Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hospital Stays Suck

Hospital stays suck.

This was my sixth stay and it was no different.  Vitals are taken every four hours to make sure you're still alive.  There are numerous tethers, tubes, and wires coming out of every part of your body.  Some give you fluids.  Some take them away.

There's no such thing as sleep.  You pass out for a few minutes here and there.  Seriously, when I was Tweeting during my stay at @snowboardvstree, I'd regularly fall asleep mid-Tweet, wake up, dreaming about what I had written, and look at my phone, not sure if what I had dreamt was real or not.

Brooke witnessed this several times and got a huge kick out of it.

You're confined to a bed.  You can't shower.  When serious pain medications are pumped directly into your veins, you can't poop.  Oh god, you cannot poop.  

And there was this "unhappy" button on my nurse call console -- right next to an equally mysterious toilet button.  I never pressed it, but I was wondering why it existed.  It's like the hospital knows you're going to be sad.

All of the ingredients are here to make you and everyone around you completely miserable.

You're left with two options.  Succumb to it, be a terrible person, and make everyone else around you miserable.

Or counter it by making fun of it.  Making fun of how ridiculous everything is.  Laugh at it.  It's my form of a positive attitude and it's something Brooke told me about on the first day of my accident.  She's a nurse.  She's been in both the ER and the ICU.  She's seen patients with great outlooks but poor attitudes die.  And she's seen patients given a terrible prognosis maintain positive attitudes and totally dominate their disease.

I like to be funny.  And it was incredibly easy to laugh at the ridiculousness of my situation.  It's how I've coped.

And apparently it's infectious.  Every single one of my nurses, nurse techs, and staff were hilarious and fun to be around.  I'm not sure if they were the ones being funny and it rubbed off on me or if it was the other way around.  But it didn't matter.

It made my hospital stay fun.  And there were plenty of people that contributed to the hilarity.

I didn't get a chance to take a picture of everyone during the stay, but all of the staff you see pictured above were hilarious, entertaining, and warm.  They all definitely helped me recover faster than I should.

And the attitude can go both ways.  I had a couple of instances where some Debbie Downers came in but I quickly turned them around and got them laughing.  It was easy and it made both of our days a little better.  All it took was to ask her how her day was going and get her to let the guard down.

It's so easy for someone to bring you down.  Work a little bit, bring them up, and you'll both be better off for it.

As I was leaving the hospital Tuesday, I was presented with the Award Certificate for Excellence in Patience.  It's a fake award, but a much appreciated gesture that the nursing staff had a great time just like me.

And it was all due to laughing at the fact that my leg was missing, I had tubes inside me, and that I wouldn't get an opportunity to poop for weeks.

Power of the mind.


  1. This one made ME a little choked up even while I laughed out loud. (Poop jokes get me every single time.) You totally earned that Excellence in Patience award. Not just for this hospital stay, but for the last 3+ years. Loads of love to you and Brooke.

  2. Thanks, Aubrey! You guys have been so supportive over the years. We love you guys!

  3. Tony, I don't know that we've ever talked about it, but you've been an inspiration to me throughout the majority of our lives. And the way you've handled all of this continues to amaze me. Props, man. Keep being awesome.