7 Random Hospital Thoughts

bhospital

You have a lot of time to think in a hospital. I thought of one more thing after I made this graphic . . .

Fairytales and Fitness

I had not been in a hospital — for myself, that is — since I was 12 years old.  Since there isn’t a lot of movement going on, I thought I’d just share a few hospital thoughts from last week. You never know when knowledge can come in handy.

Mr. Judy catches me at my “best” — NOT! Waiting, waiting . . .

Don’t expect anything to happen quickly . . .
. . . unless it’s a true emergency. Thankfully the ambulance got here really quickly — not that I really needed it, but it’s good to know going forward should another emergency arrive.

I arrived at the hospital around 5:30 pm. I was admitted to a room about 10:30 pm. The rest of the time was spent laying in the ER, receiving fluids, getting vials of blood taken, seeing like five different doctors (not even sure that’s really an exaggeration!).

Mr. Judy brought my phone to the hospital, but not a charger, so I had to make that last. It was pretty darn boring. The next day I was pretty sure I’d be released, but in the morning I asked if it would be possible to get a magazine, and the nurse said she’d tell a volunteer. Never saw a volunteer, never got a magazine . . . we joked in three days some random woman probably got one.

Don’t get me wrong, I know the medical staff is overworked and underpaid — but I’ve also seen this with my parents. Sometimes for issues that are more important (again, truly no disrespect to hospital staff). So if it is important, you’ve got to be the squeaky wheel (it wasn’t obviously, so I wasn’t).

You’ll be asked lots of odd questions
Does your husband hit you? Not kidding; they asked. Do you want an HIV test? Do you use a walker? Are there any stairs at home? Are you worried about going up them? What, am I 100 years old?????

We all know about hospital food, right?
I only ate breakfast and lunch there. The food wasn’t horrible (maybe because I had a 24 hour fast), the main thing was that so much of it was just so unhealthy. Maple syrup like substance with high fructose corn syrup — blech!

I wasn’t put on a bland diet, but obviously I needed one. Mostly there were heavy foods — pizza, grilled cheese, fried chicken — I mean seriously, what?  I ordered a turkey sandwich with butter and chicken noodle soup for lunch. The soup never came. The sandwich had some creamy pesto like sauce on it.

Which brings me to my next point — the waste! They brought breakfast, and it included: scrambled eggs, french toast, oatmeal, fresh fruit, coffee and milk. I ate the scrambled eggs and french toast — I’m sure the rest got thrown out. Lunch came with salad, chips, milk — again! — none of which I ordered. More waste.

Jello might have been good for an upset stomach, for instance, but I would bet that the jello they use has artificial colors and lots of sugar and just no thank you. I made my own this week. Just juice, gelatin, and honey. Cookies, brownies, ice cream . . . can you gain weight eating in a hospital? Glad I wasn’t there long enough to find out.

You need to be your own advocate
They came to take blood at 5 am (yes, thank you, because I got so much rest). I questioned whether it was necessary since I know they told me that they had extra blood what they took while I was in the ER just in case they wanted to run more tests. Apparently they don’t share.

Then they came back at 9 am wanting to draw yet more blood. I questioned that — and yeah, apparently they don’t communicate that well either because they checked it and didn’t need to draw more.

I regretted telling them I take a vitamin D supplement because they brought me one the next morning. It wasn’t necessary and God knows how much that cost us.

When I got to the room at 10:30, the left me there. I had to actually make the bed. 

You won’t get much rest while you’re there
I knew this already from adventures with parents. It’s a little more eye opening when it’s you, though. There was some older guy making lots of lots of noise pretty much all night. I don’t think he was actually in pain or anything.

The heart telemetry machine beeped almost all night. A nurse came in and said she’d do something about it (I hadn’t asked, she just noticed it when doing rounds), but you guessed it — it stayed beeping all night. Did I mention I’m a very light sleeper? They finally fixed it the next morning.

