Ok, so I told you the hospital was full and under construction. The over flow patients were housed where ever they could make room. Like tent camping, sort of. In a hospital.
The unit I was in offered no shower or bathing opportunity. You will recall that I did not shampoo my hair before going to the doctor's office. The one thing about getting older I was looking forward to was less oil in my hair. But, that did not happen and my hair needs daily washing to keep it from looking like I just dipped it in the deep fryer.
Besides looking bad, it just feels icky. The first day, I was in enough distress that I didn't care about the fact that I could not shower. I was miserable enough without giving any thought to my unclean state. I had all the stick-on things for various tests and monitors. The monitor required one set and, of course all the EKG's used different ones. Some of them were removed after each test and some just stayed. I didn't care, especially after the morphine.
I arrived in my make shift unit at 2 AM. The place was anything but quiet. I moved onto my new bed, longing for sleep. That did not happen. I was poked and prodded, more sticky leads applied to my chest and legs. I was hungry and thirsty, but no remedies were allowed for that. I was still awake at 4 AM. Dozed off finally, only to be awakened by that nearby bathroom door. Perhaps close proximity wasn't that great after all.
Fourteen cubicles with 14 TV's in various states of volume, no sleep, no food, and little in the way of creature comforts, and a patient dealing without her meds does not make for a pleasant time. Besides all that, none of the many tests revealed an answer to my status. I tried to not be a bother to the staff, but every time I needed to head next door to the bathroom, I had to have assistance with the IV in my hand. The room was so crowded there was no way to maneuver the IV pole around the bed, so my IV had to be temporarily disconnected. I could have done it on my own, except for the location. I could not unscrew it without the use of both hands.
Boredom had me people watching ..... and people rarely disappoint. One woman in particular caught my attention. She was not a patient, but was there with her husband. She was there very early in the morning until very late at night. She was always smiling as she strolled around the hallway and she would stop to talk to anyone who would listen. I was very careful NOT to make eye contact. I am not pleasant company when I feel bad. I prefer to be left alone.
The happy woman had chosen the bathroom closest to me as her relief station and visited it frequently, meaning that she walked by my cubicle every time. The nursing staff did not close my curtain, leaving me on display. Remember that I was attached to the IV pole that would not move.
I tired to sleep, but could only doze on and off. I was just in such a state as I noticed the smiling woman head towards the bathroom. She was sort of giggling as she made her way. She emerged, still giggling and sauntered over to the nurses station and announced, to no one in particular, that she was no longer constipated.