10 March, 2011

Did you happen to notice this is a hospital?

When I woke up this morning my brain started off right away thinking of stuff. I tried to turn off this flowing fountain of useless information and go back to sleep, but did not succeed. So here I am writing a blog instead. It has been 169 days ―creeping up on 6 months―since I wrote my last one. (No, I didn't take out a calendar and count the days, I just plugged a couple dates into one of my nifty spreadsheets.). I used to feel pressure to write something at the torrid pace of at least one blog a month. Not the same kind of pressure that a syndicated columnist would feel trying to meet a deadline. It's more like the gastrointestinal pressure you might feel just before you fart.

So much for that. What I want to write about is my recent hospitalizations. Unfortunately, after more than 65 years of not being a patient in a hospital my luck ran out last November, and now I've been incarcerated three times in medical care lock-ups. Of course I was born in a hospital―in the great city of Pittsburgh, in fact―but I was really too young to remember much about that.

Always, when people come to visit you in a hospital they will ask, "How are ya doing?" or "How are ya feeling?" To which I would often reply, "Did you happen to notice, this is a hospital?" I'm in a hospital―I'm not here because I won an all expenses paid vacation to a Sandals resort. I'm a sick puppy. (Actually I could see myself having to go to the hospital―or jail―if I was on a such a vacation due to overindulgence in food, drink, and less than socially acceptable behavior.). Another comment visitors like to make is, "Ya look good." Talk about your bare-faced lies! Wearing a hospital gown obviously designed by a bunch of nearsighted old ladies in a rest home somewhere, with more tubes stuck in me than pipes in a chemical plant, I look good? Yeah, I think I should be on the cover of GQ magazine.

In short, I made the best I could of my hospital stays, and especially joking around with the hospital staff, from the housekeepers to the ladies who deliver the food trays, to those wonderful nurses―so underpaid and under appreciated―to the doctors who find it easy to smile, because they are getting paid a ridiculous sum of money for even a 5 minute chat. I notice that they all want to take their stethoscopes and "check you over". I feel that somehow legitimizes their visit, just in case someone from the department who writes the checks is spying on them.

One more comment about hospitals before I close: Why do they have to charge so damn much for parking? Are they trying to discourage people from visiting their loved ones at a time when they need it the most? If there were Wal-Mart hospitals, I'm sure there would be plenty of free parking available.

Uh-oh, now you are wondering why all of a sudden I'm being kind to Wal-Mart when in the past I have taken delight in trashing the retail giant, and have even offered my I'm not shopping at Wal-Mart guarantee, where you could receive $100 and ram 5 shopping carts into the side of my car if you catch me shopping there. Wait till they build one closer to your house than any of the other department stores, which by the way should be illegal. After driving by Wal-Mart time after time, eventually you will succumb to the temptation and stop there. It's like getting a cake on your special day that says, instead of "Happy Birthday", "You can't have any dessert". You're gonna eat cake. But then that's another story.

Till next time, stay warm, safe, and happy... and if at all possible, out of the hospital.

~PITTSBURGH starts with PITT!~

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