Back to the Royal Columbian Hospital – Again

Unfortunately I experienced another partial blockage of my bowels which lead me to be hospitalized again barely two months after my previous stay in the Royal Columbian Hospital.

A positive from this stay in the hospital is that I did not require surgery to get my guts functioning again. Another positive is that I had an opportunity to see the x-rays of my abdomen and I am very proud to say that, in spite of what my school mates said about me when I wouldn’t swing on the rope and jump into the lake, I do have guts. I’m not gutless!

As well, I noticed in my x-ray that I also have a spine. So clearly I’m also not spineless.

Now for a couple observations about how to survive staying in a hospital.

I figure a hospital is like a cross between a night in a frat house and a stay in prison.

Royal Columbian Hospital

It is like a frat house because there are people sleeping or lying down every where and there is a lot of vomiting. There are also a lot of very attractive females in hospitals and frat houses who you have no chance of sleeping with.

A hospital stay is also similar to a stay in prison (not that I know anything more about being in prison other than what I learned from the tv show Prison Break).

First, the nurses, all wonderful and caring people are the guards of the institution. They “control” your daily activity and are the ones who can and do bring you the small pleasures in life – things like an extra package of sugar or an extra little creamer.

Royal Columbian Hospital

And even if you don’t need that creamer or little thing of milk, you stash it away just in case you might need it later or are able to trade it later for something else you need or want.

And as the nurses are the guards, the doctors are the wardens. They are the ones who will issue your pardon or tell you that today is the day you can go home.

On a sad note, I have to report that on my last stint in the RCH I shared a room with a very sweet elderly lady. During this stay I saw her husband and we had a moment to chat. Sadly, in the weeks after I left the RCH this summer her cancer came back with a vengeance and she very quickly passed away. Her husband was/is one of the kindest people I have ever had the chance to meet.

He sat in a chair beside her bed for day after night after day just to keep her comfortable and make her feel safe. Dedication. Pure love.

Out of respect for their privacy I’m not using their names.

But to end on a positive note, again I am happy to report that virtually every single person I have encountered during my stint in the RCH big house has been kind and caring.

From the people who sweep the floors and clean the toilets to the people who bring the meals to us to the nurses and doctors – every person I have encountered has treated me like I’m the most important person they’ve seen that day.

That may sound odd, but rather than just treating me like a person on their case load, an operation they need to do, or a patient they are responsible for, everyone has been kind and caring.

And, after being on a “nothing by mouth” diet for five days, the food they served me in the hospital was pretty darn good. If you like puréed purée.

I will end by making a quick comment about the bunk mates I had on this stay at the RCH. Honestly, I could not have asked for a nicer set of room mates. The old days of rooms being segregated for men or women only is a long gone and on this stay I had two women and another man to share a room with.

I hate to admit this but I was probably noisiest one in the room! I often woke up in the night and I couldn’t hear a single snort, snorfle, or snore from my room mates. I am assuming then that I was the noisy one in the room.

Overall, even though there are some similarities between being in the hospital and a prison, I am very grateful once again for the care I received from the people who choose to take care of the sick and vulnerable people.

And I love the way they say good bye to you when you leave the hospital – “I hope to not see you again!” To be honest, I would love to see any one of those hospital workers again but only in a coffee shop where I can buy them a treat.

Royal Columbian Hospital

And my first meal after my release – a big bowl of Wonton Soup. Which I only ate half of. More on my new diet later.

That’s it.

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2 Responses to Back to the Royal Columbian Hospital – Again

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Stacey, Irene Craigs daughter Pam here. That was lovely words that you said about my mom and her hubby. We are so shocked and heart broken of my moms passing 3 weeks ago. It was all just too quick and heart breaking after her suffering all summer thinking it was a blocked bowel. What a terrible ending to her beautiful life. I’m glad you are feeling better and out of that 3rd floor. P.s. I asked to be friends with you on FB

    • stacey says:

      Hi Pam. You’re mom and her hubby were an inspiration to me. I was so shocked when I saw her hubby walking through the hospital this last week and to hear the news of Irene’s passing. I’m honoured to have known her for even the few short days we shared in the RCH.

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