Are You Kidding Me?

This is the cold and flu season. Not the best time of the year to start a new job. I worried as my start date, today, approached that I would catch a bug and develop a few sniffles and start my new job not at my best.


I would consider the sniffles a goddamn Christmas gift right now.

My last day at my old job was Friday. I posted my farewell to Priscilla, and settled in to enjoy my weekend before starting my new job. We Skype with our mountain friends on Friday evenings because we’re party animals. I didn’t feel great, but decided my upset stomach was nothing more than anxiety about leaving my old job and starting the new one.

While we were chatting with our friends, my upset stomach became more insistent. I left Randy alone and got into bed. It went from bad to worse in minutes. I learned that even a sip of water would trigger massive vomiting.

We’re going to skip ahead about 8 hours now. Trust me, you do not want to know what transpired over that time frame. It’s disgusting.

Around 4:00 AM, I told Randy it was time to go to the ER because I was positive I was no longer made up of 50% – 65% water and I was in danger of turning into a mummy.

I thought they would slap a few bags of saline in me, give me some anti-nausea medication and send me on my way. My blood work, however, convinced them otherwise. I had a fairly severe infection of some sort and they admitted me.

I was worried I’d get the sniffles before starting my new job. Instead, for the first time in my entire life, I was being admitted to the hospital for an illness. The fucking ridiculousness of this timing would be annoying the fuck out of me if I didn’t still feel so bad.

I probably would have had a lot of funny stories to tell you, but I got morphine every four hours, so it’s already fuzzy. I know my daytime nurse looked like a cross between The Rock and one of my nephews and he was nice. The nighttime nurse wasn’t as pretty to look at, but she did bring my morphine on time, which is more than I can say for Dwayne Johnson. I do remember that the first thing I had to do when I got into my room was to poop in a pilgrim hat. I could have gone my entire life without collecting my own poo. It was horrifying. And it was just the beginning of an array of indignities.

My dad liked to use scare tactics when I was a kid. For instance, I went to pet a stray dog one time and he lost his shit. He told me that stray dogs were rabid and if it bit me, they would have to cut the dog’s head off and send it off to be tested and that I would have to get 21 shots in my stomach.

That fucking horrified me. Kids hate shots anyway, but the thought of getting shots in my stomach sounded like medieval torture.

On Saturday, The Rock told me that he needed to give me an injection of a blood thinner since I wouldn’t be moving much. It was to prevent blood clots. Then, as casually as you would say that you needed to tie your shoe, he told me that he would be injecting it in my stomach. IN MY STOMACH!! I thought he was fucking kidding. They only do that for rabies! I’m sure of it!

It didn’t really hurt. I got one on Sunday as well.

I think a good motto for the hospital I was in should be ‘For fuck’s sake, don’t let a patient fall asleep’!

Someone came into my room at 5:30 in the goddamn morning, flipped on the light and then jabbed me with a needle to draw blood. I had been asleep for about an hour, which was a record. Between the alarm on my IV going off every hour, and other various alarms and beeps and wheezing machines, sleep wasn’t much of an option. Except for immediately after morphine time. I slept then.

I was on a clear diet, so I had broth, jello, juice and lemon ice. Basically, flavored water at different temperatures. They weren’t fooling me. Honestly though, I knew what food could do and I didn’t want anything to do with food. I ate take out pizza Friday night. For all that is holy…I’m pretty sure I will never eat pizza again. I think bacon might even be ruined for me.

I didn’t really want anyone to be there with me. I can’t remember a time when I’ve felt so horrible. I was too sick to watch TV, I was too sick to sleep. I mostly just laid in that bed and stared at the ceiling tiles. The good thing was, until they determined what my infection was, I was in an isolated room, so at least it was just me.

My baby boy, Joey, stopped by to see me Saturday evening. I had been drugged up about an hour earlier and felt good enough to form a few words. And what did I do? I talked shit about the woman working at the nurses station. While the speaker was still on. I’m surprised I made it out of there alive.

