Day 2 found still in that initial euphoria that my back was on the road to recovery...I know that sounds like the description of a bad documentary but was such a perfect description to how I felt when I woke up that morning.
I was in a semi private room with a very nice fellow from a small northern seaport town. He was very friendly and a really nice guy.
There were not any private rooms available when I came onto the spinal floor. I was told to keep reminding each shift change that I was willing to move. Both nurses questioned why I wanted to move. I mumbled that the private rooms had free TV and phone. Both had the same answer...Oh no...don't move and give up this great room with the great views...there are no free TV's here in the hospital...Private rooms come with TV's and phones built in but you have to pay to hook them up!
So to fill in time while I waited, I started imaging my new room...daydreaming about the quietness to recover in... the joys of having my own bathroom all to myself...and the luxury of having a free TV and my own free phone. You were not allowed to keep your cell phone and there was no internet available in the rooms so that TV would be a bit of a godsend.
Now, you all know I am a worrier. I had almost memorized that booklets they give you once your surgery is discussed with the surgeon. I had just got out the huge booklet to reread from 2 years ago when my 1st surgery was scheduled and I had just read the new huge 20 page booklet and both stated that although the private room was 30 extra dollars over the semi, it included a free TV and phone that was also inclusive of free long distance till 10 pm. Without the private room, I could not call my elderly Mum or my sister. They live 4 hours from me and definitely are long distance. When I mumbled something about the info in that booklet, I got a blank stare and a What booklet? question.
I could have sung Hallelujah when the evening nurse dropped by to say there was a private room available now! She wheeled me up and I was so excited to see it was on the same side as Bill so it probably had a sea view too! There was a lovely huge bathroom, a dresser, a night table and a small closet for clothes. I mentioned again about how did I get the TV (I gave up on mentioning the free part) and she carefully wrote down my name and my new room number and said she would leave it in the box for the TV lady's arrival in the morning and closed the door on the way out
I was in heaven! I lay on my bed in my new room drinking in the wonders of the peace and quiet and harmony, gazing longingly at my new TV and wishing a little bit that I could actually use it. It seems kind of funny now that I even wanted TV because I hardly watch TV at home. Just a few BBC Canada and Knowledge network series. I kind of dozed off and woke up out a deep sleep to the sounds of what seemed like a Rambo movie happening all around me. Lights were flashing, there was a huge noise like something was coming through my roof...no wait...it now sounds like it is coming through my window. I turn to see what it is.
Now, you need to remember I have just had back surgery and to turn even a minute amount takes forever. I am also not to twist my neck so all in all, it was about 5 minutes later before I am finally turned enough to see what is going on. During that five minutes of log roll turning, I could also hear shouting, and lots of different levels of noise. I decided it was a movie. The Americans film a lot of movies in our city as the costs are cheaper for them to do it here. There are always streets closed and signage there is a movie crew filming for a week or so...
Finally, finally, finally, I can see the window and a helicopter rises into the air with what looks like 5 feet of space between my window and the blades.Oh my! It then does that sort of swoopy motion that they sometimes do as they ascend off. All in all, it was quite a sight! It was the air ambulance helicopter on the roof of the wing next to my room!!!!!
I remember closing my eyes and thinking so THAT is why the nurses were trying so hard to talk me out of the room! I took a deep breath in and exhaled slowly like physio had just taught me to do for relaxation and decided ......A person can get used to anything. It is not going to be distracting...it is majestic and gorgeous and where is my damn camera!
A student nurse thendrops by to take vitals etc. I ask her what time the TV lady comes by in the am. and she seems a bit confused. She advises that she just saw the lady leaving the floor and they had chatted about how the lady was done for the day!!!
I was now a patient on a mission. So far, I had never rang my buzzer, I tried to be respectful of the nurses time constraints (as they are very overworked) and I had limited any questions of mine to the 2 enquiries about the move to a private room...I could feel my TV slipping through my fingers as we chatted...I remember trying to digest this info and hesitantly asked "So does this mean she doesn't come again till tomorrow evening"? Oh no, she comes twice a day...she is probably in the other spine ward beside us right now picking up her ticket referrals for tomorrow am hookups. And then she asks in a quiet little voice...Would you like me to pop over there and see if she is still on the floor? Oh yes!!!
My spirits soared and she slipped away and returns with the TV lady a couple of minutes later.
The TV lady looks a wee bit cross and states firmly that she saw my name and room number referral but didn't stop by my room cuz the TV and phone are......wait....wait......oh yes...FREE!!!
hahahahahahaha They are permanently hooked up!
She turns to leave seeming a wee bit pissed she has had to waste her time coming over to my room. She does not get paid for anything to do with TV's in private rooms. I understand that she is fed up with the system but manage to blurt out but how do I turn it on? The nurse and the student nurse could not find any remotes. She turns back crossly and states that the remotes are right there motioning to my bed. The student nurse looks confused and looks all around the room and opens night table drawers etc and the TV lady marches across to my bed and reaches underneath to a little shelf and pulls out the phone and the TV remote. TV lady then makes a hasty retreat...sighing and shaking her head in discouragement.
The nursing student leaned over and said who would have ever know the remotes were stored under the bed!!! We then shared a giggle about the silliness of a system that wastes nurses time having them check room availability and then expects nurses wheel you to your room...when they are far too busy, and far too skilled, to be doing the porters job. On top of all that, expecting them to fully do their regular job and the porters job and not even provide them info on what comes with the room and where it is stored is just plain silly.
Day 2 closed with me feeling content, having chatted with family, and the TV on in the background, as a quiet distraction from the hospital noise.