Frontlines, Part 1


Day one at the hospital is more or less complete. Time knows no bounds here, so I’m sure I’ll be woken up around 3 am to be asked how I’m sleeping, and then maybe be stabbed a few times for good measure.

Hospitals have a certain, unique way of making you feel like an invalid. I came here totally able bodied, and have mostly gone unscathed, but sitting here in my room, it’s hard not to feel like a victim of some terrible disease, weakened and vulnerable.

They refuse to allow you to wear the clothes you arrived in, insisting on a gown and, if you fight hard enough, sweat pants. I’ve got a cumbersome heart monitor on that rivals Flavor Flav for ridiculous sized neck pendant, and I’m hooked up to one of those medicine drip poles for blood thinner.

Moving is cumbersome, and they made me take a fucking wheelchair to get X-Rays. Even worse was when they made me sit around, waiting for someone to push me back to the elevators. I could have stood up and carried the fucking chair up the two flights of steps if they had let me.

Being around sick people, especially sick, catatonic old people, is maybe the worst part, mentally, because you can’t help but think maybe you’re just like them. It’s like staring death in the wrinkly, confused face.

As a bonus, a nurse played pin cushion with my left arm as she tried, unsuccessfully, to insert an IV, leaving a nice bruise where one might slit when life becomes all too much to handle. Might have been poetic, the crimson of my blood, the darkest I had ever seen, had it not hurt so much.

Finally, the nurse said she would go get the IV nurse, which made me wonder why someone other than the IV nurse was doing it in the first place.

My dad has been a champ, just sitting there as I stare off into space, contemplating the oncoming train about to hit me. He’s gone above and beyond with anything I’ve needed, whether it’s food or a face at which to glare angrily. I apologized in advance for inevitably being a dick, but it bears repeating.

Jordan…I don’t know you but I’m glad I do now (thanks for the intro Soup!). Most people in the blogosphere have no idea what it’s like to have a medical illness on par with yours, including me, even though I’m a doctor who’s seen a ton. Thanks for sharing. It helps us all. And good luck man. Hang in there. But do me a favor…imagine what your experience could be like if you were the actual customer footing the bill. What would you want to happen vs. what is currently happening?