In my defense, she was horrible. I pressed the call button when the alarm on my IV started going off. She answered with this deep sigh and ‘Can I HELP you’? her ‘can I help you’ sounded very much like ‘I don’t care about your problem and I hope you die’. I called a second time because The Rock was over an hour late with the anti-nausea medicine and morphine and was greeted the same way.

Joey volunteered to go across the street to a drugstore to get me a pair of readers because I was having a hard time facebooking on my phone. We weren’t sure when visiting hours were over so I said. “Hey, I’ll buzz the nurse’s desk and ask. Wait til you hear how goddamn annoyed she is that I exist”. She responded just as I thought she would. I asked my question and she responded that there were no visiting hours. People could come when they wanted. But she didn’t disconnect. I mean, in my mind, the conversation was over, but apparently it was not. I looked at Joey and said “Seriously, have you ever heard anyone sound more goddamn annoyed than that”? Then I hear her say “Ma’am, can I HELP you”?

I bet it was her that decided I would get a green popsicle when I asked for one. Giving a person a green popsicle is an act of hostility.

On Sunday, they said that I could be discharged after I successfully ate something for lunch. I guess 6:00 pm is technically after lunch. I waited 3 hours with no one coming into my room at all (why couldn’t they have ignored me like that in the middle of the night?) and then The Rock came in and read a few things to me and I was wheeled out the door.

I still felt like death when I got home last night.

I did not start my new job today. I’m going to need all your collective good thoughts, because I told my new boss that I would be there tomorrow.

I should have said Wednesday.

Now? Now I am going to go take my first shower since last Thursday evening. My hair has fused together into a solid mass and I smell like a barn full of sick goats.


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  • Oh Michelle, how awful! So sorry to hear! Rest rest rest today. Hopefully you won’t have any wild (read: bad) stories to tell about your first day at the new job. Only good juju vibes headed your way. 🙂

  • I’ve spent more time than is good for me in hospitals, and I totally feel your misery. They are dismal places to hang out, and I’m glad you’re back home.

  • Oh Michelle, what a nightmare! I’m sending good vibes for healing and positive energy for the new job! If you can’t make it tomorrow then you can’t make it. Unless your new boss is Miranda Priestly he/she will understand. Feel better soonest! Karen 🙂

  • Good God, what a horrific turn of events. What caused this? Morphine? Blood thinners? That’s pretty scary stuff. Hope you are healing quickly. Probably not quick enough for you, though. I don’t blame you for that.

    • Stomach flu. It was just a stomach flu. Although I shouldn’t say ‘just’. It was a severe one. I’m still far from okay. I so should have told him Wednesday. I don’t think tomorrow is going to work out for me.

  • Oh gawd. Talk about a fucking nightmare. I’m glad you at least kept your sense of humor through all of this. They’d be calling the mental ward if they pulled this shit on me. Let me sleep or I’ll rip your head off, damn it!

  • Oh my word, I feel for you!! Your story sounds exactly like my only time in a hospital for an illness– Only I went in right after Christmas, while Shane was out of town and I was staying at his parents’ house. I developed a pain in my back that turned out to be a kidney infection, at 8+ months pregnant. I got Demerol every 4 hours, and I don’t remember much else but loving that PCA pump. I think I had the same nurse…and I remember being dragged awake to pee. Wth??

    I ended up going into labor with our first child in a hospital out of town with a midwife who refused to give me any more drugs because I’d been on so many for 2+ days, but we did come home with a new baby.

    Still. The whole experience was miserable. And I know the pilgrim hat you speak of.

    Here’s to NEVER repeating that, and a speedy recovery!

    • I don’t feel great..but I am better. Sitting up now and that’s a start. I’m thinking if I’m only to the sitting up stage, then maybe I won’t be able to make it in tomorrow, either.

  • Oh Michelle I’m so sorry you were hit with this now (or any other time) ! And I hope when you feel up to it you write to AND call a hospital administrator to share your shoddy experience…and include names…those people will get addressed. Not that I wish upon anyone a hospital admission, but believe that being on the receiving end of care might re-engineer a burnt-out attitude. I’m an ER nurse, and apologize on behalf of my brothers and sisters who have lost their focus. May you rest and heal my dear…and think about taking a couple more days off to do so.

