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Column for 4.6.11
I have great memories. Once I got to fly an Air Force fighter jet for several minutes. Three times I’ve been to Martina McBride concerts. And I’ve hiked to the bottom of Grand Canyon, although the last time I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it back to the rim. Yes, many wonderful memories.
My hospital stays, of which there have been three, are not included on the long list of things I enjoy remembering.
My mind is on hospitals because one of my grandsons - who will one day play soccer on his high school team - ended up in a hospital this past Saturday and was held captive for one night. He was carried off a soccer field with a leg broken in two places.
At least Mike got a private room. The only thing worse than being in the hospital is being in the hospital in a semi-private room.
There is nothing semi-private about a semi-private. My experience is that the person on the other side of the curtain will either snore louder than a truck, keep the lights on until 3 a.m. or has relatives who use the semi-private as a family reunion venue.
Mike’s first words to me when I arrived in his hospital room were: “I wish I had my phone.”
I let Mike use my cell until he got his back. I didn’t blame him for being upset. He had been without a phone for two, maybe even three hours.
Mike’s father had to go back to the soccer field to retrieve the phone. Mike’s first words when his father returned were: “Did you bring the charger?”
The center of the world for young people is the cell phone. One of Mike’s older brothers had a picture of the broken leg up on facebook Saturday afternoon. And Mike’s brother is away at college in Austin, Texas.
I’ve been hospitalized three times in my life, which makes me much more experienced than Mike. I gave him the benefit of my experience when a nurse asked about his pain level.
She asked, “On a scale of 0 to 10 what is it?
“Eight,” Mike said.
“You should have said nine,” I told him after she left the room. “Always go up one higher. Get all the pain meds you can.”
One of the people attending to Mike in the hospital said, “Would you like to see your x-ray?”
Before I could voice my opposition, the x-ray appeared on a computer screen. I think Mike got paler than me, but I could be mistaken.
There was a wonderful view of the northern hills from Mike’s hospital room. ”Keep the curtains drawn at all times,” I advised. “Being held in here against your will while looking out there will make you feel even worse.”
I think I heard Mike say, “That’s not possible.”
As for hospital food, I told him: “You won’t go wrong if you stick to Jello and ice cream. Stay away from all meat.”
Mike has been hoping to upgrade his cell phone. Before I left his room I whispered, “Now might be a good time to ask your parents for that new phone.”
I should mention that before Mike’s left leg came in sudden contact with the ground, he scored a picture perfect goal and had a great assist. Mike’s not a happy camper right now, but he would be even unhappier if I left his goal and assist out of this story.