Back from Hotel St. John

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.


8 thoughts on “Back from Hotel St. John

  1. So glad you’re home. Rest well so we CAN get to the Caribbean! CB are necessary to bring us drinks, food & other goodies. Must have 6 pack abs, pirate attire optional.
    Yep, the raised flower bed would have been much cheaper.
    Now that you’re on the mend, life will be so much better!

  2. Glad to hear you have a sense of humor about the whole thing. I’m not sure I would have been so chipper. Then again…me getting waited on hand and foot, that would definately be a change. 🙂

    Get well quickly, girl!!

  3. Actually, Meg, let’s just say for CB that ALL attire is optional! 😉

    I spend so much time getting banged up, Ash, that if I didn’t laugh, I’d have to shoot myself or something. LOL. Your turn will come, little bit, when you’ll get a little medical pampering. I’ll even be there to help out. Promise.

  4. I enjoyed your post. St John’s really did sound luxurious–in fact at first I thought you actually went to a hotel to recover. I was thinking ‘boy, she must have good insurance if it will pay for a good hotel after the hospital stay.’ It’s good to have you back BTW, what is a Bear Paws gown?

    Claude Mary

  5. Claude Mary, when plastic surgery in Thailand started getting popular with Americans, the hospitals and hotels put together packages where you’d fly over, have the surgery, stay in the hospital a few days, then check into a five-star hotel for the rest of your recuperation period. My oldest sister and I joke about going. She wants a face lift; I want everything else lifted, nipped, tucked . . .

    Bair Paws is the coolest patient warming system ever. The gown is multiple layers with these channels inside, and they hook up the hose to a port in the gown and it blows warm air into the channels. It’s incredible. Studies have found that keeping patients warm helps them recover more quickly, so they sort of pre-heat you in pre-op, then hook you up to it in the OR and again in recovery. What I wouldn’t give to have a set-up at home!

  6. Marilyn,

    During my stay at the HSJ, they ran a freaking Zamboni down the halls at 0200!! Did you ever hear that monster go by?

    I agree about the cabana boy. When Bert asked me what I wanted for Valentine’s Day (the pressure was on, his gift arrived in the mail!) I told him I wanted a bigger/higher pedestal. You know, for me to be propped up on.

    Get well soon! I want to see you Saturday! spw

  7. Marilyn–that’s why medical costs are so high. Devices for torturing patients cost a lot. You look very chic in the gown. Wish I’d had one with my carpal tunnel repair. And I’m glad the flamingo worked. I wanted you to have a laugh after your surgery.

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