Before I begin my story, I want to applaud all hospital workers, firemen, policemen (and by that I mean all genders) and any volunteer whether on a huge level or just helping someone across the street through this horrific ordeal that hit the tristate area.
Now, sit back, because throughout this crisis I have found some humor.
I became desperately ill early AM Tuesday. From a sound sleep, pain and nausea brought me to my knees. At 2 AM, trying not to worry Banco Popular, I crawled through the pitch black into the bathroom (the only time I ever crawled into a bathroom- I was drunk) and found the bowl. After hearing moans and groans BP found me and wanted me to go to the hospital, but of course my attitude would not allow that. Actually, if the elevators were working, I would have considered it… I waited it out until 6AM. In my pink pj’s, NO RED LIPSTICK (that’s how sick I was, but carried it with me for later) BP and I executed our way down the staircase by flameless tea light candles and the flashlight on his cell. If I were feeling slightly better, I would have found this situation quite romantic. My neighbor caught sight of me entering a cab, and knew something was up, as I NEVER, NEVER am without red lipstick and especially not looking somewhat together. We headed off for Beth Israel. Good choice, not knowing then Bellevue and NYU were closed. I waited my 3 and a half hours and I got a gurney. I was poked, poked some more, and then poked again. Then I saw the needles and freaked…but Jasmine got the line going the first time around.
I was hooked up, pain subsided, X-rays taken and I’m drifting in and out of sleep. Now the back pains starts from lying on the stretcher for hours and hours, and hopes of a bed fill my dreams. After 15 hours on the gurney, I was a lucky one (some just started their trip through the ER,) I was selected to go to a room. AAH…a bed in sight and I started to relax knowing I was just minutes away from a real mattress. I complained earlier about being stuck for an hour a half outside the Midtown tunnel…piece of cake, can do that anytime, any day.
The room was the Cath Lab with 7 of my closest Altacockas (spelling wrong, definition: endearing word for elderly in Yiddish), and the gurney, the same gurney, never to be returned to the ER, was my bed for the next 48 hours. I was bed 6, across from 1, 2 and 3. One was quiet, Two was moaning and crying, but THREE…Three was the witch (witch misspelled-should start with a “B”). All she wanted to know was why everyone passed her by. Well lady, I’ll tell you now that I have my strength back, you complained that Beth Israel was no comparison to NYU, and if you were insulted minute by minute, would you be asked to the ball?????? DAH!!!!!.But the staff was nice. It was my patience that was weary.
This was my first night in the Cath Lab, and the vacation… just began. The woman next to me was French, my favorite language. Not a peep from me. Rien, nada, zilch. I was sick.
This was a first hand preview of living in a nursing home and I was devastated. Other than visiting my mother in law every weekend in her nursing home, I now had a much closer and much more personal insight to these facilities. Now I am eating my “Wheaties”, I am going to go to the gym, not talk about it, as I never want to be in this situation again. In fact the only good thing that came out of this was I lost weight.
Lost in myself and visually limited to the ceiling and bed 1, 2, and 3, I spotted paper hearts hanging across the cubicles. At first I thought… why are they celebrating Valentine’s Day? Then I realized…it’s the Cath Lab!!!! In groups of 2’s,( colors of red, blue ,yellow and green) danced like angels and kept me happy. I counted from right to left, then left to right and then back again. When I was bored of the angels, I read all the healthy signs…eat fruits and veggies and drink water. Maybe the water sign wasn’t there, but it sounds good. THEN, I was told I am going to a room. Finally a real mattress for comfort and buttons to move the positions up and down. If it’s not a room, where can they put me now, the OR!!!! A room on the orthopedic floor opened up and no roommate…Alone at last with a window. The next day arrived Mrs. L, an 84 year old who spoke in her sleep to her mother, father and every dead relative she knew. By morning time with no sleep, a huge headache, lights and power back on in my apartment, I was ready to leave Mrs. L and her dreams.
By the way, with so much time on my hands, my idea….OPRAH SHOULD DO DANCING WITH THE STARS