Have you ever been escorted out of a hospital and told, “If you ever need medical care in the future, please do not return here.”
As I made clear last week, I think nurses fell from heaven to take care of people like me as a gift of God’s grace.
Sometimes, though, they seem to not share my fun-loving, twisted sense of humor (particularly when they are working).
But it was such a little thing – just a harmless prank.
I was in my mid-20s and hospitalized for a minor abdominal hernia. My roommate was having trouble breathing.
They came in every so often and thumped him on the back so he would cough up phlegm.
I have a high threshold for pain so, even after my operation, neither of us were in too bad of shape.
We were also on the pediatric orthopedic floor due to overcrowding.
Lots of teenagers with broken bones milling about.
Concerned parents coming and going.
No one who was too sick or hurt to enjoy a good prank, though.
Picture this, only with the hallway pretty much filled with people:
Peaceful and serene, isn’t it? A place of healing and calm.
But in one of the rooms, a plot had been hatched and trouble was brewing.
Ed and his roomie were bored and in need of a prank fix.
They never should have left the gurney outside our room.
Plus, it was fully outfitted.
When I was done getting dressed, I looked exactly like an orderly.
My roomie, on the other hand, looked just like a dead guy when he was on the gurney with the sheet up over his head.
We discussed timing and strategy a little, as our adrenaline began to surge.
A code word was decide upon that would trigger the prank.
With my “dead” roomie on the gurney, covered completely with a sheet, I (dressed as the orderly) opened the door to our room and wheeled him out.
Some heads turned as I whisked him down the hallway, but I maintained a brisk pace, kept my eyes down, and was all business.
Arriving at the nurse’s station, I abruptly stopped.
With my booming voice, I then shouted, “Excuse me, nurse, but would you tell me where the morgue is?”
Time instantly froze and the hallway grew completely silent.
No one moved as they tried to process what they had just heard.
The code word “morgue” had been uttered, though. The game was afoot.
Hearing it, my “dead” roommate sat straight up on the gurney, sheet still covering his head, and began shouting loudly, “But I’m not dead. I’m not dead!”
Flailing his arms about with increasing agitation, he then jumped to the floor, sheet still wrapped around him, and ran back down the hallway to our room, continuing to shout over and over again in a panicked voice, “But I’m not dead!”
Looking at the nurses, I simply said, “My apologies. I must have picked up the wrong patient,” and also returned (rapidly) to our room.
When the nurses arrived seconds later (picture a SWAT team in white at our door), both of us were back in our beds, dressed in our hospital gowns, looking innocent as angels, denying any knowledge of any alleged incident in the hall.
We laughed for the rest of the afternoon.
During the same hospital stay, there may also have been an incident involving me impersonating a doctor and conducting rounds.
I won’t say any more about this due to a lack of clarity regarding the statute of limitations.
To you nurses reading in horror, I offer you this quote to apologize and to acknowledge how difficult your callings can be (without crazy people like me being under your care):
“The problem with having a sense of humor is
often that people you use it on aren’t in a very good mood.”
– Lou Holtz
The night shift nurses loved us, though, inviting us to a party they were throwing that weekend.
I’ll let you figure that out.
First, my teeth (I know you’ve been wondering):
My movie star sister was in town last weekend and we were filmed eating lunch out (I kid you not).
Okay, she was filmed eating lunch.
My back may have also been filmed.
It made we wonder what could possibly keep me from being filmed eating lunch for Live in Tallahassee (video link coming soon).
A photo afterwards gave me the answer:
Do you see it? My teeth look like they belong to a dog who smoked and never brushed or flossed.
Plus, my hair is turning gray.
Why haven’t any of you told me about these disturbing side effects of cancer?
No matter, I must be feeling better because my vanity has returned.
Yes, you guessed it. I have purchased a box of teeth whitening goo.
After 10 days of treatment, I will return to the restaurant to see who the cameras are pointed at then (or if they even follow me there again).
No. I will not bring my movie star sister with me.
Too much competition.
“Ma’am, would you stir your shrimp and grits for a moment? Yes, perfect. Now counter-clockwise? Thank you. Finally, please look at the camera and smile.”
Sheesh. All they asked me to do was slide my chair back out of the range of the camera.
“Okay, along with yellow teeth, do you still have cancer, Ed?”
Apparently so. We continue to arm wrestle with vigor (when I’m not exhausted from arm wrestling with vigor).
My pain is manageable as long as I stay on vodka tonics during the day and oxycodone at night.
It actually is not a bad way to live.
“What about the testosterone therapy you were on?”
It failed, but right after I stopped it my rock star oncologist put me on a drug that had also failed a year ago when I was on it.
He’s crazy like that.
It did nothing for a month.
I began to judge him in my heart.
Suddenly – the heavens opened up.
This time, combined with the testosterone therapy, it kicked in and started working!
Look at the decline in my PSA of late:
Upon reviewing my labs, he said, “This has been quite interesting and a learning experience for me . . . . I think we can abolish splice variants by testosterone supplements.”
You know, I was thinking the exact same thing.
Excuse me now, if you will. I have to go do my rounds.
Great love (and whiter teeth) to you all,
© Ed Hague. All rights reserved.