My almost-final resting place

I hope you don’t mind another post or two about my hospital stay. I know I’ve been excessively health focussed in my blog lately, but, let’s face it, I haven’t had time for many non-health-related experiences this past while. I’ll get working on that.

After Dr. Emerg determined he needed to admit me to hospital last Thursday, he wasn’t sure where to put me. Over the course of my extensive admission history, I’ve been on general medical units, a geriatric unit, a cardiac unit (no heart problems then, they just had space), the Intensive Care Unit, and the Medical Teaching Unit, which loves complex cases like me. Each unit has had its pros and cons, but I’ll go anywhere they’ll have me. Yes, I am a hospital-unit slut.

Woman laying on bed, arms crossed over eyes, in spare psychiatric room in ERBut this latest admission, I crossed into new territory: I landed in a wing of the Hematology Unit located on the floor of the Palliative Care Unit. Yes, I managed both cancer and death in one fell swoop. I can joke about it now, but truth is I was a little freaked out by this placement initially, so much so that Dr. Emerg moved me to one of the psychiatric rooms while I awaited my transfer. Here I am, on the right, completely overwrought. (I’m really just trying to hide my face from the camera.)

You know I’m playing with you, right? I was indeed moved to the crazy room, but only while I awaited an inpatient bed. Since I’d been in the ER for hours already, I was provided a quiet place to rest. Sure, it was a locked room with bright fluorescent lighting and a camera watching my every move, but I appreciated the gesture, and you can bet I was the most compliant patient there.

Turns out the unit I was admitted to shortly thereafter was not half bad. There were no 6-person rooms, no noisy visitors, and the patients themselves, because of the nature of their ailments, were very, very quiet. Because infection control is critical there, most rooms are private. I had my own washroom, my own TV tuned to Food Network 24/7, and my own door that I could close. I could actually sleep! There was even food available at any hour in the fridge down the hall. All the nurses were lovely and accommodating and caring. What more could an ailing girl ask for?

I also had a practice run at palliative care for when the time comes. Just so you know–this won’t be news to J.–I have no plans to die at home. I don’t want a hospital bed in our living room or J. as my nurse. Sorry, honey, but I want a trained professional caring for me in a designated facility. At least when I’ve been ailing in hospital, J. has been able to retreat to our home at the end of the day. I don’t want to mess up that refuge with memories of my dying there. She’ll have enough to contend with after I’m gone.

So, as much as I’ve now gone over to the dark side, and I imagine any future admissions will be to this area, now that I’ve had a trial run, I won’t dread being there. And not many people can claim they were discharged from palliative care. If I had a bucket list, I’d add that accomplishment to it for sure.

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2 thoughts on “My almost-final resting place

  1. Smart move checking out the palliative rooms in case you wish to expire there in the far off future. Since you are considering your demise, you probably need to update your will. Would you leave your sock collection to me? I’ve heard you talk about socks so often that I know yours must be really special. If they are too small for my size 11 feet I could just cut out the toes. Please give this request serious consideration before letting Judy get them..
    It is great to have you back home where you belong, Annie. We hope to see you soon so save some of that bacon for me.
    I think you should become a “real” writer. You can write with humour about the most serious events in your life. Maybe you could just have copies of all your blogs bound into a book. I’m not joking about this.

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    • Dear Size 11 Friend: Of course I will bequeath my socks to you, every single pair. But I don’t want you to be mistaken for a lesbo, so I may just throw out the dirty white ones prior to my demise. I, too, am glad to be home, and am so looking forward to your visit. You are one of the few people I would save my bacon for. As for my becoming a real writer, books are passé. I doubt anyone would read my tome, despite all my profound insights and my super sharp wit. I have no end of gratitude to all of you who indulge me with 500 words a few times a week. I could not ask for more. Love, Your Size 8-1/2 Friend.

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