Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On the Mend

Papa T. is still in the hospital, and he has a way to go before he's truly well. The poor man has been through the wringer in the past week and a half. As the doctor explained it, we got Papa T. to the hospital just as his pneumonia was starting so it had to settle in and get worse before it got better. And it did get much worse. In fact, about last Thursday, we were starting to worry that he wasn't going to get better. His oxygen level was really low, causing him to be very confused and to talk out of his head. You never knew what he was going to say. At one point, he was trading two cows for a sitting hen and another time he was hiring teachers. His speech got somewhat slurred, and we got scared.

He has slowly gotten rid of a great deal of the pneumonia, but he's weak and will need some rehab before he can go home. Shhh. Don't tell him that just yet. He's going to have a fit when he finds out, and it's best not to upset him until we have to. The bottom line is that in a couple of days they will likely move him to the rehab floor of the hospital where he'll stay several days, and when he goes home he'll have to have some nursing care. We've already hired someone to sit with him at nights while he's in the hospital because one thing's for sure, Hubby can't hold out much longer at this pace. It's just too overwhelming, and it's time for more help. The doctor says it will be five or six weeks before he's back to normal, which prompts me to say to all people over sixty, GET YOUR PNEUMONIA SHOT. Sister mercy, it's crazy how fast pneumonia can overtake a senior citizen. It really scares me. My uncle who recently passed away developed pneumonia after a fall, and after several days he started looking and feeling good, sat up in the bed and laughed with us and then his family was told the next morning he had less than a day to live. He was dead within twelve hours. That s**t kills, so don't fool around with it brothers and sisters.

It looks like we have several more days of sitting by his bedside, trying to convince him to eat hospital food and getting acquainted with every nurse who works the third and/or sixth floors of the hospital. If we're lucky, they'll have that roast beef special in the cafeteria at least one more time. Ug. I took one look at that and swore I was back in college as it definitely looked like something good ol' Winslow (Winslop) Cafeteria served up back in the day.

We've already had plenty of time to experience just about every aspect of the hospital in the past week and in the doctor's offices in the adjacent building since I had my yearly physical there this week, and I have a couple of suggestions for the folks in charge.

1. Can we not get a better hospital gown? I know the patient has to be accessible, but those gowns reveal way too much way too easily. I've seen more of Papa T.'s lower half than I ever wanted to see. I love him, but there are just some things better left to the imagination.

2. Is there a reason patient doors aren't closed more often? Everybody else has on that same gown, and just going from the elevator to Papa T.'s room every day for the past eleven days I have seen more hoo hoo's and wee wee's than I can count. And they don't offer eye bleach for hospital visitors.

3. Is it really necessary to put someone on a cardiac diet if he's tip toeing toward death's door, and you want him to eat SOMETHING, anything? Really, how much does trans fat matter at a time like that? If you want someone to eat so he can get his strength back up, for the love of Mirtle, don't give him dry chicken and tuna salad every day. I'm thinking of sneaking in a little serving of green beans cooked in hog jowl with a biscuit for Papa T.

4. Don't they make some kind of seat warmer for those exam beds they make you lie on in the doctor's office? I was laying under my lovely paper gown at the gynecologist's office yesterday (and can I just say my jewelry accessorized very well with that gown), freezing my patookus off and wondering why on earth they can't heat those things. I mean, we heat car seats now. Why can't we apply that technology to those beds? You don't have to use them on people with a fever, just those of us with thin blood.

5. Also, doctor's office staff should probably quit trying to be so politically correct when handing you those crazy paper gowns to put on. The nurse gave me a "vest" and a "skirt" yesterday. I promptly ripped the vest which was certainly thinner than a Bounty paper towel, and then I had trouble covering up both cheeks with the so called skirt. I told the doctor that I had cocktail napkins at home bigger than that skirt and offered to bring them next time. She didn't think I was nearly as funny as I thought I was. Perhaps, I should have offered to trade her two cows for a sitting hen. Maybe that would have made her smile.


oreneta said...

Bring in the food! I am so totally with you. The man needs to eat, and honestly, a little cholesterol at this point is SO not a big deal. The medical profession can suffer from some wicked tunnel vision from time to time.

Good luck to you all, especially Papa T

the parishioner who doesn't do anything said...

Yes, get him some food before he decides not to eat again, ever. After years of my complaining, my doctor has gone back to real gowns...the ones made of cloth. (It wasn't to please me; he simply said they were cheaper when I complimented him on them.)

Trailboss said...

I say slip him a little good food to eat. He needs it! The nurses and doctors can just get over it. And it's about those gowns, both hospital and the ones that our lovely GYNs have. Someone needs to be shot over that idea.

Have you suggested that your Papa T wear another gown on the back? I've done that before when I didn't want my hoo hoo exposed for the world to see!