A not so funny place to be

Published 5:23 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2017

As one who tries to find humor in most situations, I’ve had to look hard this week. My daddy is in the hospital and he’s 90 years old. That combination makes it a pretty serious place, yet, there are some humorous things that are said and done.

For instance, as he was being checked in just about everyone was nice and asked the usual question, “How are you feeling?”

My daddy, who does have a good sense of humor, looks at them and says, “Duh, I’m in hospital!” I guess he feels that there are some things that should be fairly obvious.

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Then there are the necessary “indignities” that go along with hospital stays. Another 90 year old man said, “Since I’ve turned 90, I’ve been seen naked by more people than all the others years of my life.” And how about those hospital gowns? They do alright in the front, but why couldn’t they have used a few more yards of cloth so the backside would be covered?

There is a certain irony involved in hospital work. Think about it. We usually arrive in conditions not too “spiffy.” Yet the job of the hospital staff is to take us when we don’t feel good and try to make things pleasant for us. When thought about, it’s an impossible and thankless task. Yet, there is the whiteboard on the wall.

It gives the date, the doctor, the main nurse for the day and a big, ole smiley face. The goal? “Help the patient breathe!” Yeah, I would say breathing is important.

There is probably one thing all of us who have interacted with hospitals might agree on. Time. Hospitals and hurry both begin with the letter “h,” but that’s all the words have in common. There is no hurry in hospitals.

If a doctor gives me 6 months to live, I am going to ask him, “Can it be based on hospital time?” Imagine how long that would be. I would live long enough to see my grandchildren’s grandchildren.

To be honest, hospital staffs have their jobs to do and their toughest job might be dealing with us. Most people I know are reasonable, but the stress of not feeling good and wanting to feel better, plus being in a controlled environment like a hospital, leads to tough situations.

Like having to poke us and monitor us at all times. Here are two other words that don’t go together. Rest and hospitals. What’s the most natural way the body heals itself? By resting. What’s the most impossible thing to do in a hospital? Rest.

Finally, in the middle of the night, after being x-rayed, MRI-ed, having blood drawn, and enduring the chicken-flavored hot water they served, a little sleep comes your way. Then, in comes Nurse Ratchet to turn on the light and take your vitals!

Most of the time, if you are a male, you’ve got a family member staying with you in the room. Of course, they have curled up in a recliner from the last century and covered with a light blanket as the temperature in the room is just a little below Arctic air.

I’m exaggerating all of these things, of course. Humor is that way. The facts are that hospital stays are necessary at times and fairly mundane. Patients are, for the most part, understanding and the staff does their best to help the hospital stay to be as short as possible. I’m thankful for those who are being kind and patient with my family as we are in a not-so-fun-place.