Holidays in the hospital, anyone?
“I’ll be home for Christmas — if only in my dreams…” —Michael Bublé.
As a renowned wit once said, I’ve had a good time, but this wasn’t it.
The bad part of not being home for the holidays is knowing that it is the holidays and that you are not home.
It all started on Christmas Eve morning when full of anticipation of higher joys I bounded out of bed to discover a spinning room, no equilibrium and that my legs did not work. A “holly, jolly Christmas,” it wasn’t.
That led to ambulance rides from first my home to the Sharkey-Issaquena Community Hospital and then from that wonderful local facility to another — St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson, where I essentially remained until late in the afternoon of Dec. 30, New Year’s Eve eve.
And to those of you who have been heretofore denied the pleasure, please allow me to recommend the ambulance ride from Rolling Fork, particularly that section of it up Medgar Evers Blvd., to St. Dom’s, as an addition to your holiday travel experiences. Also, being sick to death at one’s stomach only heightens that never-to-be-forgotten enjoyment. Have any doubts about the need for infrastructure investment in this country, and that baby will clear the issue right on up for you.
To make a long story shorter, I wasn’t in any of the dire medical straits I had imagined: A rebellious and unruly gallbladder had triggered a brief onset of atrial fibrillation and with the combined efforts of a brilliant cardiologist (sensibly duck hunting in the Delta) and a plain-spoken, skillful surgeon, all else it really took to fix me up was time.
Time to think. Time to observe. Time to ponder yet again the by now indisputable fact that I just wasn’t cut from the exact same mold as most of my fellow human beings. I think my father may have recognized that from early on, wont as he was to look at me with a sort of far away bewilderment before rather wistfully muttering, ‘Son, you’re just not right.”
But over what’s now more than 40 years of plying this trade, what Dad’s son has managed to do is to become a pretty reliable observer of the human condition and that, combined with lots and lots of time to practice it between the pokes, prods and affronts to dignity inherent within a hospital stay of any duration, did manage to produce a whole new body of wisdoms, the following of which I think might merit sharing. You know, in the spirit of that “one small step” thing:
• Watching daytime television will make you lose any semblance of a mind that you might have left. I didn’t know Jerry Springer was still on the air and the fact that he is has shaken me considerably.
• If you momentarily so abandon all judgment as to agree to having gallbladder removal and hernia repair at the same time, you must then subsequently insist upon avoiding one thing—any and all movement.
• Forget all the experts, Ph.Ds and talking heads: If you really want to understand the mood of the country, talk to people you encounter in the halls of a metropolitan hospital. But be warned: The degree of contemporary ignorance is staggering, yet dwarfed by that of pervasive stupidity.
• I had an eight and one-half-hour wait on a gurney in a hall leading to the hospital ER, awaiting a room to become available. In that time, I must have seen hundreds of other human beings, every single one of which appeared to be in more serious stages of their varied miseries than was I in mine. Were there to truly ever be the often fictionally imagined outbreak of some “super bug,” naturally occurring or foolishly bred in a laboratory, it would be a real life horror story beyond our imaginings.
• It is a physical impossibility to get comfortable in a hospital bed.
• I would gladly pay 15 percent more for my car insurance if Geico would agree to stop making TV commercials. I also promise to make sizable annual donations to the Manning family charitable ventures if all the boys will agree to the same thing.
• And then, there is actual football, something which (silly me) I had hoped might at least have mildly entertained me during my convalescence, but no. It just bothers me when pro football players cannot make a tackle and it infuriates me when rather than catching a pass in their hands (as taught from their Pop Warner days) they instead allow it to hit their pads and bounce away. These are grown men being paid millions of dollars to play a boys’ game: quit worrying about your contracts and social statements and play it right.
OK, I am going to my recliner, now because I made a mistake. I moved.
Ray Mosby is editor and publisher of the Deer Creek Pilot in Rolling Fork.