Mrs. Lion took me to the hospital. I wanted to go home right after the surgery. Calmer heads prevailed – hers. I hate going to the hospital as much as anyone; to be honest, more. Hospitals tend to be condescension institutions that like to think their poor, helpless victims are too stupid to consult about their own care. I’m not called Lion because of my sweet compliant nature. As you might imagine, a hospital and I are like a blowtorch and gasoline.
It didn’t start well. I checked in to the Emergency Room. Everyone knows that lions check in and they don’t check out. But I bravely put one paw in front of the other and went in with Mrs. Lion pushing hard from behind. The check in was dignified and painless. I was surprised. The good cheer only lasted until I reached the intake room. I was peppered with sensors of all sorts. One was a blood oxygen sensor taped painfully to my finger tip.
I have sensitive skin and informed the staff person that it was bothering me. Taking a bit of a tone, he said, “I’ll see what I can do,” and did nothing. After about fifteen itchy minutes I removed it myself. When he returned the attendant announced to me that I was being hostile. Oh dear. Did I upset the poor gorilla-sized dear? I told him I wasn’t being hostile. I just didn’t want to wear the sensor. He started the usual fairy tale that without continuous readings, something bad could happen to me. I asked him if he wanted me to sign an oxygen sensor release form. He apparently didn’t since he walked out in a cute little snit.
This was exactly what Mrs. Lion feared would happen. She kindly stayed quiet. I was in a lot of pain and she understood why I wasn’t my usual sweet self. After that single problem, the rest of my experience was amazing. They put a bunch of colored plastic bracelets on my wrists. One was red and said “Allergy”. Another was yellow and said “Slip Risk;” I was under some powerful pain drugs. They also put an unmarked one on too. Because of the color, I think it was a “no bullshit” bracelet. It was green as clean, fresh-mowed grass.
Anyway, from the moment the green bracelet was locked on, I was treated as an intelligent medical consumer. Procedures were explained and concern was shown for any discomfort. I was smiling! The procedure wasn’t very pleasant. They had done a big CAT scan looking for an obstructed bowel and instead hit the jackpot and found kidney stones. With hardly a blink, they marshaled a urology team, booked an OR, and had me in surgery in less than an hour. I commented that business must be slow. They actually laughed.
The surgery went as planned. There was some infection behind the stone, so I was admitted for the night. I felt another growl attack coming on. My last experience staying over night in a hospital was a scene out of a World War II prison camp movie. That’s odd since the hospital was from a neutral country: Sweden. (Hint: It’s in Seattle and it’s called Swedish hospital. All that was missing were pictures of the Furher.)
This time, however, it was actually great. I only spent one night, but I would have been happy to stay for a couple more. I had my own room. The staff was always available. Room service, while slow, was amazing. There was a five page menu that matched any of the resorts I’ve visited. The TV was fine. And, did I mention the staff was really great.
They pushed me out yesterday morning. Mrs. Lion drove me home and then went off to work. Still on a serious pain drug, I managed to sleep away the day (and write this post). One reader suggested that I must have spilled food on my hospital gown and therefore should have been punished last night. I spilled food on the gown and on my own t-shirt which I substituted for it later.
Seriously, punish me for it? Spank a sick lion? Mrs. Lion wouldn’t do that, even when I growled at the hospital ape. I need to get back to work today, but I can’t drive if I am taking the med I need to keep the pain at bay. We’ll see how I feel in the morning (when you read this). So, no, I’m not wearing a cage; and no, I’m not getting spanked. I am trying to be on my best behavior.
I have one piece of advice for you if you have to go to the hospital: Get one of those magic green wrist bands.