Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Let's Blow This Popsicle Stand

Hospitals remind me of all the medical treatment I've had in the last two years plus, memories I'd rather forget. I'm writing this from my hospital bed, or I should say cot. I've spent the last two nights with Magic in the hospital, mostly giving him support, being his other nurse, and being his advocate.

Unfortunately, I've gotten to know this floor of this hospital all too well. Last time Magic was in the hospital four years ago, we weren't married yet. His "outpatient" surgery turned into a four day hospital stay. He had to stay completely flat on his back because of a surgery oopsie. I came in the first morning he was on the regular floor to find him with a cafeteria tray on his chest trying to feed himself horizontally. I was furious that the nurses had left him in this position. I proceeded to schedule family and friends to help me feed and care for Magic in the hospital the next four days. Because we were not married then, I couldn't take sick leave to take care of him. This time, I planned on being with him as much as he wanted.

I've learned this much. Medical care isn't the same in this country as it was when I was a kid. My doctor dad agrees. Back when I was a kid, he always used to get me in to see the best doctors right away. Now he has to deal with our lame health "care" system like anyone else.

The biggest vent I have about health "care" these days is that no one checks up on you. You might get a reminder that you need to come in for a physical or your next dental cleaning, but that's about it. No one was checking up on me when I was first taking the Prozac while pregnant. I could have offed myself, and then it would have been my fault. I can hear it now, "she stopped taking her medicine" or "why didn't she just get help?" It all makes me so mad now. Back then, I just wasn't functioning. I had no clue I would fall apart once I was pregnant. I didn't have a support system in place to help me, and all my "health" "care" "providers" were pretty much worthless.

Magic is doing well and recovering nicely. If all goes well today, he'll be coming home. His co-workers from other countries marvel at how quickly he will be out of the hospital. In their countries, he would be in the hospital for at least two weeks. I think I'd shoot myself if I had to do that. While the main reason that hospital stays are shorter now in this country is for insurance and financial reasons, I think its best to get people home earlier. Back in the day, my mom got "bored" with her week long hospital stay after having baby #4 and took up smoking. My nurse mom with a doctor husband started to SMOKE IN the HOSPITAL AFTER having a baby. I think it had more to do with stress/self-medication than boredom. I always said my brother and I, babies #5 & #6, were screwed up because she smoked during our pregnancies. Now I think it has more to do with the fact that mom and dad were just plain ol' burnt out on raising kids.

Can you tell I'm ready to go home now?


VA Blondie said...

I hope you and the husband come home soon. I would have to agree that hospitals and health care generally suck, and I work in health care. One of the benefits of working in health care is that I know how to work the system a little to get what I want. I also makes me less patient with incompetent health care providers. I am pretty picky about who works on me.

By the way, thanks for stopping by my blog. The robot surgery went great, though it was a long day for me. I loved the surgeon I worked with. She is a sweet little thing, and I think that made the day go better.

Duck said...

HOpe magic is feeling better soon! Being in the hosptial is NEVER fun!

alicia said...

I hope your DH is feeling better soon! wow 6 kids, thats crazy!!

here from ICLW

Anonymous said...

It is scary the US lets healthcare be profit motivated...

You're right about no one checking up on you. When my grandpa was in the hospital for tests for HEARTBURN, no one ever inquired why he wasn't eating his meals. The aide would come in, drop his cellophane sealed meals on his sidetable, leave, come back and pick up the never opened trays. He kept losing weight during his stay in the hospital and so the docs started to worry maybe they were missing something and kept him on for more tests.

One day grandpa asked my mom and grandma to bring in some canned peaches for him to eat because he couldn't get them damn food trays open. Turns out he was too embarassed to ask the aides for help in opening his meals, so he would just starve each and every day. The aides delivering and picking up the meals were different every day so no one saw he was skipping every meal and none of it was ever recorded on his chart so docs didn't know he wasn't eating.

He ended up getting extremely ill IN THE HOSPITAL and they sent him home to die 1 week later. Oh, yes, and I had to work the day he died because my job then only gave time off for the funeral and I had no personal days and a sick day needed a doctor certificate.

One of the reasons European countries keep patients in for so long is they are liable and completely responsible for your health, life, and well-being so they do not discharge anyone if the patient is still vulnerable or not completely healed. It sucks, but you can sign a waiver saying you are responsible for the consequences of "abandoning" medical care/supervision early.

I can't believe your mom smoking in a hospital!!

Big hug to you and Magic!! get better!

Anonymous said...

Hospitals are never fun. Hoping your DH comes home soon.

Here from ICLW.

Dreams Come True said...

I hope you and your husband get released soon!! And that it's a long time before you've got to back in a hospital.


momofonefornow said...

Hi from ICLW,

I hate hospitals as well. I worked in one for a year and a half and they have ruined me forever.

Martha said...

Best Wishes for Magic's recovery. Your assessment of hospitals is right on, I've been a RN x 26 years and so agree with your dad. I always say, hospitals are no place for sick people. Thanks for sharing, visiting from ILCW.

seriously? said...

Oh Hope all is well and you come home soon. I know how stressful health care and health scares can be on people!

Best of Luck! ICLW!

Geohde said...

Wishing Magic a swift recovery, hopsitals are the pits,


Nyssaneala said...

I also think it is better to do most of your recuperating at home, rather than a hospital. Another reason many people are discharged so quickly is that hospitals are havens for contagious illnesses (think the flu on steroids!).

I hope your hubby is doing better, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

Here via ICLW.

Meg said...

Hope full you are both home and feeling much better. Have you seen Sicko yet???