Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hospital 101

And she’s back. Although Mark was such a hit, I’m thinking of giving him a full-time job with Forensics and Faith. Tuesday saw one of the highest-read days of this blog ever. I think it was a combination of Mark’s reporting and everyone coming over here to get their fill of my accident. Now how’s that supposed to make a gal feel?

So how did I do at the hospital, you ask. Oh, hospital, how did I flunk thee? Let me count the ways.

1. Okay, let’s get this one over with. I flunked Bedpan 101. Actually, I got the hang of it (haha) on the second try. But the first time what I mostly got was the bed. Which then had to be remade.

Hey, the pan was a small one.

Made for a two-year-old.

With a very tiny butt.

I simply refuse to go into more detail on this one.

2. I flunked Entering the Operating Room 101. Yes, I was in pain. No, I didn’t like what awaited me. But I just wrote a book with a scene in an operating room, see, so I had to ask the docs a few questions. Was this what most rooms look like? (I was rubbernecking on the gurney.) Is this the normal size? Bigger? Smaller? I think the docs expected me to get up and take measurements, then hand ’em a card for decorating.

3. I flunked Going Under 101. Or maybe you could say I passed with flying colors. Here’s the thing. I do not do prescribed pain medication. Period. I told the docs this. I also told them I’d go out like a light. I mean it—they could hold up a bottle of the stuff, and I’d see it and go out. The doc “started” with an IV. “Now this is just a preliminary until we get the real meds going.” Before he was done talking, I felt the stuff race through my body. Managed to hold up one hand. “Bye … bye…”

4. I flunked Waking Up 101. I was in a recovery room, that I know, because I heard voices around me. But I never opened my eyes—no energy. I knew I was being a terrible pain in the neck. But I couldn't help it. They put something down your throat to help you breathe during surgery, so I woke up coughing to beat the band. And groaning. Everything hurt. And drat it all, nobody seemed to be paying the least amount of attention to me. Some soft-spoken guy on my right was getting it all. What's with that? So I did the only thing a self-respecting patient would do. Groaned louder. This eventually worked. Although I doubt the post-op people want to see me again anytime soon.

5. I flunked Pain Pills 101. Reference #3, above. No pain pills. I told the nurses I’d take the pain meds because I knew I’d be seriously hurting. But I also told them I can’t function on the things. Which means—are you hearing, nurses—I CAN’T get out of bed. I will faint. And every sound sends shock waves through me. So the wonderful nurses wean me off the morphine drip—“This’ll be so much better”—and hit me up with two powerful pain pills. Not one. Two. Saying I am down for the count is like saying water is wet. About an hour into this the physical therapy guy comes by. Very cute. Totally bald (he shaves his head). I rubbed it just to be sure. He wants me up and moving. I say no. This guy doesn’t take no for an answer. I happily inform him of myriad torturous ways I will kill him off in the next book. He doesn’t blink an eye. (The PT schools graduate ’em rough these days.)

It takes two people—PT guy and a nurse—just to sit me up and on the edge of the bed. With legs hanging over the edge. Otherwise it "doesn’t count."

I’ll have you know I didn’t get up again until I said I was ready to get up. Which was after the pain meds were totally out of my system. (In other words, the next day.)

6. While we’re at it, I flunked Eating on Pain Pills 101. Yup. Nothin’ would stay down. This does a world of good when you’re trying to gain strength. They already took away food from me for 15 hours before surgery. (I was a slide-in to the regular schedule, and in case I got in at 8 a.m.—yeah, right—I had to stop eating and drinking at midnight.)

Enough said about this one.

7. I flunked Crutches 101. This is simply not my fault. Totally due to another PT person—this one a gal. She wanted me to show her I could go up and down two stairs before she let me go home with crutches—since there are stairs in both our homes. I thought this particularly funny in light of my mother’s insistence over the phone that “whatever you do, don’t go up and down stairs on crutches.” Imagine her dismay to hear that hospitals teach that stuff. Well, it was a no go. It was morning. I still couldn’t eat much. I was just getting my strength back. I looked at those stairs, felt those wobbly crutches and imagined a second broken ankle. Nope, I said. I ain’t doin’ it.

Well, she is the sneaky one. Only then did she tell me I couldn’t take the crutches home. I’d just have to stick the walker.

"Why can't I take 'em home and just not use 'em on the stairs?"

No go.

Well I fixed her. I waited until we were ready to go. Volunteer gal ready to wheel me out and everything. But then I had my strength back. Or at least returning. So I said I’d retry the crutches. They found Miss PT. I went up and down the stairs. Take that!

I got my crutches.

I’m lousy on ’em, though. At home, how did I go up all those steps in our great room to the master suite? On my butt, one step at a time.

And it fit just fine.

Read Part 5


Susanne said...

Brandilyn: I'm so glad you are doing good. You sound in good spirits. I hope there is no more pain for you. I'm sure all this is going to come out in a book somewhere!

Christina Berry said...

Wonderful to have you back!

Kristy Dykes said...

So glad you're back (though Mark did a pretty good job in your absence!). I'll keep you in my prayers. God bless--

Todd said...

Glad you're back Brandilyn!

Oh the flashbacks to my childhood!

I had to chuckle on that last bit about your 'walking' up the stairs on your butt especially. See, I'm disabled from birth. I have Spina Bifida. My folks were told I'd never walk. I did at age 3 and 1/2. But stairs would give me trouble. I tried this very thing you did. As a child, it was the only way I could go up stairs. Down was never a problem. Still isn't. Though sometimes I still consider walking up them on my butt. :-)

Robin Caroll said...

