I am a Type A personality (if such labels still exist). Patience is NOT one of my virtues, and anything annoying....well, it annoys me. So, when the doctor announced that my recalcitrant blood pressure, that just would not come down, despite adding new medicines, needed yet another new medicine, he also announced--and you're not going to like this. What? I asked innocently. Well, you need to have it administered in the hospital. All for to monitor my heart rate. I mentioned a while back that I was rebooted and regained my sinus rhythm. Premature announcement, as it turned out--even though it was true at the time. Because, dear readers, I lost my rhythm. Humph.
New med is designed to bring down BP and to help a heartbeat stay regular. But, every now and then, it actually causes the heartbeat to go all wonky. Hence, the need to wear a 24 hour monitor for several days.
Hang in there with me: I am just getting to the good part.
Hospitals, I have decided, are not places for the faint hearted, especially not if one is NOT really sick. For three days, I felt a bit as if I had wandered into the set of making of the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
Herewith some random observations.
- Check your modesty and need for privacy at the registration desk. You will not need it. You get poked, prodded, pummeled...well, maybe pummeled is a bit of exaggeration. You have your "vitals" checked endlessly. Even all through the night. I would be in a sound sleep, only to hear a chirpy voice saying "Just checking your vitals" as I felt an ear probe measure temp, blood pressure, pulse. Thank goodness that's where the vitals check stopped. And privacy? Nope--with a roommate (which I had) there were family visitors coming in at all times, along with a seemingly endless parade of hospital staff: RNs, nurses' aids, housekeeping, food services, social workers, the occasional chaplain, and -- is it? It just might be a DOCTOR! Woo hoo.
- Forget efficiency and speed. Things move at a glacial pace (pre-global warming) in the hospital. I arrived, as ordered, late morning on Monday. Not until three, almost four hours later was my medication regimen begun. And, since it necessitated 48 plus hours of continuous cardiac monitoring, that time made a difference. It was not until the second day of being in the hospital that someone from the cardiac practice came to see me, and then only because my husband called a number the practice had given us. When the doctor did arrive, he pointed out to me that "this is a hospital and there are emergencies that we have to deal with; people arriving in the emergency department, with heart attacks, etc." I meekly accepted it, thinking all the while--that my husband's call was the proverbial squeak that garnered the dollop of grease the doctor's visit represented.
- If you are interested in a retreat-like pace, slow deliberative moving toward an unknown goal, then the hospital is the place for you...except it's not a silent retreat. More on that in the next post.