Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Home again, home again

Yeah, I'm home. I didn't end up going in at all, obviously. I got to the hospital at around 11 and checked in at the admissions desk. Then the waiting started. Like any good CFer, if I am one thing, it is patient in hospitals. Not A PATIENT, but just plain patient. Hospitals are all about the "hurry up and wait" mentality, and in my experience NOTHING is ever accomplished without at least 30 minutes in some unknown waiting room (or worse, in the hallway if infection is an issue). This seems to magically hold true even for tasks that in other situations would take less than 20 seconds: getting a box of juice from the fridge, perhaps, or making a quick copy of my insurance card. While at one point in my life I considered this a great mystery of life, worthy of scientific study and maybe even a well-phrased complaint at the customer service desk, I've since learned to just accept as truth the fact that things in a hospital run on "hospital time." I've also learned that while surely someone somewhere out there is to blame for this, it's probably not the harried woman sitting behind the admissions desk. It's also not my doctor. These small but important truths have helped to make the ideal waiting room patient. Show me a hard plastic chair in a poorly lit room with bad ventilation and I'll settle in for the long haul. At this point I think it's just in my genes.

So yeah, the waiting. I waited, and waited, and waited, and I was fine with that. Really. So then, at around 3:30 (after several hours of waiting room bingo) I finally learned that I was going to room 413. I was nodding my head and gathering my bags when the woman adds, nearly under her breath, "bed 2." Um, excuse me? This room isn't private? Which is when I learned that absolutely ALL private rooms in the hospital had previously been booked and that patients meeting strict isolation criteria were still have problems getting placed sans roommate. Apparently every single person living on this island decided to show up today at my hospital's doorstep and demand not just a room, but a private one. With a view of the river, if possible.

So I called my doctor. We talked it out. She explained that there was absolutely no danger to me, that she would never agree to allow me to be placed with anyone who posed a threat (something I wholeheartedly believe b/c she is the most amazing doctor I can imagine) and I countered that I just wasn't comfortable with the whole situation. No other options were available at the hospital, so we eventually reached the conclusion that I should just go home and do IVs from here. It's not ideal, b/c one of my drugs needs to be administered 4 times a day every 6 hours and I live alone, but in the end it was the only position we both felt okay about. And honestly, I am SO relieved. I actually had tears in my eyes during the whole ordeal, and I am not one to cry about these sorts of things. I was definitely overwhelmed, and I love my doctor even more for working with me.

I feel terrible for being "difficult." Even though I know this was the right choice for me and that ultimately I did what I feel was the safe thing, I still can't stand that I had to cause such a fuss to make it all happen. I hate not being a good patient, but I also know that sometimes that means more than just doing what you're told.

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