Glad to hear you're on the mend, B....but I gotta tell you, I don't do pain meds either. My med charts all say "LOW tolerance to anesthesia and pain meds" and it also has a bright sticker that reads "Give Pherngan via IV for anesthesia"....cuts out the nausea and you can eat.

Get your strength back!

eileen said...

Happy homecoming BC. But let Mark give us occasional paragraphs on the REAL recovery. LOL Be blessed.

Karen Wevick said...

So glad you're back Brandilyn and I pray headed for a quick and complete recovery. I understand the stairs though. Last year when I dislocated my knee, I had neither the upper body strength or the balance to walk on crutches on flat ground at first, much less stairs, so I did the "butt walk" just to get up and down the entry stairs to get onto the first floor. My son found it so amusing that he made up a song for me "Do The Butt Walk". He sang it every time (since he was helping me in and out of the house).

C.J. Darlington said...

Welcome back, Brandilyn! So happy to "hear" your voice again here. Not that Mark didn't do a great job, but picturing you in pain in a hospital room wasn't a great thought.

So ... I think I have a new nickname for you. Bionic Brandilyn. Did you get a plate in your ankle? Or just screws?

Domino said...

I'm so glad you're back. Welcome Home!

Be glad it wasn't an ankle AND a tooth. Then you would've had to go through all this AND see that dreaded dentist.

Smile and know there's always something to be thankful for.

margie said...

So glad to have you back, Brandilyn! And your sense of humor is intact :). I have the same problems as you do with pain meds. . .can't keep them, or anything else, down! Praying for a quick recovery for you.

Pam Meyers said...

Glad to see you back at the keyboard Brandilyn! You had me laughing which is good. Your sense of humor is intact.

Hope you heal well!


Patricia W. said...

Glad you're back, Brandilyn. I'm taken by your powers of observation even when going up or waking up. I'm betting that stuff finds its way into one of your novels.

Jennie said...

I wonder what the PT people would say if you just did the "butt walk" up those two stairs instead of using the crutches.

Carol Umberger said...

Good to hear you are on the mend, Brandilyn. I did the crutches routine when I was a whooole lot younger. They are only fun when they aren't a necessity!

I'll be praying for a speedy recovery.


Dineen A. Miller said...

Oh, wow, now I understand why I hate morphine. Didn't connect the sound thing to it.

So, so, so glad you're home. I bet you are too. Glad your hiney got a brake. LOL!

Now go kick those cabinets with your cruthes. I bet they leave better dings. :-)

Lynette Sowell said...

Welcome back. I won't tell you what the Vicodin did to my dh when he had his appendix out. Stick to the Motrin. LOL.

And just think of a creepy hospital, where a normally active heroine is stuck...and she is always awake at night... as is someone else... gulp!! SEE! You can get a story out of this!

LaShaunda said...

I tell you, go out on maternity leave and all kind of stuff happening. Glad to hear you’re OK. Remember to take care of you.

Yes bed pans SUCK! They made me use one after I had the baby.

P.S. I loved that your hubby blogged for you. I never thought about asking mine to fill in for me.

SolShine7 said...

I'm glad you're doing okay!! And it's really nice to know you kept a sense of humor through all of it.

D. Gudger said...

hospitals surely will never earn 4 stars - more like NEGATIVE 4!

PT must have a sadistic streak in order to graduate from PT school. I went through 3 months of PT after dislocating my elbow, breaking the bones around the joint in 3 places b/c I fell on ice.

No one made me use a bed pan. I pushed them away and wobbled to the nearest bathroom.

Glad your home! I'm inhaling an ARC of CORAL MOON for Titletrakk!

Deborah Raney said...

What a man! I have a wonderful hubby, but I can guarantee you he would NOT write my blog for me in the event of a catastropic event such as yours. I'd hang on to 'im if I were you.

Glad you're back and spunky as ever, Brandilyn.

Richard Mabry said...

If I can get the name of your hospital, I'll bet I can contact some of my colleagues and get the real scoop on how you behaved. Then we can let the blackmail begin.
Seriously, glad you're at least sentient enough to work a computer now. Get well quickly.

Jason said...


Great to have you back and driving your desk again! You know a new face is a novelty, but we are ready for our fearless cabinet-kicker to be back in the saddle.

Lynetta said...

Wow, what an ordeal! I'm glad you're home and have some fight back in you. May you heal quickly and glean many, many insights for your stories from all of this.

Katy said...

Brandilyn, I think you should ask for permission to use the lyrics to "Do the Butt Walk," as mentioned in these comments! If I were the lyricist, I would be honored if such a song of mine appeared in one of your novels.

I've done the Butt Walk, too, with a blown-out knee. Crutches on stairs? No way!!

Prayers for you as you continue to recover!

Katy McKenna

Lynette Eason said...

Yay! You're back...

Looking forward to reading about your latest adventure in a future book!


relevantgirl said...

My Ode to Brandilyn:

There once lived a snowmobiling redhead
Who careened off the contraption and said
"My ankle it's busted,
My husband I trusted,
So now I pen stories in bed."

Winter said...


Good to see you back. I've done the crutch thing when I put my foot through a window and sliced the bottom of it. Lucky for me there were no stairs to go up or down, but there were area rugs on slick hardwood floors.

And like you, I warned the nurses and the doctors not to give me a certain pain med because I was allergic to it, they didn't listen, gave the perscription to my hubby, he filled it without paying attention either, and needless to say I caught it in time before I took it. I settled for good ole Advil.

Becky said...

At least your sense of humor hasn't been affected any, Brandilyn. It's a gift really. I've known one or two other people who can go through horrendous stuff and have people laughing their heads off as they tell it. You're right up there with the best. But it doesn't escape my notice that this is a VERY painful injury. God's mercy for you, dear writer friend.