My lovely friend Jenni gave all of us all quite a scare last month when she became very ill, was taken to hospital by ambulance, and then needed to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She’s safe and sound at home now, thank goodness, and recovering nicely. She recently decided to e-mail us this update on her condition. But what made me laugh out loud was her list of three important warnings based on what she learned during her hospital experience. With Jenni’s permission, I’m sharing them here for the benefit of any women who may be heading into hospital soon. Take notes, ladies . . .
“I just can’t thank everyone enough for all the calls, e-mails, cards, visits, gifts, flowers and food over the past few days – I am blessed to have so many wonderful women in my life.
“I am rallying quickly (this worries Mike as he has been loving all the food!) This morning we went out for coffee, although I couldn’t quite stare down a coffee cup. Then we went for about a 25-minute walk, me at half-speed asking Mike to slow down . . . and it felt great! The pain is minimal, my energy is starting to come back and my appetite is surfacing – life is good!
“Now, after being in the hospital and having my mother’s voice inside my head to make sure I had clean underwear on “in case I had to go to the hospital” (do you remember those nuggets of wisdom?) – I have some additional advice for you:
1. Always make sure that your legs and pits are shaved. I am really tardy here, and in the winter months I can stretch for a couple of weeks before I think about shaving. So, imagine my embarrassment to see my lily-white stick legs hanging out the end of my oh-so-tasteful hospital gown, and the young male medical student examining said legs for edema. Oh God.
2. Continually get rid of rogue hairs on upper lip, chin and neck. The young nurses today don’t need glasses or a magnifying mirror to see these errant hairs – they just see them when they look at you from about 10 feet away. I still can’t get over the vision of the three hags in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
3. Always make sure that ears are free of wax and belly buttons are fluff-free. I am totally hoping that this was the case for me, as laparoscopic surgery uses the navel. I hope that the operating staff didn’t have to go lint picking – how embarrassing. And, where have I been all these years? I thought that my temperature would be taken via my mouth – not so! They have this smart little gizmo that measured my temperature in my ear in about five seconds!
“So girls, our mothers were right. It is good to have clean underwear – and let’s ramp that up to panties that have some elastic, with no holes or stains. I am going to purge my underwear drawer after this!
“Thanks again all – and the biggest of hugs around,
Q: What’s your own best piece of advice to get ready for a hospital stay?