    • My nurses were awesome…very slow during the day, but I think he was being run ragged..the girl at the desk? No excuse for her behavior. She was just rude.

  • You sure know how to have fun. All people who answer the call button do it just like that, sleeping is not an option, and yet, they never want you to leave. It’s very much like the Hotel California but with green Popsicles instead of pink champagne on ice. Feel better soon!

    • Hahaha…yeah, I got dizzy when I was getting out of bed to leave and the nurse reacted to it..I was SURE they were going to tell me I should stay, so I said I just sat down to put my shoes on and that I wasn’t dizzy. It was a lie. I felt nearly as bad when I left as I did when I got there.

  • ohhh that sounds horrid! do you really think it was a bacon on the pizza issue or was that just a guess?
    i’ve had those blood thinner shots in the abdomen also but they really hurt me!
    feel better soon!

  • Instead of wasting time telling you how much you have my sympathy and how much I hope you feel better and get to work I’m gonna say WELL AT LEAST YOU GOT A FEW EXTRA DAYS OFF.

    That’s a joke because I know what it’s like to be so sick that you’d rather be at work. I can’t imagine, though, what it’s like to have to call a new boss and say you can’t be in because you’ve got typhus or something.

  • I’m so sorry to hear how awful your weekend was. I hope you are feeling much better today and especially tomorrow.

    • Thank you, Scott. I hope so, too. I so badly don’t want to start this gig feeling the way I do right now. I’m hoping that one more night of sleep will work some magic.

  • I think you are saying that the moral of the story is “More Morphine.” I would have sympathy, but you are so funny about this and able to blog, so I will assume you are doing a wee bit better. May your first new job day be Wednesday and a pleasant, healthy one! With nothing green in it.

    • Thank you! And yes, I do feel much better. For instance, I’ve been sitting up for 10 minutes now. That’s a record since Friday night. I still don’t feel great, but I’m hoping after a good night’s sleep, I’m better in the morning.

  • I’ve spent all week with some weird virus that gave me a temperature so high my dreams were hallucinatory. You just had to one up me didn’t you! Ha ha ha!
    Seriously though, 2015 had better be an improvement for both of us, or I’m demanding a refund
    Get well very soon and hope your new job is so much better and ukulele free.

  • I’m having flashbacks to three months ago, when I was induced and shoved into a hospital room waiting for two days for a baby to come out. The hospitality was a little better than your experience, but with contractions and cervical sweeps, which made it hellish. I still got the “What the hell do you want?” attitude from the nurse’s station, though, which pisses me off to no end. I’m soooo sorry I’m bothering you by asking you to do your job and did I MENTION THE BABY TRYING HARD NOT TO COME OUT OF ME WHILE YOUR DRUGS ARE EVICTING HER?

    • It’s so aggravating, right? I mean..I wasn’t constantly calling..I had to call when I needed the bathroom because I was attached. After a few times, I just started unplugging everything from the wall and dragging it with me.

  • Had the belly shots when I was a freshman in high school, approximately 600 years ago. I was horrified, until I realized it actually hurt less there than the usual target. (Did you get heparin? That may be the rule for that blood thinner)

    Anyway, glad to hear you’re out, but not glad you go back to work tomorrow. Sleep as hard as you can.

  • Oh, that is awful. 🙁 I am so sorry that happened to you. Did they ever determine what sort of infection it was?

    Aren’t bad nurses/healthcare workers the worst? When Mister Man was in the hospital a couple of years ago, he had this one day nurse who was mean as well as incompetent. I was pretty sure I was going to need to stuff her into a linen closet and wire it shut before it was all said and done. :/

    I hope you are feeling better today AND getting lots of sleep.

  • I know the nurse situation – last year I had surgery on Halloween! Trying to sleep (even with morphine) with a bunch of sugar-enhanced nurses was simply not possible. My hopes are that whatever you had you’re over now, and maybe scaring the crap (no pun) out of your old employer. Sweet revenge, even if you got it first!!!

