Discharged from hospital, but not from life!

Hi friends,

dischargeWell, the Gods must have been monitoring my previous posts regarding my mother-in-law’s latest experience with our health care system and the frigging snot sucking flu she succumbed to there last month.  Although we finally got her squared away and on the mend, it turns out that we hadn’t seen the last of Eastern Health.

Last Sunday, having spent all night in a recliner in the Family room rather than lying down in bed and coughing my guts out all night, I admitted defeat and asked Paul to drive me to the Health Sciences Center.  He dropped me off at Emergency and went on a quest to find a parking spot.  By the time I got to the lineup for triage, I must have been looking pretty bad because before I knew it, I was loaded aboard a wheelchair and whisked away to see a Dr. They stuck a blood oxygen monitor on me and I registered  81 (95-98 is normal).  I was gasping for air like a Codfish out of water  Before I knew it I was in an ER suite, hooked up to oxygen, being EKG’d, blood pressure monitored and chest x-rayed.  I was amazed by the swiftness with which all of these diagnostics took place.  Quality assurance would be proud!  Then we set in to wait for a medical consult.  Luckily it was the May 24th holiday weekend and the ER wasn’t too busy, so I didn’t get out-ted to the corridor, I got to stay where I was.  Finally a Dr. showed up and the decision was made to admit me.  Talk about having the tables turned on you! I had been hoping to get some antibiotics, some puffers, and be sent home with orders to “get some rest.”

I was wheeled off to some room deep in the bowels of the Emergency department, that resembled a storage closet, with boxes of medical supplies stacked everywhere.  Three other patients were already ensconced there, all male and all elderly. One old guy was mentally challenged and kept bawling out to someone to “GE’ ‘OW” Some caregiver sat with him and kept making soothing noises, which, thankfully kept him in his bed.  I don’t know how long I was there, but they changed the oxygen cylinder on me twice before they got me a room upstairs. By now it was 3:30 am.

So that’s where I have been for the last three days.  My fellow inmates are all over eighty and all suffering from a variety of respiratory illnesses. As I listened to the conversation swirling around and overheard the histories being recorded by members of the medical team, It became glaringly apparent,  the contributing factors that found us all here under the same circumstances.  What the years of smoking and abuses to the body had brought to these people  was more eye-opening to me than a thousand public service announcements could get across.

Vowing to make changes in my life, I stoically endured the course of treatment prescribed to me.  I would not complain about getting woke up at 5:38 in the morning to have blood pressure, blood oxygen readings taken or a thermometer stuck under my tongue.  I never made a murmur about being jabbed for blood sugar readings or being fed food that had less taste than sawdust.  I inhaled that much ventolin mist that anyone passing by would write “the Grand Banks” on the door.  I never let a drop of soft drink, junk food, or candy pass my lips.  I consumed enough tablets and capsules to keep me from getting hungry anyway.

Thankfully I am home now, but as I waved goodbye to my roommates and wished them all a speedy recovery, I wondered if any of them would be able to enjoy any quality of life.  I was lucky to have been given the opportunity to see firsthand what the outcome of living an unhealthy lifestyle would bring.  Here I am, at least twenty years their junior, bringing old aged problems onto myself years before I should have to be even thinking about them.  The decision is mine to make. I can stop the self-abuse that comes from over-eating and eating the wrong foods. let go of the sugary drinks, even the so-called “diet” kind that is no more healthier than those loaded with glucose-fructose or cane sugar.  Replace the empty calorie junk foods with fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables, and get creative with meal preparation and control portions better.  Thankfully, I had never taken up smoking, but for anyone trying to quit now, there are so many aids that will help you, it’s definitely time to try.

So, I have some work to do before I can discharge myself from living a healthier life.  Maybe I’ll get to like the new way better and I won’t miss my chocolate binges and sour ju-jube Sundays.  I might be tempted to get off the couch when I’m better from the pneumonia and do a little exercise.  You can’t do this kind of thing just because someone else wants you to.  Thank you, universe, for showing me through my own eyes, where the path I have started down leads.  At least I have a chance to correct things before it is too late.

pink valentine norma



healthy eating hospital

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