Friday, November 17, 2006

Hospitals Are Making Me Sick

Hospitals have been on my mind lately. People who go to hospitals, people who work in hospitals, food served in hospitals, parking fees charged at hospitals, and the smell of hospitals top my list today.

Between the young (my 4 month-old granddaughter) and the old (my man’s 70 year-old mother), I’ve spent a good deal of time with family and kind-of-family in hospitals recently. My back is paying the price for sleeping in uncomfortable chairs as I kept watch. I feel safe whining about that now that the young and old are out of the woods and either home or on their way there.

I’ve seen excellent staff and mediocre staff and incompetent staff. I’ve learned that anyone in the hospital needs an advocate who can keep an eye on everything. Mistakes are made. I understand that we all have our “off days” but when your job is caring for sick people, you’d better make sure that your “off” moments are inflicted on inanimate objects or non-sick people. I’m generally an easy-going kind of gal but the lab folks were damned lucky I wasn’t there when they, unnecessarily, caused my granddaughter pain. There is much love in my heart for the nurses who fixed that problem.

You can see what I read (Look. Over there. Off to the right. See that list?). I like food. I’m not terribly picky. I thoroughly enjoy gourmet meals but Taco Bell can make me drool under the right circumstances. Because I love food and have a tendency to overeat, I belong to Weight Watchers (also on that list). Being forced to eat from a hospital cafeteria is not pleasing from either a drooling standpoint or a Weight Watcher-y one. You’d think a hospital would have healthy food options.

You’d be wrong.

Two dollars to park? This is doubled from six months ago. This is outrageous. I know what they’re charging for hospital stays and I know what they’re charging for craptacular food. It’s robbery, pure and simple.

I’ve been in the hospital recently, myself. It was just the emergency room but while I was waiting to be seen, I wrote the following:

Feh. Emergency rooms suck ass. Why am I here? Nearly passed out three times with chest pain. Not a good combo but most likely related to the cold I had for the past week and not being able to eat today. Still chest pain and nearly passing out means I’m sitting in this waiting room for going on three hours. Whatever. It sucks. The poor, the uninsured, the hypochondriacs and the truly ill or injured are here. I wonder what category is mine? Hopefully, I’ll find out before morning.

It turned out to be bronchitis and a sinus infection that were cleared up quickly with an antibiotic. I keep a little notebook with me at all times. If I’m bored or inspired or angry, I write. Lucky you, dear reader; you’ll get to read that drivel, too!

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