Initially I was in a room by myself, but they brought in someone in the wee hours of the morning. The rooms aren’t dark. Medical personnel are walking up and down the hall all the time. Medical personnel are coming in to take vitals and blood and whatnot all night. Not to mention it’s really uncomfortable trying to sleep with an iv in and electrodes all over your body for heart telemetry. At least I was mobile — but of course dragging an IV pole around isn’t a lot of fun either.

You will leave without paying anything
The first time we were in the hospital with my Dad — for brain surgery — 7 years ago? It blew my mind that you leave without a bill. If you have insurance you leave without ever showing a credit card. They never seem to be in a hurry to send you a bill either (they first bill your insurance company).

Keep track
Try to take notes about what meds and procedures you were given. It’s not at all unusual for there to be mistakes. Also it is your right to get a copy of your records, but they will not just automatically send them. You’ll need to ask for and sign a HIPPA form. Don’t expect to get those records quickly, though (yup, I’m waiting). I’m really very curious just what blood tests they ran, and the results; they just told me “your bloodwork is good”.

If you’ve ever had to be in the hospital, what did you learn?

Have you been shocked by a hospital bill? We’re still blissfully ignorant of what it cost.

Jello yum or oh heck no!? I’ve never really been much of a Jello person, but with a little whipped topping it’s pretty darn tasty. It still does have a fair amount of sugar from the juice I used to make it, but at least there’s no added sugar.

28 thoughts on “7 Random Hospital Thoughts

    1. I was glad I didn’t have to stay longer too.

      I don’t think the hospital was any worse than many I’ve been in (because of my parents) in the last few years.

      Although I can’t speak to the food in those hospitals. Nothing stops my Dad from eating, but my Mom totally refused to eat when she had to be in one.

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  1. The unhealthy food and all of the waste sounds horrible! It seems like they should ask beforehand what you’d actually like. Everyone could have a little menu where they check things off. I’ve only been admitted to a hospital once when I gave birth and although the food was awesome (I was starving by the time I ate dinner, though), I got very little sleep there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, they do ask you what you want, but not when you get admitted late at night. Then they just bring stuff, apparently.

      For lunch I had a form to fill out (and they made you do one for dinner, too, but thankfully I was gone by then). And then they brought all sorts of stuff I didn’t request. 😦

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  2. I had similar experiences here in Italy (late admission to a room, odd questions, food, taking blood in early morning and noise). An important difference is that here we don’t pay for the time we are in the hospital. However I have to admit that all the persons who worked there were very kind.

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    1. The staff is almost always great, but just way overextended so people can fall through the cracks sometimes.

      That’s good to know that hospitals are mostly universal (but I hope never to have to go to one in my own country, much less a foreign one!).

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  3. Hospital food is the worst–it’s hard to believe that a place you go to when your sick would serve food that is so nutritionally poor. Working as a nurse all of my adult life, I can tell you that you don’t want to go to the hospital alone. You need another pair of eyes and ears. Being a patient makes you so vulnerable. I’m glad you’re feeling better. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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    1. I know, seriously, the food was really rather shocking. I’m sure the nutritionists are trying their best, but unfortunately it really falls short.

      I actually sent Mr. Judy home after a few hours. There was nothing he could do, really — by that point the fluids had done their magic pretty much — I think he was more tired than me (well, he thought he was, anyway).

      I’ve done my share of sitting around in hospitals over the last few years, unfortunately, and it’s not fun (but really important for someone to be with my parents, obviously, when it happens).

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  4. I was last in the hospital when my kids were born but yes, the food is terribly unhealthy not to mention wasteful. Brace yourself when you look at that itemized bill…just saying.

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  5. I’m so sorry you ended up in the hospital. I didnt realize how unhealthy the food is that they give the patients. I use to volunteer at our local hospital over the summers and after our shift we would get a free meal at the hospital cafeteria. I will say that our cafeteria food was actually yummy!

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    1. The food wasn’t horrible (but it wasn’t yummy, either). Of course I really didn’t care much anyway, I was just eating because I knew I needed to. Which is how you know I was really sick. 🙂

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  6. I had to take my hubs to the emergency room a few months ago for a bacterial infection. It was not pleasant. You do have to be your own advocate. I was so worried about catching something myself while I was there!

