RONNI HERE: As you know, a long-time contributor of wise and pithy comments to this blog, Darlene Costner, spent the greater part of December in hospital and then rehab after breaking a bone in her back.
She returned home a week ago and this is her report from the field. Enjoy.
Medical scales don't lie. I lost five pounds on the "stop eating diet" and never suffered a hunger pang. It's easy - just become constipated. Six days did it for me.
I can just hear you groaning as you push your breakfast away. I apologize for starting the tale of my recent illness with a most tasteless subject. Now that I have your attention, I will relate the story of my recent visit to the rehab center.
It's a good thing that the young man who pushed my gurney had me strapped in because I might have died laughing as he asked everyone within earshot, "What's your name?" followed by a detailed explanation of the origin of the name.
Since most were Biblical, I can't speak for the accuracy of his information but he seemed knowledgeable. “Darlene” stumped him though and he lamely said it meant darling. I do question that.
My next encounter with a man of faith was an elder aide whose expertise was how laxatives work (Or in my case, didn't).
After a lengthy explanation complete with a strange demonstration, he touched my foot and repeated, "God bless you, God bless you, God bless you." At that point I had figured out that God had pretty much forgotten me.
Not only had God forgotten me but the aides did also. My bladder was tested often as I waited for my call button to be answered. I have yet to understand why the longest wait always occurred when the need was the most urgent.
Another indignity that plagued me was the temperature of my room. Next to being sick, I hate being cold more than anything. After all, why else move to Arizona?
When I shivered all night with only another thin blanket to warm me (it didn't) and after complaints failed to force the nurses to do anything about my discomfort (apparently it was beneath their dignity), I got up out of bed and pushed my walker to their station and said, "I can't sleep because I am freezing and that is unacceptable."
I tried to whirl about in a huff but I am afraid that I just looked foolish as I attempted to show extreme irritation and nearly fell down as I slowly maneuvered the walker in the other direction.
After reporting this incident to everyone within earshot, I was moved to a warm room. I was elated that I got results by standing up for myself.
Well, my elation didn't last because the next day I got a roommate. A poor little bird of a woman who was suffering from dementia. This was my first encounter with that tragic illness and it was a shock to see how a mind can be destroyed.
For some reason she seemed to be fascinated with me and stared at me with a puzzled look on her face. Not just once in a while but constantly every waking minute.
The second night she was there, I was awakened by someone touching me. She was sitting on my bed holding my hand and trying to uncover me. It was most unnerving. The night before I left, I found her standing next to my bed staring at me again.
I can't begin to count the number of times I heard, "Will someone please help me?" She just never seemed to understand that the only way to get help was to press the call button and I had to press mine for her because the concept of pushing a button to make a person appear was beyond her.
I began this narration with a most disgusting tale and am ending it with a sad one. If you have gotten this far, you may want to sue me but don't bother. After I pay the co-pays I will probably have nothing left.