On Monday Karen and I had to take our mom to the hospital for a feeding
tube and treatment for pneumonia. She has lung cancer and emphysema and
is on oxygen 24 hours a day. The oxygen tank is the size of carry on
luggage and is on wheels but is surprisingly heavy. Mom's wheelchair
doesn't have a shelf for the oxygen tank. The cord that goes from mom's
head to the tank is only a few feet long and the only thing we could
figure out to do was have Karen push mom in the wheel chair while I
carried the bags and pushed the oxygen tank along next to the
wheelchair in time with Karen's walking. That seems like it would be
easy but then suddenly there were a trillion doors that we couldn't all
fit through at once and we wished we had Paula Abdul there to help us
choreograph how to get in and out of doorways not wide enough for
wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, and mom's triple stuffed Vera Bradley bags.
Oh, and maybe Paula would share some of her mind numbing drugs with us.
Before going to the hospital, we first had to stop at mom's oncologist's office. I am sure we were quite the sight! People were laughing so hard that they didn't even bother to hold the doors for us while they made comments about how we had our hands full. I understand the cancer patients not jumping up to hold doors open, but what's with the caregivers in the waiting room? Yeah, it was funny and we were laughing at the hilarity, too, but still, hold the door when you see people struggling with an elderly woman in a wheelchair, an oxygen tank, and 3 purses.You can laugh and still be helpful.
When we finally got to the hospital, the first thing I noticed were all the doctors and nurses smoking right by the entrance in the clearly labeled SUGGESTED SMOKING AREA. In order to get in the hospital, you must walk by the smokers. And by smokers I mean the people giving themselves lung cancer and emphysema. The really sad thing is, I know if we'd stopped pushing mom's wheelchair long enough, she would've had a cigarette with them.
What's the thought behind suggesting the doctors and nurses smoke at the entrance to a hospital? I can't decide if that is a well planned bit of reverse psychology or just bad, bad business. I've learned (oh how I have learned) that telling people that engaging in behavior that causes cancer is really fucking stupid never makes them stop. Never, ever, ever. Perhaps suggesting they do the bad thing works in prevention.
Would somebody please suggest that I eat more?
*Mom is still in the hospital.
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