Monday, March 16, 2009

There's Elvis - Next To That Wiggly Thing!

First and foremost...

THANK YOU
for all the lovely, kind and encouraging comments and emails about my mom's recent hospitalization. I can't tell you how much it means to have such support and sweetness pouring in. I've read them to her and she sends her smiles and thanks, too. I'm happy to report that she's doing much better (whew!) and will likely be released from the hospital in the next few days. We are so happy and relieved...thanks again, friends.

It's interesting what you learn about yourself when you're thrown into a scary or foreign situation. I've been at the hospital every day now and this has been one of those learning experiences for me.

Now that Mom is out of the woods, I've had a mome
nt to reflect on these past days and I'd like to share with you some personal lessons and observations that I've gleaned from the experience.

Ultrasound Etiquette

When someone is having an ultrasound of their abdomen and you're watching the results on
the monitor, they don't want to hear how you saw something that looked just like the Virgin Mary. Or a stack of pancakes. Or the Eiffel Tower. Or Spongebob Squarepants. (I know! I would totally want to know, too! But not everyone does. Trust me.)

Also, it's considered bad form to point at the monitor and blurt out anything along the lines of, "What the hell is that?"

They should have a sign up in the ultrasound room so people know these things. It's not like the whole place isn't covered with signs anyway.


Fun with CAT Scanners

First of all, these things don't look like cats at all. Very misleading. They look like giant bagels. I think if I worked in a dark room with a giant bagel all day, I'd have more of a sense of humor about it. I'm just sayin'.

Also, this CAT scanner had an automated voice that gave instructions to the patient. Very James Earl Jones/Darth Vader-y. "Luke [pant, pant] it would be inadvisable for you to breathe at this time [pant, pant]. On my command, you many now breathe [pant]."

Believe me, no matter how spot-on your delivery
is, or how many times you imitate that voice later back in the room, the world simply is not ready for CAT scan humor.

Now I know.

Hospital Cafeteria = Fraught With Peril


I already knew that I am not at my best in a buff
et situation. I mean, I like a certain amount of choice in my life, but enough is enough already with all the stations and variety.

I'm the kind of person who eats eight times more at Souplantation than I normally would just because it's there for the taking. ("A pasta bar?! Get outta town! You're not out of alfredo sauce are you? Woo-Hoo!")

The key here is that I know the drill at Souplantation.


You throw me into a strange cafeteria in a state of high anxiety and I flounder. And flounder I did. I'm not too proud to say that I suffer from Cafeteria Performance Panic Disorder (CPPD) and it came roaring to the surface the one and only time I tried to eat at the hospital.

Where are the trays? Where's the end of the line
? Did I remember to bring money down here? I look clueless, don't I? Everyone else knows what they're doing and I'm an idiot. Can I take a plate back to the room? What's the deal with this lettuce? Wait, are they closing? Crap! I'd better grab whatever I can!

Five minutes later I'm back on the elevator and two surgeons keep peering curiously at the tray of food I'm holding.
Oh, no, I think, they're gonna call a code purple or whatever and bust me for walking out with one of the cafeteria trays.

Then I look down at my tray and realize that I've selected for my lunch exactly two green olives on top of which I've ladled a gallon of Thousand Island dressing, a hot dog with no bun that is listing port to starboard on the tray as I make room for more elevator passengers, four pats of butter, 18 straws and a fistful of Splenda.

Awesome.



Good vibes needed. You may already have heard that our bloggy friend
Braja, her husband and their driver were seriously injured in a horrific car accident last week in India. You can find updates on their condition here. In the meantime, please remember them in your prayers and send healing thoughts their way.


Thank you to Sherri at The Claw (love this blog) for this zesty little number:

And thank you to Gladys over at Gladys Tells All for tagging me up on the 25 Authors Who Influenced My Life meme.

More thanks to VaBookworm at Confessions of a Bookworm for laying this on me:

Big hugs to Janna Bee at Janana Bee for including my urban sport kilt post in her Friday Favorites!

And...thank you to The Retired One at The Retirement Chronicles for this!

67 comments:

blognut said...

Oh, Anna! Thanks for the morning laugh today. It's Monday up one side and down the other over here and I'm about to ready to jump out the window... again. (No worries, I'm on the first floor, no need to call anyone.)

Glad your mom is doing better!

Tessa said...

Oh Anna, I'm so pleased to read that your Mama is getting better. Scariest thing in the entire whole universe when someone you love so much is ill and you just don't know...

Prolly your CPPD was heightened 'cos you were dizzy with worry. Two olives are NNNN (no no not nutrition), especially when you're weak with fright. The straws may have come in useful however. Like for breathing under water, maybe?

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

So glad your mom is out of the woods. I know how worrisome that is.

And as for CAT scans, what gives is right. They're just trying to screw with our minds, so that we never really know what's going on.

Tiffany said...

I totally freak out in buffets, but not due to choices, but due to being a neat freak. Do you know it's impossible to find a dry tray? Yeck.

How was the hotdog?

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I think I like CAT scan humor. I know my mother would find this funny (she's had several).

And I can relate to the cafeteria panic. I had something similar happen after my c-section a couple of years ago. And it was complicated since I was in a wheelchair. (Don't judge - it was a long walk - and I tend to get lost).

rightonmom said...

Very glad to hear your mum's better.

And I totally hear ya on the hospital food, used to work ER. I learned that as long as your hot dogs don't bounce off the tray like a spring, they're perfectly edible.

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Lunch sounded delicious! What did you have for dinner??

DI
The Blue Ridge Gal

Frau said...

So glad your Mom is doing better. Love your hospital humor I'm sure that help your Mom keep her mind off where she was. Have a great week.

Mad Texter said...

Glad to know your mother is doing better.

Your musings are just too prescious. I really enjoy how you can take the mundane of everyday life and poke humor into it.

(And that pix of you and mom - getting ready to shoot "My Easter Parade" are we?

Always refreshing!

Thanks.

Blissful Babe said...

Joo. Are. SO. THE FuNnY!

Glad your ma is doing better. It sucks to be freaking out over family in the hospital. Trust me. I know. I'm writing a book.

xoxo

Gladys said...

OMG! I have CPPD too. I one time ate every color of jello on the shelf at Furr's cafeteria.

Oh and you know what else they don't like you doing? Is rooting your mom out of her bed and then you crawl in and get under covers while your mom hides in the restroom. Then when the doctor comes you stick your head out from under the covers and say "you know that medicine is working, I feel so much younger..." Yeah the doctor doesn't think that's funny at all.

Glad your Mom is better. Hope she's home soon.

Swirl Girl said...

glad your mom is on the mend...

you could pull a McGuyver and use the straws and olives to get us out this mess we're in...

Imogen Lamport said...

Glad your Mum is getting better. I just spent a couple of days in hospital with my son, there are way more fun places I'd like to have been!

Amy Jo said...

I think there is something about those machines that, over time, leaches out the part of the technician that used to be human and replaces it with something akin to an internal sunburn and (through no fault of our own) we act as a loofah to their condition.

Yay for hospitals and their hospitality! Which just makes me want to rant about how those two words are SO not related.

Healthy wishes for you and your Mama...

Laoch of Chicago said...

Sending healing vibes.

MuseSwings said...

Hanging with moms in hospitals for days is truly an adventure.Been there. They don't like you to immitate the flat line noise either. You and I need to make the rounds of several cafeterias together HOW IS IT that everyone else seems to know what they are doing and how to get food and stuff? I always feel like everyone else knows the secret to new situations and I have been purposly left in the dark. Do they get special memos? I had a good laugh but with all the same distress and strangeness you felt. Glad your mom is doing better and I pray she continues on with a quick recovery.

Hairline Fracture said...

I'm glad your mom is doing better. I'm totally the same way in hospital cafeterias.

Anna Liffen said...

Yey! You're back! And mom's feeling better! And you're making me giggle almost non-stop reading your latest post.

BIG hug!

Anna
x

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Good, good news!

I found on my recent stay in hosp that the staff were pretty cool and full of humour (perhaps it was actually insanity)...

Best bit was when they got me in the operating gown, and walked me to the gurney. I was anxious about being exposed to other patients in the derriere department... The nurse grabbed the open folds at the back of the gown, saying, "Don't worry, I'm the best ass-coverer in the country!"

It worked for me!

The Retired One said...

I laughed so hard at your cafeteria part of your post...because I am a retired R.N....I can't tell you the times patients' families have looked like a deer in headlights in the cafeteria! We always used to go up to them and show them where everything was, etc. but still it is confusing! It is the stress mostly and being in a completely new place to eat with no clue....
I am so glad you can keep your sense of humor during such a stressful time for your family. The best to your mom and keep your humor...it will get you thru anything!!!

Beth Kephart said...

Your mom has a country full, nay, a planet full, of smart women who already love her. Because your hers.

Counselormama said...

OMG, this SAME THING happened to me in the hospital cafeteria like two years ago. The cashier even said to me, "I can tell you're new around here!" Not just me, phew! Glad your mom is getting better, so stressful when loved ones are hospitalized.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Also? Do not grab the doctor's stethescope and start "doing" your routine. They've heard, "Good Evening Ladies and Germs" a thousand times.

DiPaola Momma said...

My dear friend also please remember the value of plying the 325 pound rather folically well endowed she/male orderly (are those MITS?) with chocolate. Your mother will thank you.

Also please refrain from bringing along your Malibu Barbie... no that pink kidney shaped thingy is NOT her long lost pool/spa!

Give moms my love, really.. cuz putting up with you and managing to stay OUT of the Psych ward.. WHAT A WOMAN!!!

The Self-Deprechaun said...

Your meal is one for the champions. Who doesn't like home cooked splenda with thousand island olives. Those are all part of the food pyramid.

K said...

Sounds like your hospital meal beats my home cooking.

Glad your mom is doing better.

CaraBee said...

You're cracking me up! I panic at buffets, too. I usually wind up with a tray piled a foot high with stuff that I don't actually want to eat.

The Wife O Riley said...

I'm glad you're mom is doing better!

But I can't believe you didn't do a dry run and draw a diagram of the cafeteria!!

musing said...

I'm so glad your mom's doing better. That must be a huge relief.

Also, if you ever form CPPD Anonymous, I will join in a flash.

♥ bfs~"Mimi" ♥ said...

I totally understand the hospital bit! WHERE is the sense of humor there? Certainly not in the radiation department! Your mom must be a miracle to have birthed you!

I haven't been around lately because of our own BIG little news. Come see when you can! I am glad to know your mama is doing well now. Angels around her.

And as usual, you are HilaRiouS!!

Sue said...

Glad that your mom is feeling better! I completely can relate to the challenge of hospital cafs. Very overwhelming!

nikkicrumpet said...

I'm so glad to hear your mom is doing better. How scary for you and your family. And leave it to you to find humor at a hospital!

the mama bird diaries said...

So glad your mom is doing better.

WhisperingWriter said...

I'm so glad that your mother is getting better. Fantastic!

Oh man, when I got ultrasounds done while pregnant I basically had to take the doctor's word on what they were seeing. They would be all, "And this is the arm," and I was silently thinking, "Which looks like a wet stick..."

HermanTurnip said...

Reading your post, is it wrong to laugh so hard in the face of such a fragile time in your life? I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry. Either way, tears are streaming down my cheeks as I type this.

http://terribleanalogies.com

Beth said...

Great post! I am so glad your mother is doing better. And I appreciate your sense of humor with the giant bagel and all. Did you mom have to drink that god-awful stuff? I'd rather be poked in the eye with a stick.

Lisa said...

so glad mum is on the improve xx

Nothinglikeit said...

currently visiting my grandma in the hospital. You gave me a good chuckle this morning - THANKS!

Robin

wenderful said...

I'm so glad to hear your mom is doing much better. I hope she can get home soon.

All 3 of my boys spent their first 4 weeks in the hospital. You are so right about the CAT techs. They and the echo techs tend to be introverts with little conversation skills. At least while doing the scans.

And I always found it uncomfortable when I'd see my son's heart surgeon in the cafeteria eating lunch. Like the rest of us normal people. Shouldn't he be in the OR. Does he have time for lunch? Does he eat like everyone else?

Lisa said...

I'm so glad your mother is improving! I can see the panic at that cafeteria. I guess that's why opt for Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies and a Coke from the vending machine. Not that the choice thing isn't an issue. I'm lucky I don't end up with a Zagnut and package of Juicey Fruit out of indecision.

ZenMom said...

If I ever have to go to the hospital, I totally want you to come with me! Comic relief is good for the body and soul! :)

doug said...

Awwww your mom was sick? I didnt know! I guess I havent been here in a bit! Lol@ Seeing weird faces in the Ultrascan. Sounds like something I would do, but of course I wouldn't tell a scanee that I saw some lip action going on in their stomach! Lol

Here's tooooo....finding hilarity even in dire circumstances. lol

Heil Hitler!!!

Lee of MWOB said...

Oh wow - glad your mom is on the upswing....and those 18 straws had me laughing. :-)

I love how gracefully you handle all of your awards. You're like a friggin' superwoman. I just cry whenever someone gives me one since I know I'll never do the right thing with it....

Ann's Rants said...

Umm..okeeeeeee Doug.

Anyway, this is why you need civilians to force you out of the hospital for oxygen periodically. Hospitals are black holes. Proven.

Not so unlike donut holes. Like how I circled back on your donut theme? Me too, me too.

Nicole said...

OMG I laughed so hard at the cafeteria incident! It is so funny because thats how I feel everytime I go into one. LOL, thanks for the laugh and I hope your mother is feeling better soon.

The Mind of a Mom said...

Good to hear that your mom is doing well. At the Hospital Cafe always go with the soup! Isn't it funny how it is all so consuming when you are in the hosp looking after a loved one and the world outside just goes on around your fractured world!

Rhea said...

If I'm ever sick in the hospital, I want you to come visit me. Seriously. You're hilarious.

Congrats on all your awards, glad your mom is doing better.

anymommy said...

The cafeteria anxiety is hilarious. I think I have that. So very glad that your mom is doing well.

Fragrant Liar said...

I can never find my way around the hospital cafeteria without people looking at me with one eyebrow raised, like they need to call security or something. I want to flip them the bird, just to break things up, but it's a hospital, and I must behave. Like you did.

Glad Mama's doing better. I bet your posts cheer her up, huh?

Living and Baking in Boise said...

from Jenn @callwhenyougetthere.com(my real identity)

That is too funny! Good that you can find humor in the midst of an uncomfortable situation. Because everyone knows hospitals are uncomfortable, not to mention scary, and noisy (all the machines and the interruptions) and so sterile. All I can say is, "Thank goodness for red jello!"

Glad your Mom is out of the woods. Blessings!

Kulio said...

Needed to smile in the middle of the night and I came to the right place! I spent a week in the hospital with my eight-year-old and everything was exactly right...the catscan thing is soooo going to make me laugh next visit.

Chaka said...

You are one of the funniest writers out there. I enjoy your style.

kel said...

Newbie here... I officially love this blog!! I heart weird.

bernthis said...

I'm so glad your mom is better. I'm 43 and I have to tell you, I don't know what I would do without mine.

Vodka Mom said...

I am so glad to hear your mom is doing better. I didn't use the word fuck in any of those comments you read to her, did I???

Barry said...

Your mother's feeling better and your blog has just made my day!

Thank you.

Wendy said...

Glad things are getting better and you have been able to make some GREAT funny stuff out of it.

You didn't cover any motherhood hospital etiquette, though, which is really what I need.

For example, when your two year old flings himself to the floor and refuses to go anywhere with you is it bad form to drag him down the hallway by one arm? I mean, toddlers slide really well on that highly buffed floor.

Just wondering.

Grand Pooba said...

Wow! How do you make me laugh? Let me count the ways....okay, I can't count that high.

HumorSmith said...

Anna, so sorry to hear about your Mom, but very glad she is on the mend. Glad to see your funny is back!

My thoughts are with you and your family.

Elenka said...

I like your hospital story....sorry your had to experience it in the first place. i like people that find humor in everyday life.

Debby said...

Next CAT scan I have, I'm going to meow. A lot. Just for grins and chuckles.

WheresMyAngels said...

Hope your mother is on the mend now, since you did say.

I was in the ER all day yesterday and took my guy to get his Cat Scan. That voice from nowhere gets on my nerves!

Sydney said...

SO glad to hear your mom is doing much much better, and glad you were able to entertain her with the 10 zillion comments you get each post.

Eudae-Mamia said...

I think Cafeteria Performance Panic Disorder (CPPD) originates from elementary school.

Honest, I have flashbacks, and the now-sweaty palms to prove it.

(So glad your Mom is doing better!!)

Jay Webb said...

The screening process (or lack thereof) is quite amazing for med. tech qualifications, like ultrasound. I'm in school right now for physical therapy, and when dealing with people like ultrasound techs, you realize the application process includes an internet survey on their education and a submission of a 1st person reflection essay on "why they think the medical field is important." Social inept people are amusing, so long as they are not providing direct services to you....

Sally said...

One or both of my parents have been in and out of the hospital since August of last year. I so identified with your hospital humor, at some point, all you can do is laugh. For example, my mom's had is swollen from an infilitration and has a "wound-vac" on it sucking out the gunk (think high tech leech) and a nurse comes in and tells her she has "sausage fingers". Medical term...

Big Blue Frog said...

As a recent and frequent "guest" of our local hospital, I can sympathize. I recently got scoped in both directions (two different cameras, I hope) and it's no fun.

Never heard back about those biopsies. Maybe I should call them? They would have called me if it was something serious, right?