Monday, August 1, 2011

Hospital Hijinks

It's been a rough few weeks, as evidenced by my less than stellar output.  Hopefully the forest can now be distinguished from the trees (as well as the logging equipment) and I can return to some sort of (ab)normalcy.

If you have ever been in the hospital, you couldn't wait to get out.  Getting out of the hospital, whether emergency room or inpatient, is a very long, involved process beginning with doctors telling you that you're going to be discharged.  Hours later, nurses start telling you to get ready.  Then more of those wondrous hours go by and you hear from nobody (except the person collecting the television fee).

Just a few short hours later, you wander over to a convenient medical-looking person and ask them when, exactly, you're going to go home.  You feel just a tiny bit closer to your house after the janitor you just asked heads off to find a nurse (the only one who knows anything at all in the entire building).

"Hmmmm," the nurse says... "the doctor said he was doing your paperwork and then you could go home."

You inquire whether the nurse has seen said doctor in the past few millenia, to which the answer is always a resounding NO.  Being the helpful sort she is, she wanders off to locate Dr. Flatzenfuss.

But a few short hours later, the nurse locates Dr. Flatzenfuss, who is on his way to the floor to do the paperwork.  Little do you know that on his way is code for `hold your breath, sucker'.

Don't bother asking why, if the doctor said you were being discharged, he didn't fill out the paperwork on the floor on which he was working at that moment.  The answer is a medical secret to which literally no one knows the answer.

In case you're wondering if I made this whole thing up, the answer is no.  I actually sat by, helpless, while my wife was at the mercy of these jokers.  But as you well know, I get distracted, and more importantly, bored easily.  With all that spare time, I decided to think up a few ways to speed up the discharge process a bit:

  1. Stand out in the hall yelling MRSA! 
  2. Keep demanding that the nurses line up for my inspection
  3. Water ballooning the residents
  4. Hospital bed races
  5. Hitting the code button to call the nurses.
  6. Referring to the md's as medical disappointments (or mentally deficient)
  7. Hook the wireless heart monitor up to someone else.
  8. Phoning the desk and ordering pizzas for other rooms
  9. Every time the monitor bells ring, look dazed and threaten to assassinate RFK
  10. Start filling out your own discharge paperwork
  11. Make the beds in other patients rooms
  12. Take food orders in other rooms
  13. The old carrot sticks up the nose trick
  14. Asking the doctors if they mind if you smoke near the oxygen
  15. Inciting the other patients to riot
  16. Programming the heart monitor to say you're dead. 

Needless to say, I managed to get the eight hour discharge window down to a more respectable four hours.

I leave you with this thought: 

If cell phone radiation is bad for you, why do hospitals use wireless telemetry, attaching the transmitter to the patient's (open) gown?


  1. Hope the Mrs. is feeling better. Wait'll you get the bill. I like idea #2!

  2. Hmm...

    Firstly, I hope all's well with thee, friend. :)

    As to the discharge process... well, I had this experience regarding my mother. The hospital gave me a precise time that mom would be able to walk out - 1315hrs. Great! I had to be at work at 1430hrs, so that would work out just right. After waiting for 45 minutes in the room with my dressed and ready-to-go mom, we just got up and walked out.

    I don't recommend this method to anyone, but it did work. We must remember that we are free people. The hospital has NO authority to hold you should you decide to leave at any time.

    My own experience with this was similar to Lefty's. Last September I was in the hospital for a short stay. On the last day there, the staff started telling me to get ready; I was being discharged at 1100hrs. Umm-hmmm... I finally got out of there at about 1330hrs. 2.5 hours... not bad, really.

    Hospital doctors and staff evidently move at a universal constant... the speed of Congress. ;)