Missing: My Sense of Humor

Back in the hospital for observation,
Sigh. It seems they’ve revoked my probation.
Expecting two boys that are twin,
Each extra week is a win.
Oh the things a mom will do for the next generation.

Sadly, there is a high likelihood you deciphered my ingenious limerick correctly. I’m back in the hospital. I returned to the clinic for a checkup yesterday. The doctor noted he was not terribly “concerned” but more “anxious” and would feel better if I checked back into the Spa Materniteé (also known as Baby Jail).

My jovial attitude vanished. One could potentially make the argument I try to cover awkward or nervous situations with witticisms or pithy statements (often amusing only to me, but that is not the point). No, as I was wheeled through doors of Labor and Delivery, it was only me – Bitter, Party of One.

I should take a step back in time here to note that I have never been the ideal hospital patient. And patience has never been one of my many virtues. So it’s no wonder I tend to do poorly in situations that require patience in the hospital.

At 18-months-old, I finished my plate of spaghetti (which I’m sure was just delicious Mom). I decided I was done with dinner and hopped up to leave the kitchen. Problem was, I was still strapped into my highchair, but nothing a little baby James-Bonding maneuver couldn’t handle. The escape attempt resulted with both the highchair and me flat on the ground complete with my chin split wide-open. Apparently, a straight jacket and Nurse Ratchet-type RN were required to hold me still enough to receive stitches. So, that went well . . .

A scant nine months later, my two-year-old self was watching my mom get ready for work and thought it would be a fabulous idea to ascend a wicker basket. That way Mom could get a break every 3-5 minutes so she could remove me from my perch and say “No, Tricia. We don’t climb on that.” As you can imagine, that wasn’t a terribly effective deterrent. I scaled my peak again; my mom turned to reproach me again. Gravity decided to lend a helping hand. If I hadn’t bitten off the tip of my tongue, the soft carpeting would likely have made this a non-issue. But alas, it was off to the hospital.

Family legend has it that I ripped out/off all the wires/IVs (see I’ve NEVER liked those) and went stomping down the hallway. (The two-year-old off to demand her own release, against medical advice I assume.) I can only imagine the intercom announcements blaring through the hospital corridors: “Code  . . . um . . . Would somebody please coral the naked wailing toddler marching through Ward 200?” I’ve been told that trip also required a straight jacket.

Back to the present day, I am certain I was not their favorite patient. Now, I know better than to be rude to the nurses since we all know they run these places. But I wasn’t particularly averse to changing the rules of the game either.

First, the medical assistant at intake informed me that I would have to fill out all the pre-registration/sign-in paperwork again. Why? Because they throw it out anytime you come in before 34 weeks. This information about the hospital’s non-efficiency policy did nothing to brighten my spirits. She then handed me an electronic signature pad and asked me to sign. I inquired as to what I was signing and learned it was the “consent form.” When I asked to see said form she said they’d give me a copy after I signed. She actually seemed surprised when I shared I wasn’t signing anything until I saw an actual document.

Approximately 72 pages later I was wheeled over to Observation Room B. (This room is not very different from Observation Room A where I was observed last week.) “You know the drill. Undress everything and put on the [drafty, worthless, covers nothing hospital] gown.” (Ok, I may have paraphrased that quote a bit.) She looked shocked and quickly left the nurses to deal with me when I sweetly replied “No thank you. I’ll wait in my sweats.”

A new doctor came in to begin the observation and monitoring process. I was, just as I’m sure you are as well, also shocked that there was any personnel remaining that we hadn’t met during the previous week’s institutionalization. They wanted to get me hooked up to the TOCO Machine (short for tocodynamometer – I did not make that up), which tracks contractions. I was fine with this, albeit NOT shocked by the results concluding that I was indeed having contractions since that was the reason I was being readmitted in the first (second since I already played this game once?) place.

Then the doc noted they’d probably want to get an IV saline lock started. This is not an actual IV with medicinal purposes. This is a giant stabby tube thing inserted into ones wrist “in case of emergency.” I declined. I can only assume that this caused much consternation among staff since they appear to be extremely fond of their stabby tube things.

I have since gone on to request a new bed, a non-beepy machine, and that they stop coming in to check vitals every hour in the dead of night. I have repeatedly assured them that my heart is still pumping and the blood is still flowing through my veins. And five hours of sleep will truly benefit everybody involved in this drama. And, I think Jon has only tried to explain his sad state of a wife to one nurse throughout this process.

Luckily, I have discovered that Dave Barry (my hero) released a new book yesterday. Jon has been sent to Barnes and Noble to get a copy. “I’ll Mature When I’m Dead” – how can that not be helpful?

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Filed under Bed-rest, Hospital, Pre-natal

4 Responses to Missing: My Sense of Humor

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