I’ve always been kind of an all-or-nothing kind of person. Hospital stays are apparently no exception. Before June 4th, when I was admitted to NY Presbyterian, I had exactly 2 visits to a hospital, both lasting less than an hour, both to get X-Rays to double check that my bronchitis hadn’t turned to pneumonia.
You know what they say – Go big or go home. Well, since June 4th, I’ve been at NY Pres, and I’ll be here until a likely minimum date of the 28th.
Anyways, having never really had an extended stay at a hospital, here’s a list of things that I miss that I would never have expected to miss. Of course, there’s obvious things like good food, free time, not being hooked up to an IV almost 24 hours of every day…you know, normal things. But here’s some randoms:
Good Toilet Paper
All of my doctors have acknowledged how important it is to maintain proper “butt care”. That’s a direct quote from a prestigious and very well respected doctor. However, the toilet paper in my bathroom is just straight sand paper. It’s not even fine grit. It’s worse than the stuff that restaurants use for their employees, which, believe me, is bottom-of-the-barrel quality. I’m just happy that my parents sell good quality toilet paper (as part of our family restaurant supply business), and were able to bring me a bunch of rolls of soft tissue. The next time I visit someone dealing with chemo that has to stay at the hospital, I’m not bringing baked goods, sandwiches, chips, games – no sir. I’m bringing several of the softest, most expensive toilet paper that money can buy.
A Bed That Doesn’t Move All The God Damn Time Constantly
Again, this is something that makes sense – you miss having a comfy bed, sure. However, the hospital bed literally does not stop moving. It’s crazy. The thing inflates and deflates over and over. Shift your weight? Adjusts. Just get comfy? Adjusts. Someone touches the mattress? Adjusts. Over and over and over. I swear, the bed has been one of, if not the, worst parts of staying in the hospital.
Ever since I finished high school, I’ve been pretty lucky with acne. I never really need to wash my face, and I get about 2 or 3 pimples a year, and I never really think about it. Since coming here, I’ve gotten a crazy break out on my forehead, huge pimples on my chin, and when I was hooked up to the chemo 24/7, I would get a rash on my beard when it got close to shower time. My sister brought me the ProActive skin care system, which I’m thankful for. It’s stopped the progression of acne, even though the big momma zits are still there. However, holy crap that is a time consuming addition to my nightly ritual. And I already had to add a minute to the ritual to use 2 mouth washes (one that rehydrates my mouth, and one that numbs it up a bit to give me some relief).
My Straight Razor
About a month before my diagnosis, I had finally switched off of using a Gillette Mach 3 razor, and over to a real safety razor, with shave oil, real shaving cream, and badger brush and everything. My skin was smooth and soft, I smelled glorious after a shave, and I never had to deal with post-shave irritation in my beard. One of the FIRST things I was told, before even my diagnosis, was NO RAZORS OF ANY KIND. Sad face.
My Stationary Bike
I had set up an indoor bike trainer in front of my TV in my living room. Any time it was rainy and I didn’t want to train outside, I popped on the TV, hopped on the bike, and started to pedal. An hour or two later, my legs were shaky, and I got caught up with some shows. Now, my exercise options are basically….walk around the floor. Sit in bed. I’m going to start doing some body weight squats and lunges though. I wonder if I can muster up the balls to lunge down the hallways. Something about the mohawk’d 27 year old guy lunging down the hallways seems..odd…to me. Haha.
Brita Filtered Water
See, this one I know is dumb. But I’ve lived at my current apartment for almost 3 years now, and so I’ve just gotten accustomed to the way my tap water + a Brita filter tastes. Poland spring, Dasani, and Aquafina are poor substitutes.
Shower with a Border
The shower in my bathroom here is just a nozzle and a drain, set above the tile floor. Turn on the shower, and the water starts to spread across the entire floor. This may just be me, but I find it incredibly annoying.
There’s obviously more on the list of things I miss, but these are the stupidest ones.