Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Observations From A Hospital

Another scary look inside my head.

Number One Daughter checked into the hospital last Thursday. She is still there, but doing better. The surgery went well, but that night, she started having problems that led them to think she possibly was bleeding internally. As of this morning, things are looking up, her blood work is looking more like it should, and the threat of having to do another surgery is pretty slim this morning.

While in the hospital, I noticed a few things:

-- Since I’ve had a few surgeries of my own, it reminded me that, if you are in any way shy, modest, or prideful, you have to check that in at the door of the hospital. Within 24 hours, several nurses, doctors, and other hospital types will see you buck nekkid. That’s almost as bad as the ailment that has you there in the first place.

-- The other day, as Number Two Daughter and I were walking down a particular hallway in the hospital, I noticed all along on wall they had one photo per year of some outstanding employee going back to around 1980. When we passed the end of the line of photos, in my mind, I pictured one from 1780 and the picture in my head was of a guy in a buckskin outfit and a musket. Like a Revolutionary war era doctor. And past that I envisioned one from 10,080BC of a cave man with a club on his shoulder. Hairy face and unibrow. This picture would be UGG, the hospital’s first anesthesiologist with his knock out tool.

-- Later, going down the same hallway with Lovely Wife, we saw ahead of us, someone almost get mowed down by an employee pushing something down a crossing hallway. Lovely Wife said, “Look at that. People never use the mirrors before walking through the intersection of two halls.” I looked up, and for the very first time, noticed that each hallway crossing of two hallways has in the middle of the ceiling, a half-sphere of a mirror hanging down so that, as you approach the hallway intersections, you can see if someone is coming down the crossing hallway and not get run over by a gurney in a hurry. After that, I noticed that even hallway corners had something similar to allow you to not be run down at a 90 degree corner. That was so nice of them. And it was so nice of Lovely Wife to point them out too. Otherwise I might be dead by now. See, I’ve been in this hospital many times over the years, both as a patient and a visitor, and had never noticed the mirrors. Not once. Just shows how observant I am. Of course I acted to Lovely Wife like, “Yeah! Morons! Not using the mirrors.” As if I ALWAYS used the mirrors, when in fact, I had never noticed even one. The rest of the time I’ve been walking around the hospital the past few days I’m astounded at just how many there are mounted up there.

-- Along one hallway, there were several large, framed documents attesting to the commitment of the hospital employees to giving you the best care, etc. These framed documents were covered with thumbprints of all the employees; hundreds of them. My initial thought as I saw them was to wonder if, before they were framed and hanged, were they given to the police to run fingerprint checks on those hundreds of thumbprints to see if anyone had any outstanding warrants. I know that is cynical, but that thought really did pass through my head.

-- Friday night, I came straight to the hospital from work. I cannot have a camera at work, so mine was at home. I didn’t want to leave it in a car out in the sun all day while I worked just to have it. Well, that night turned out to have one of the two most beautiful sunsets and afterglow on the clouds I have ever seen in my life. I did not have my camera! I took it every day afterward, because I’ve been off, and her 6th floor window in her room affords a great view of the western sky. Plus, Florida is so flat, that it has been a long time since I’ve been that high over the surrounding countryside, and I really have enjoyed the view. I took a bunch of photos of sunsets on subsequent days, and some have been amazing, but not as incredible as this past Friday’s sunset. Oh, well.

No comments: