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Thoughts From a Hospital Bed

June 13, 2014
James P. Whipple , Shepherdstown Chronicle

In the last couple of years, I have seen a lot of hospital rooms. I have also seen a lot of caring hands. As I write these words I am again in the hospital.

This all started because I "over did it." When you are younger it takes a lot to "over do it." Being older I find that you cannot keep up with the younger you. This does not pertain to every one. I know people who are older then I am and they could dance circles around me. So speaking for myself Rule number one is "not do over do it."

Hospitals have changed a lot over the past few years. On the floor where I am, you can see a lot of computers that sit on stands. These are used by the nurses. They pull them from room to room. The halls are full of people walking back and forth trying to get their strength back after a lot of different procedures. The computer stands would remind you of something from a sci fi movie. Every bit of information is put into the computer. The information comes from questions the nurses ask you, such as "have you fallen today or are you in pain?" All of the information goes into the computer. The nurse types as you talk. The computer then tells the nurse what pills you should be getting as well as the treatment plan for you. Strange as it seems it appears as if the computer and the nurse are having a conversation. Rule number two make sure the nurse is getting the facts right as she enters your information into the computer.

The third thing I am going to talk about is the kindness that each of the caregivers give you. From the doctors to the nurses and the time spent dealing with you--they give back tender loving care. It's like you were the only person that they are dealing with. They take the time to listen to your complaints and help as much as possible

Your care goes on 24-7. From the time you wake up in the morning to the time you turn in at night someone is always at you side. At 10 p.m. you get your last meds of the day, or so you think. Just as you are nodding of there will be a tapping at your door, a timid voice will say, "I am sorry to have to disturb you but I have to get your vital signs." This is the start of the night shift. About 2 a.m. someone else comes in to wake you. About 4 a.m. another person comes to check on you and ask if I need anything. About 6 a.m. the nurse comes in to give you your morning meds. Rule number three is a life saver. Learn to take short naps in between the treatment plan that has been worked out for you.

The next rule is an important one. Don't forget to thank the people who are trying to help you. Try and be kind and even if you feel bad, try and be pleasant. When you think about it they have other people to work with so be patient with them.

Finally one last word, stay healthy my friends. The biggest lesson I have learned is to try hard to take care of yourself first. The life you save may be your own.

 
 
 

 

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