very smell of hospital food has your stomach turning over and over. i dont care how many maps they put up, im going to get lost in a hospital and end up seeing more than i want to of it.

and i guess it is a part of life. we get sick, and we need to go to the place where they make you better. but i dont know..it feels like another universe of turns and doors and arrows going nowhere and time spent waiting for things to happen and not happen, and its just its a bloody puzzle getting around in that place! and while im glad to keep it that way, i got worried i wasnt going to make it back to see my kc before she was sent to the operating room.

but i did. and im really happy that i got to see my sugar before her operation. cuz im pretty sure that when she gets out of recovery she'll be seeing me with two heads riding a unicorn or something like that, and i'd rather her know i didnt get lost on the way to the cafeteria, somehow wind up in her strange anesthesia world, and come back out looking like that. but, here goes nothing. luckily, she is ok and the surgery went well. now lets just hope she isnt so delirious that she tells me any gory details about the procedure or i'll end up in the bed next to her.