Unleashed But Still Caged Up

At 10 AM, my nurse unleashed me.


(Actually, the “rawr” was reserved for last night when Tara came over and “snuggled up” with me in the hospital bed. Shh…).

But this morning they removed the last pesky IV from my arm. At one point I had four lines going into two arms. If you’ve never been hooked up to an IV, you won’t understand how restrictive it is. And every time you move the wrong way, the damn thing beeps at you. Want to get up to stretch your legs, go to the bathroom, take a shower, etc.? The IV pole is coming with you. So all I can say is, freedom!

Yet I’m still in the hospital, and will be for another night. I’m just in a different room now. Remember how nice my first room was, with a full-on view of Mt. Hood?

Yeah. This one is not. Despite a fun room number (420, sure to elicit snickers from all the potheads (and don’t potheads and Snickers just go together?)), the room is pretty crappy. First off, it’s about 30 years older than the previous one. It is sterile and feels like a cage. It’s like stepping down from the Waldorf to Motel 6. Plus, there’s a second bed in here. I really, really don’t want a roommate. If it comes to that, I’m sure I’ll draw the curtains around my bed and then I’ll really feel like I’m in a cage.

On the plus side, I woke up with my vision greatly improved this morning. It had been so blurry I couldn’t see more than two feet from my face. Diabetes can damage your organs and has been known to cause blindness in certain individuals, so I was a little freaked out. I’m very glad to see (pun intended) my vision returning to normal.

I already miss my nurses from the other wing (I was in the Progressive Care Unit, and now am in just the regular ol’ hospital). Oddly enough, they were almost all male – and they were awesome. Yesterday I was attended to by a pair I nicknamed the Dynamic Duo. We were cracking jokes all day long, swapping stories, etc. At one point I was moving furniture around in my room, and they were shocked. “Our typical patient isn’t nearly so mobile,” Nurse John (who, unbelievably, is Peyton Manning’s first cousin by marriage!) said. “You’re the first to ever move the furniture around.” And then he dropped a cup on the floor and I said, “Cleanup on Aisle 4!” We shared that kind of banter all day long. It was very weird to be on the PCU. That unit is reserved for people who need extensive care but don’t quite quality for the ICU. Lots of cardiac patients, and almost everybody is 70+. No wonder they all kept calling me young and spry.

The night nurse who waited on me before the Dynamic Duo was a pretty cool guy, too. Don’t get me wrong, the nurses on this new floor are nice enough, but we haven’t quite developed that kind of bond. Ashley did compliment me on my music choice, though. Yeah…I’m playing it nonstop. Got nothing else to do today, right? Other than the Rose Bowl at 2 PM. Go, Ducks!

So last night after they moved me, I asked for a sleeping pill since I had been up the entire night before. They gave me two melatonin.

Holy shit.

I managed to snap this pic…

The moment the ball dropped in Times Square to usher in 2015 on the west coast. I captured it, IV and all.
The moment the ball dropped in Times Square to usher in 2015 on the west coast. I captured it, IV and all.

And then fell into a stupor so deep I felt like I was dead. Even though nurses were coming in all night long to check my vitals and take blood, I barely registered their existence. At one point I swear a couple of interns came barging into my room for a little make-out sesh, then apologized profusely because they thought the room was empty. I even remember the guy was wearing red scrubs…but now I question whether that really even happened.  I had to force my eyes open this morning, too. And I only did that because breakfast was coming. No more sleeping pills for me…I prefer to be semi-cognizant, at least.

Speaking of breakfast, I’m now eating actual food. If you can call tough and chewy pot roast and bland scrambled eggs food. C’mon, at least give me a little salt here instead of “chef seasoning.” My sodium is not an issue, folks.

Yesterday I had a bunch of visitors, and a coworker (hi, Sarah!) dropped off a plant, a balloon, and a card signed by a bunch of my coworkers. Love their sense of humor.

My coworkers are so thoughtful. And funny.
My coworkers are so thoughtful. And funny.

So, another 24+ hours before I can go home. I’m looking forward to that more than you can imagine.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

17 thoughts on “Unleashed But Still Caged Up

  1. Mark, I am soooooooooooo happy to hear that you’re doing much better today! What a great way to ring in the New Year!

    Great shot of the TV in your room, capturing 2015! I didn’t even watch the ball drop in Times Square last night, I just listened out the windows of my apartment and heard everyone screaming, “HAPPY NEW YEAR” at midnight!

    Love the card your fellow-employees sent you!

    You take care, buddy. And just think, only one more day and you can go home!

    Happy New Year!


    1. I’m amazed by how many people who did not stay up until midnight. I thought for sure I was going to be one of those statistics. If they hadn’t decided to have me switch rooms at 11 PM, just as I was beginning to doze off, I would have been one of them, I’m sure.


  2. My son-in-law is an ICU nurse, and apparently, quite popular. I’ve never had a male nurse, but I’ve only been in the hospital to give birth. Glad you are being released soon…..your co-workers are fabulous!


      1. When I have to go to emergency room and/or be admitted I bring a novel to read(the 10 dopey TV stations suck and in Miami 4 are Spanish). It really sucks when the best thing on is the Weather Channel. Then I grab my toothbrush bag. Actually it is large and filled with 3 pounds of chocolate candy.


  3. I’m sorry to hear about the hospital stay. That is not exactly the way I would want to ring in the New Year. But look at it this way, can only go up from here! Heres to 2015 going up!


  4. My illness is nothing like yours as I will eventually recover, but having bronchitis for 2 weeks has sucked and I can empathize about the bland diet. I am so craving a cheeseburger and Joe has me on mostly fluids and then soup. Here’s to healthier and tasty diets in 2015!


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