Sunday, November 4, 2012

SPINE FUSION Next chapter: Acute rehab

The ambulance drivers have more phone calls and conferences about the exact address of Huntington rehab.  We finally pull into an alley entrance of what looks like a disadvantaged youth center or municipal vehicle facility.  The drivers wheel me and my flowers inside.  One says: I don't like the way it smells in here.  We're in a  windowless hall lined with flower-painted  closed doors so close to each other that the rooms inside can be only wide enough for a bed.  I make up my mind I'd better like it.  Finally a  harried man in charge announces that we're in the wrong place.  Thank heaven.  I'm glad to leave and sorry for whoever is behind those bizarre grown-up dollhouse doors.

It's dusk already and more calls, more streets, finally the right place.  We go inside--spotless and new-looking.  They wheel me into a pleasant room.  My first thought is:  can I afford this?

The admitting physician, a woman, is two and a half hours late for her supper because of our trouble finding the place.  She acts as if it is my fault.

There are questions and questions.  Finally I'm settled in bed. An aide is sentenced to recording every single item in my suitcase.  The bed has the same hospital tough edge all the way around so I can't lie on my side, and cute plastic side rails that let everything fall on the floor. And those 80's Naugahyde pillows that hurt my ears.   Yes, I know I'm fortunate to have such a nice place.  I haven't forgotten the one we went to by mistake.  This is pretty, and smells good.  There is a wall of windows so I can see beautiful lights on the hills.

The two night nurses are big but pleasant guys.   I decide I'd better like male nurses.  Rehab has not been mentioned.  Everyone goes away, and I can't reach my books.  For the first time in months, I watch TV--David and Bathsheba. 

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