Tag Archives: icu

Life in Memorial Medical Center

We have had a busy and tumultuous last ten days or so, and it continues.

Writer Princess spent two weekends ago in the hospital receiving IV antibiotics for an infection. She was released to recover at home, but she was right back last Saturday for full abdominal surgery to clean out an abscess. So Mrs. Poolman and I have been splitting up the hospital duty with Son-In-Law for the past four days. Never a dull moment.

I have not been a hospital patient myself since I had my tonsils removed when I was five years old. I barely remember that. Just as well. My experience with hospitalized family since then has me convinced the best thing you can do with a hospital stay is to avoid it.

I spent last night on the overnight shift with WP. I thought sleep and rest were supposed to be great healers? If so, why don’t hospital staffs let their patients sleep? I don’t think we went more than 20 minutes between people coming in and out of the room for one reason or another.  I certainly understand the need to bathe patients, but at five o’clock in the morning? Seriously?

Until late last night, WP was in an intermediate care unit with restricted visitors. So she has not been deluged by friends and other family. That was not the case last weekend. Why don’t people understand — with the possible exception of new mothers, people are in the hospital because they are sick or injured, not because they feel like hosting a party. If you visit, stay a few minutes and then LEAVE. It is not appropriate to pull up a chair, turn on the TV and order a pizza. (OK, I’m exaggerating a little here…about the pizza, that is.) At one point last weekend, I counted eight visitors in WP’s hospital room at one time. That is too much. (Mea culpa – Mrs. P and I should have done a better job at crowd control.) Note to hospital visitors – show the patient you care about them by visiting, and then show it even more by going home.

Christmas night

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas today.

It was quiet her at Casa Poolman. Mrs. P worked yesterday and today in neonatal ICU. Eventually, both our children and their partners joined us here around 730 pm for a nice dinner and a presents-opening. All is good.

In the course of conversation with my son-in-law, my daughter and I realized that he had missed out on many of the holiday stories that are semi-legendary in our family. He has been hanging around for nearly 5 years, but he is totally unfamiliar with some of the family holiday stories that are the essential meat of being part of this family. (And we have some great stories! The story of “Naked Aunt Naomi” on Christmas Eve has to be the all-time best seller. More on that later.)  He has never met some of our family’s biggest characters, simply because they died before he met my daughter. We’ll have to work to get him into the full impact of being a part of the family

Tomorrow morning, Mrs P and I head south down I-95 (traffic permitting) to pickup our 11 year old niece who will spend the week with us.

To cap off a nice Christmas day, take a look at this story from CBS News’s Steve Hartman. I have been a big Steve Hartman fan since he was a reporter at KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities in the mid-1980s. He is very good! This isn’t one of his best, but it is a very nice Christmas story. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Everything is relative

As we get closer to Christmas, you hear many people complaining about the holiday pressure, crowds in the stores, traffic on the streets or difficult family issues.  Just the other day, I was talking with someone and expressed my belief that troubles and inconveniences are all relative.  It seems whenever I have something to complain about, it is very easy to find someone who has difficulties much, much worse. In perspective, my worst problems and lowest days are much better than many people’s best.

I was so reminded of that today.

I have a work-related friend I got to know at my previous job. We were not all that close, but we did a fair amount of work together. He helped run a meeting center in Savannah, and would reserve me a parking spot there on St. Patrick’s Day. One year, he, his wife and two young sons joined us for our St Patrick’s Day tailgate party. We haven’t been that tight, but we’ve stayed in touch.

Via Facebook, I had heard that his two young sons had been in an automobile accident early in December. One son was in rehab and recovering well. The younger son was “making progress.” Today, I learned the sad truth. The younger son has a severe brain injury, from which he is not expected to recover. This afternoon, the family is transferring him from peds ICU to a hospice to spend his last hours or days.

Don’t you know those parents wish all they had to worry about was last minute shopping or crazy traffic?

Count your blessings.