I like classy places, and I figure any place that gives you a Bair Paws gown to stay warm and drugs at the press of a button is pretty classy — to say nothing of waiting on you hand and foot. And someone else is picking up the tab . . . not bad at all.
I checked in so early on Tuesday that I didn’t bother to go to bed the night before. Instead I spent the night polishing the manuscript I finished earlier that day so DH could get drop it in the mail to my editor. I leisurely showered, shampooed, shaved my legs (DH has never gotten that leg-shaving need. When I was pregnant and my water broke, I stopped to shave my legs before heading to the hospital. When we thought I’d broken my ankle a few years ago, I shaved my legs, then went to the ER. It’s just a need, okay?).
So I get to SJ and check in to a lovely, though rather small room. But it comes equipped with a Bair Paws unit. so I’m happy. I have a cell picture of me in my BP gown posing with the unit. The downside of Hotel SJ, though, is they like to stick you with needles, and with my teeny weeny wiggly veins, that’s no fun. A poke poke here, a bruise bruise there, here a knot, there some blood, and we finally have an IV going.
By 7 o’clock, I’m in the OR, the Bair Paws is running, and this lovely man with all kinds of treats injects a little something in my IV that sends me straight to LaLa land. A good place to be for the next few hours. I don’t want to go into everything they did. I don’t even want to know everything they did myself.
By noon, I’m settled in a comfy bed in a big comfy room, the sun is shining, Mom, my sisters and DH are smiling, and the nurses and techs are buzzing around doing everything they can to make me happy, including putting the button in my hand that delivers Phentanyl. On demand. Woot Woot. “You need another pillow? You want another blanket? Can we adjust the thermostat? Would you like some ice water?” If I even thought about something I wanted, it was there in the blink of an eye.
Except food. The woman who brought my dinner tray was a bit embarrassed, I think. She set it down and quickly darted out of the room, eyes downcast. And well they should have been. On my lovely dinner tray, I had a bowl of broth. A cup of coffee. A cup of iced tea. A carton of milk. A carton of apple juice. A carton of apple/cranberry juice. “There’s no food in my food!” I wailed.
At HSJ, you never get lonely. Someone paid a visit to me at least every two hours, day or night. Sometimes all I had to do was lie there, semi-conscious. Other times I had to actually DO something, like sit up, roll over or breathe. (Respiratory therapy and I have this deal; I go into the hospital, and they come around periodically to pat my face and yell at me to BREATHE. I take a few deep breaths, they go away, I breathe normally, and a while later, we go through it again.)
Wednesday things were better. I wasn’t so sore — but, darn, there went the narcotics on demand — and I got real food and I was allowed to sit in a chair. When DH was there, I could even go for walks, which were more interesting than usual hospital walks because I was on the new mommy floor, so there were babies everywhere. I developed a route pretty quickly — down to the ice machine, then a big loop past the well-baby nursery. They’re so tiny and so sweet. I want another one — not for me, bite your tongue. Son? Dil? Are you listening?
Thursday was even better. I had lovely flowers to look at, to say nothing of a singing, dancing flamingo that reminds me of Elvis (Jackie, he made everyone laugh). I stretched out on the bed and did my nails, thought of all kinds of projects while watching HGTV that I can’t do for another couple months, read, chatted, lazed. There were narcotics available if I needed them (what’s that saying — better living through chemistry?). There was still lots of visitors, both staff and non, right up till they let me go at 6:30 that night.
I went home, ate supper and slept twelve hours straight. It was wonderful.
Now if I can just figure out how to keep my energy levels from divebombing every couple hours, I will have it made. And though I enjoyed my visit to Hotel SJ, for the money it cost, next time I could have a week in the Carribean. With a few friends. And a cabana boy.