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    1. I must say the fact that they brought me in an ambulance meant I didn’t have to sit out in the chairs, so there was that. I did worry about catching something else, but doesn’t appear that I did.

      I talked to a friend who had her mother with her today, and she seemed to have something really similar. Luckily Mr. Judy has been fine.

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  7. Having spent an entire week in the hospital (almost 2 years ago), I can relate to a lot of what your experience was like. That said, I had a very different scenario and was kind of in a daze the first 24 hours or so as the reality of everything set in. I thought the food at my hospital was awesome, and I was impressed with how attentive the nurses were. I actually slept decent, and I’m usually a very light sleeper, too….but it was nice to get home. The bill nearly made me faint, though…

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    1. The food at the hospital I was at was definitely not awesome (but not horrible either).

      I barely slept. Thank goodness it was only one night. I remember thinking I wish I’d had an eye mask with me — I have a couple but I don’t think I would have known where it was on short notice.

      Wouldn’t you know the next morning the nurse asked if I wanted earplugs & an eye mask?

      My bill definitely shouldn’t be as bad as yours, but I’m pretty sure it will be lots more than we hope it will be (and that’s being somewhat prepared, knowing everything at hospitals are so expensive).

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  8. Glad the experience is over. The food in the hospital in Clermont Fl was tasty enough that my folks would go the cafeteria there after the short stays they had. I have only had outpatient surgery for a kidney stone so my experience wasn’t bad. Hope you’re back running soon.

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    1. The food definitely wasn’t great. It was edible, that’s about all I can say about it (and that was flavored with a 24 hr fast.

      I did get in a couple of runs this week. I would say I’m maybe 90% — still get kind of tired but finally found my appetite again on Thursday so getting more energy. It’s hard to feel energetic when you don’t/can’t eat much.

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  9. I haven’t been admitted since I had my kids, but I know all these things are true from my mom’s experience. Nothing ever happens quickly, it is hard to get rest, and the food is not very healthy! I think they brought her menus and she could check off what she wanted — it sounds like they gave you all the options! Oh, was it cold? We always have to ask for extra blankets. (No thanks on the Jell-O) Glad you are home!

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    1. Yes, it was cold, but since I had already been at home sick in sweats and those socks, it wasn’t that bad. I knew from my experiences with my Dad that it’s always cold!

      They brought in a menu the next day, but I guess when you’re admitted late at night they just bring you whatever. And then when I did choose stuff from the menu, they still brought all those extras. 😦

      They actually called me to take a survey, and I know I should have, but quite frankly I just didn’t feel like it (this was just a couple of days ago).

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  10. The vulnerability is really scary and you get institutionalised so quickly. I managed to eat my own food both times I’ve been in for a day, just bringing in snacks. I’ve heard horror stories, though, and apparently the only time I cried when I had my tonsils out aged 5 was when they gave me a meal of lamb stew and dumplings!!!

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  11. Funny – one of my only hospital memories is jello. I had my tonsils out and only liked (and still true) red jello. Sent my aunt on a quest to find red jello without fruit. Love me some jello

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    1. I was supposed to have my tonsils out, but they discovered a massive bladder infection & couldn’t operate . . . and I still have my tonsils. 🙂

      When I had all my wisdom teeth out at once, though (and I was 30 then) . . . no jello, but ice cream yes please.

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      1. I had all 4 done at once, all 4 were impacted. I was completely knocked out for it (my choice!)>I could barely eat anything for a week. I was working full time at the time, and could barely take any time off from work. It wasn’t fun!

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  12. Awww…Judy, so sorry you had to spend time in the hospital. The food sounds absolutely disgusting! I can’t believe what they serve there.

    The last time I was in the hospital was when I had pneumonia. I don’t even remember getting anything to eat, but I must have. All I remember was having to get blood drawn from an artery (to check the oxygen levels). THAT was not fun!

    I cannot eat Jello. Or gels. Period.

    I’m sure you were happy to be able to finally come home so you could get some rest!

    Liked by 1 person

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