Things I Learned In the Hospital

Published November 5, 2009 by Christa Maurice

This past Monday I had my thyroid removed. In the words of my surgeon it was huge. I’m not sure if that’s a clinical term or not. I’d never had surgery of any kind before (unless you count having my wisdom teeth removed) so the night in the hospital was an adventure. So in light of education, here is what I learned.

Don’t get angry when somebody feels the need to wake you up every hour and a half to two hours. I swear, every time I got settled in to sleep somebody needed my blood or a monitor was going off or they had to check my blood pressure or I had to pee.

Navigating an IV pole is an art. I got pretty good at it. Is it really necessary for those things to have 6 legs?

You will pay anything for entertainment when you are stuck in a bed.

There’s no need to be embarrassed when you throw up. When they first brought me up to my room, I came to saying that I felt sick. The nurse asked me if I needed something for nausea and I puked on the bed. I feel bad, but seriously, how embarrassed can I be? I passed out again immediately after I finished throwing up. I don’t even know who I threw up on. (Whoever you are, I’m sorry.)

If something starts pinging, beeping or chirping in the middle of the night, call the nurse. It’s not going to shut off on its own and no one is going to notice it.

That adhesive they use for the bandages is impossible to get off. A nurse gave me an oil based pad that sorta worked, but not completely. I found a sensor pad on my back yesterday, two days after the operation and some of that adhesive ended up stuck on the tub. It’s everywhere.

If they give you an ice pack, take it home with you. I didn’t bring mine home and now I’m stuck improvising with freezer bags, a tea towel and scarf. Good thing I’m home alone.


2 comments on “Things I Learned In the Hospital

  • We really don’t want to wake people up that often, but those are the orders. And the beeping, we really don’t mean to ignore it, but that noise no longer enters a nurse’s brain. There is a point sometime in the first few years of nursing where our brains simply stop registering those things as sound. I do promise that if there is a critical sound, heart monitor with a dangerous rhythm or a ventilator, I can hear those sounds.

    Glad you are feeling better. And on behalf of the nurse who got puked on, “Thank you for being sorry. Don’t worry about it, it happens a lot.”

    • Oh, I understood. When there’s three or four people doing their routines, the timing isn’t going to work out perfectly. I figured you (general you, not you in particular) couldn’t hear it in the hall. It took me a few minutes to figure out that the beeping was in my room. It was just an interesting “when in Rome” exercise for me.

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