Monday, April 25, 2016

I'm getting old(er) and ill(er)

PALOS PARK, Ill. -- I spent this past weekend lounging around, watching television, having my meals brought to me special order and having my every whim catered to.

I'd have rather spent the weekend at the ballpark, than in bed watching the ballpark on TV
Of course, I also had to put up with doctors prodding me and poking me with needles periodically while trying to figure out my problems (aside from my usual grouchy temperament).

FOR I SPENT the weekend in a hospital (Palos Community Hospital in suburban Palos Park, to be precise). I was diagnosed by a doctor last week with asthma and it also was discovered my blood pressure was running high. So I spent Friday night through Sunday afternoon under observation, while making sure I don't have some sort of kidney disease that could take me down permanently (I don't).

The bottom line is that doctors spent the weekend trying to calculate the proper mixture of medicines that I'll have to consume in order to keep me alive and thriving.

Blood pressure pills and a combination of inhalers. I'm only 50, yet it seems like this is the new routine of my life.

Yet as I laid in that hospital bed, I couldn't help but think how typical I have become. So many of us now have our medications we must take for various ailments. Whereas past generations would have just accepted complications in life and presumed it was evidence we're getting old(er)!

IN FACT, I recently attended a family function where the conversation turned to health and the medications we all were taking. It turns out I was the only one not taking anything.

Not any more. So was I really healthy? Or just oblivious to my own well-being?

So what was hospital life like?

My hospital room was similar, but my window view looked out onto a courtyard where I could look into the windows of other hospital rooms. And no, I didn't catch a glimpse of another patient half-naked. Image provieded by KJWW Engineering Consultants.
I got admitted late Friday and wound up being able to watch the entire weekend of Chicago White Sox baseball (that Saturday game was frustrating as the Sox should never have needed 12 innings to win). I even stumbled across reruns of "Hill Street Blues" (which a nurse's aide mistook for that "Chicago PD" cop show, as she called it), while I flipped through several cable news channels.

I ALSO WAS able to meet one nurse who took a blood sample who says she shares my exact birth date in 1965. I never would have guessed -- she looked significantly younger than myself.

Hill Street's "Hill" and "Renko" characters still amuse
I got to see how small food portions could be made and still be thought of as a meal (and they wouldn't let me have a pickle to go with a turkey sandwich -- too much sodium).

In short, a mind-numbing weekend whose end I anxiously awaited. Returning to work this week will be a relief. I'm even eager to make the trek to Gary, Ind., to cover a (non-)scintillating hearing of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority for a local newspaper I do some work for.

Although the moment I may most remember from my weekend of hospitalization occurred Sunday morning when another nurse brought my medication. She noticed me watching CNN where Donald Trump, Jr., was talking about his father's presidential campaign -- while also saying opponent Ted Cruz' only chance of victory was if he bribed delegates at the upcoming Republican Narional Convention.

Our future president?
THE THOUGHT OF Trump, the elder, as president caused my nurse, Greta, to say Trump was scary, but add, "twenty years from now, it will be (entertainer) Kanye West running for office. That's the direction we're headed."

My fear is that Greta is right -- superficiality above all else will prevail in future politics. That thought scares me more than anything I heard from a doctor this weekend.


1 comment:

Levois said...

Scary indeed. Get well soon!