Last night, the nurse got the doctor to up my Ambien dosage, then put a sign on my door so that I did not get disturbed.
I slept almost nine hours.
Dr. Walsh was here bright and early, telling my sleep-crusty face that she wanted me to stay in the hospital until Monday, and she was not clearing me to return to work until my drain could come out. When she left, I put my blanket over my head and bawled. Poor RN Kara. She was just coming on shift as Dr. Walsh was leaving my room. I refused to accept my breakfast tray, ignored her attempts to question me, and responded to her request to check my vitals by sticking out my arm from under the blanket to give her just enough skin to check my blood pressure. She left me some Percocet when she saw my head bobbing up and down under the blanket in response to her question, and then she retreated, closing the door to allow me the space to continue crying freely.
I don’t see how anyone could think this environment will help me heal faster.
I cried and slept more until well after 10, when transport came to take me to hyperbarics. I tried walking quickly and angrily, then put myself in check: This guy from transport doesn’t deserve my shitty attitude. I changed gears and struck up a conversation, learning in our quarter-mile walk all about the cystic fibrosis that both he and his older brother have, and how different their experiences have been. Thank you, Nathan. You reminded me this morning to stop feeling sorry for myself.
From there, I went from self-pitying to … well … feisty.
At hyperbarics, I told Dr. Dhillon that I was leaving tomorrow, regardless. He gave me a look; I gave him a look back.
When transport arrived, I told her I was walking. She insisted I sit in the wheelchair; I flat-out refused. While she talked to hyperbarics staff about following policy and then made subsequent phone calls to her supervisor about my refusal to comply, I danced all around the tiles, then did a few lunges. When she hung up the phone, I smugly said, “Can we go now?” Again putting myself in check, I quickly softened my “I told you so” attitude by striking up a conversation with her about her family. In the quarter-mile walk back to my room, I learned all about her dad’s esophagus cancer, her mom’s uterine cancer, and their 43-year marriage that managed to survive it all.
Back on my floor, the ID doctor was waiting for me. I was feisty with her, too, especially when she said some things that directly contradicted what hyperbarics staff had JUST told me fifteen minutes prior. Dr. Echevarria left kind of frustrasted, which only fueled my fire. When I walked into my room and saw a standard lunch tray, I walked it out and said to the nurses, “I purposely didn’t order breakfast or lunch, but they keep bringing me food anyway. Is there a way we can stop them from bringing me food I am not going to eat?” Poor Kara and Stephanie. They took my tray and agreed to let me walk myself down to the cafeteria … So with my cash in one hand and IV pole in the other, wearing my purple hospital gown and matching purple hospital socks, I took myself to the cafeteria, got myself some lunch, walked out without paying for it, and brought it back up to my room to eat. Later, with a full stomach, I called Dr. Walsh’s office and told Angie, “I’m calling to start the process of bugging Dr. Walsh about releasing me tomorrow. I want to go home. Tomorrow. What do we need to do to make that happen?”
And now it’s 4:58. I’ve cried, sulked, argued with doctors, antagonized people on purpose, and stolen food, and I think i’m finally done being feisty…so i I am going to take a nap, knowing with absolute certainty that as soon as I wake up, my feisty attitude will be right back on board with me, annoying everyone around me until they all just give up and let me go back home.