  • Oh you poor bugger – I hope that by now you are feeling heaps better. What a cr*ppy way to start (or not start) your new job !!!! I hope they are very understanding and nice to you when you do get there – fingers crossed you don’t collapse during your first day !!!!
    Sending heaps of hugs !
    Me xox

    • Oh I won’t collapse. If I feel too horrible, I will just leave. It’s not the first impression I want to make, but what else can I do? I’m not feeling great right now…but I am better.

  • As much as I’d love to ditch work for any extended amount of time, the hospital would NOT feature anywhere on my list.
    As for your new boss, shit happens; we are not robots. Good luck and be well! 🙂

    • They seem really nice..and it’s not like they’ve paid me yet or anything. I don’t think I’ll make it tomorrow, either…just not feeling good enough..but if I get a good night’s sleep, maybe I’ll be ready

  • Well, that just sucks the big one! I imagine that the added stress, knowing you wouldn’t make it to work on your first day, just added to the fun. I’m glad they let you out — but take it easy tomorrow!!!

  • Lovenox. That’s the blood-thinner shot in the stomach they gave me when I was in acute rehab from my stroke. And as badly as I hate needles, I have to admit that it didn’t really hurt. The needles it comes pre-packaged in are so tiny I could barely feel them. But since my stroke was of the blood-clot variety, they also had me taking other blood thinners, and after a few shots some bruising appeared where they were shooting me and they took me off of them. Apparently the night staff didn’t get that instruction, though, and I got two more of them. After which I peed a couple of drops of blood, quite visibly, into my light blue hospital pants and my therapists freaked the fuck out. I told them I wouldn’t miss the shots when they stopped because I hate needles, and at least I know I’m not pregnant. They didn’t think that was as funny as I did.
    I hope you feel better soon; hospitals are no fun.

  • Hope you get well soon.

    Thanks for writing even though you are still really poorly.

    I love your posts. They keep me going.

    • Thank you so much! Writing that post took it out of me yesterday. I slept for hours afterward. I didn’t go to my new job today, either. I feel better, but far from good. I think tomorrow, I’ll be fine(ish)

  • Yuck, you have a worse case of the Crud than P & I had last month! I did not enjoy the bilateral purge but at least I avoided the tender mercies of being hospitalized 😉
    Get Well Soon honey!

  • I am so sorry!! I hope you feel better soon.

    I just had to comment because I was in the hospital for 7 days (long long ago) with pneumonia and meningitis. And YES. The nurse’s goals seem to be “never let the patient sleep”!!! It was so frustrating!

    • I’m nervous as hell…but I think it’s mostly because I still don’t feel good. I’m sure after a few weeks, I will find my groove and hopefully get a shit ton of new blog material.

  • Ick! I can tell how horrifically life threatening this must have been for you because ‘bacon might be ruined for me’ Thats tantamount to ‘I’m not really enjoying oxygen anymore’. I really hope you feel better very very soon! sending telepathic hugs over the Atlantic to you

    • Thank you! I ate bacon multiple times on Friday and it had it’s revenge in a big bad way. I’m still mostly eating food that one would expect to find in an old folk’s home or a nursery.

  • That really sucks! It sounds like my usual trips to the hospital I got so annoyed I pushed my IV out the door and sat down on the floor on the other side! It wouldn’t stop going off and the nurses station was right across the hall. I figured if I had to listen to that beeping ass machine for 2 hours so could they!

  • OH MY GOD!! OK, I should have driven down there (I am two hours north of you) and smacked the shit out of the nurse for you. Also, I had a clot two years ago and had to do those shots for ten days. I’m a giant pussy so my husband had to do it for me. I wrote a blog about all of this. Well, I wrote a few blogs about it, but you will really identify with the first paragraph of this one.

  • Oh shit. I’m sorry.

    I hope you can go to work tomorrow, and that you find a new Pricilla. And I’d say I hope you find many new fun things to blog about, but that doesn’t make it necessarily a fun work place for you, just more interesting for us.

    It is all about us, though. Admit it.

    Be well.

  • I am so sorry this happened to you. Isn’t it fantastic when you already feel like shit and then get treated like you’re an inconvenience on top of it?? I hate hospitals. I hope you’re feeling better today.

By Michelle


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