Skip navigation

or "redefining terms"  Show this Post

this is all, no doubt, well known to those of you who have travelled this way before, but being my first surgery, I found that a number of terms get totally redefined during a hospital stay like this.
First of all PAIN… well-covered in yesterday's post, this word takes on a whole new meaning – you may have "thought" you knew what it was, but you quickly discover that post-op pain following major surgery – especially involving your abdomen – redefines the scale – what you always considered a 10 was really only about a 3.
Another word that gets redefined is MODESTY. This has no place in a hospital setting… the nearest thing I could relate it to, was deciding which half of me was least embarrassing at any given time and trying to ensure that the other half stayed covered – rarely successfully. surprise  You would really have thought that over the past 200 years they could have improved on the design of a hospital "gown".
Finally, FOOD!  My goodness… they had to be using a totally different dictionary!  Bad enough that on day 1 you were allowed nothing to eat or drink – ice chips to run over your lips – BUT DONT SWALLOW!  and on day 2 – clear fluids only (of very questionable origin). Then on day 3 something called a 'full adult diet'… believe me, if you're not already "full", you need to be very "adult" to stomach the lovely juxtaposition of colours and textures that assault your senses when this is lovingly slapped in front of you.  And what is this overriding pre-occupation with apple juice? One would think that the endless sight of little plastic cups half-filled with amber liquid, in a hospital setting, would cause any sensible dietary planning committee to choose some alternative to include with every meal tray.
but moving on… the nurses and staff involved in my care were certainly all competent but over a period of 4 days with 3 shifts a day, you are exposed to a fair number of "care-givers" and as in any profession – there are those who excel and really appear to enjoy their jobs and those that are simply going thru the motions in order to make it to the next weekend. 
My surgeon did drop by twice a day to see how I was coming along and was kind enough to let me go home a day early (much to my wife's dismay).  Quite logically, he figured there was no reason to keep me the extra day other than to have my staples removed and since I'm married to a nurse… hey, she must be able to handle that… so, home I went on the Thursday (my surgery having been on the Monday).