Hospital Life

hospital-bed

Today I was at the hospital for 12 hours, waiting for my son’s surgery and then waiting for word about the surgery and then waiting for him to return to his room. The surgery was successful and I am still trying to unwind.

Hospital life is an alternate universe where time is different, people are different, and you start enjoying the hand sanitizer. I’ve gotten so sick of myself and my own story that the sound of someone yelling personal shit into a phone is fascinating beyond belief. I listened to a guy screaming emotionally about obscure family dramas as he paced back and forth, tearing at his hair. I hoped I could lure him into confiding in me before he disappeared down the hall.

Since the hospital Proudly Serves Starbucks, one spends about $15 a day for the relief of having a hot drink to hold when one is kicked out of the ICU for staff changes or Procedures. One soon becomes familiar with all the restrooms, the limited offerings of the gift shop, and the places where one can get a phone signal.

For the fashion-conscious, the hospital is a big wake-up call. I hate the term “wake-up call.” I could have said “eye-opener” but I hate that too, although not with the same intensity. No one dresses with any discernible style at the hospital. In nearly three weeks, I have seen exactly two women wearing Fierce Shoes. One looked like a misplaced prostitute/fashionista, and the other appeared to be a deluded immigrant of some kind. Today in the elevator, however, I saw an old lady (i.e., my age) wearing an embroidered cardigan that I myself purchased last year from the Lucky Jeans store.   The cardigan is dead to me now.

What I’d really like is to slowly re-accustom myself to non-Hospital Life, but that is not going to happen anytime soon.   Maybe I can at least cut down on the coffee but that is even more unlikely.

The weirdest part of all is coming home to my other life, and to my computer. The stuff I paid so much attention to is vaguely absurd, but somehow comforting. I just saw some pictures of Tavi at Fashion Week, dressed like an old lady at a bingo table in Miami. I’m waiting for her to take off that dwarf costume and go “Ha ha, suckers!” Not because she’s too sophisticated to be a kid but because her style is so fucking awful.

That’s it for now.   Who wants to come up with an idea for a contest where the prize is that dead cardigan?

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23 Responses to “Hospital Life”

  1. skye Says:

    Just very happy to hear the surgery went well.

    I think the contest should be photo submissions of readers dressed in their best Tavi-style Miami dwarf outfits.

  2. arline Says:

    Give the cardigan to Tavi.

    I am glad things are looking brighter for you.

    xoxoxo

  3. JoolzGirl Says:

    Horrendous. Glad to hear surgery went well.
    How about photo submissions for Fave Fierce Shoes? We’ll all enjoy that.

  4. jools Says:

    Hooray for successful surgery! Laughed myself silly with relief over “dead to me cardigan”. (Lucky is a weird line that way, huh?)
    Different plains (or planes?) of existence…..

  5. Sarah P Says:

    I’m just so terribly relieved that the surgery went well, and absolutely awe-struck that you’re managing to hold onto your sense of humour.

    All of these noble feelings are fighting with the Main Thing, which is that I’m prepared to do pretty much anything to get my hands on the dead-to-me cardigan. For realz.

  6. WendyB Says:

    This is one of the funniest and most brilliant pieces I’ve read about the Other World that is hospital life.

  7. andrea Says:

    I’m so glad that the surgery went well. Yes, the hospital is like another universe, but I think that it is because when you or your loved ones don’t have their health or are in danger of losing it, nothing else really matters. Who cares if I can get that pair of ankle boots that are sold out everywhere on earth and have been searching high and low for? When I was working as an RN in the hospital, I actually got yelled at for looking to fashionable/edgy (as if that can be accomplished wearing all white and serious nursing shoes). The seriousness of the hospital (i.e., life/death) doesn’t really mix well with with the trivialities of putting together an edgy outfit with Fierce Shoes. But, if your persona is always wearing Fierce Shoes, then you should wear them to visit your son at the hospital. You need to be the same as you always are with him, as that will give him strength. So at least put on your red lipstick!
    xoxo, talk later

  8. WCGB Says:

    Ditto Wendy B. It’s funny how hospital life is like traveling to a third world country. The odd, interesting, weird stuff there is nothing compared to the shock of coming back home and seeing familiar stuff through eyes that have smelled hospital all day.

    After visiting my mom in a hospital psychiatric unit for several days on end, I invariably feel like the lucky one who beat the rap. Everyone else has to stay ‘on the inside’ at the end of the day, and I get out. (This exuberance has led to a speeding ticket, so be careful.)

    I also tend to see hospitals as potential Houses of Gross Negligence and Incompetence, so I’m especially glad to hear your son’s surgery went well.

  9. Iheartfashion Says:

    You describe hospital life perfectly Sister Wolf! It’s such a nightmare of endless waiting, questioning medical personnel, and pacing about in the meantime drinking coffee and looking at hideous gift shop crap, wondering who buys that stuff.
    I’m SO glad to hear Max’s surgery went well. I hope you can all get back to your real life soon.

  10. Make Do Style Says:

    I’m with Wendy – in the appreciation of what you’ve written and not just the hospital bit. The cardigan issue is a cross we all have to bear. I do so mind when I see someone wearing something I’ve got and the offending article on the other person screams at me to get rid of mine. As for Tavi – so true, I’m waiting for the revelation as well, seriously she scares me.

  11. annemarie Says:

    Hospitals are a planet unto themselves.

    How about a competition in which your readers send pictures of themselves posing as their most hated bloggers? We could have lots of face touching and bondage gear and exposed underwear and all kinds of bullshit like that.

  12. Ann Says:

    I’m so glad the surgery was a success. What a harrowing half-month of scares this has been for you and the family.

    My dad was in a dreadful car accident on June 6, 2000, one week shy of his 70th birthday. He was in a coma for 2 weeks and remained hospitalized, going through various surgeries and rehabilitation, until his release in mid-July 2000. There is nothing as humbling and pitiful as a 12 hour hospital vigil. In the end, I grew to hate everything about the hospital, because it felt like most of the staff construed it as a place of profit and death instead of hope and healing.

    The weirdest part is going home and seeing your other life, just as you left it, not seeming to matter anymore. What’s that saying – priorities are like arms: if you think you have more than a few, you’re either lying or crazy.

  13. Iron Chic Says:

    Health is the most important thing….that sentence used to not mean anything to me but now I think about it everyday because I am happy.
    I don’t want the happiness to end…
    Hope you are on the other side of this soon.

    As for little Tavi, at least she isn’t dressing like a slut.
    I don’t care if my neice is a goth/tomboy/punk/prep whatever as long as she isn’t wearing high heels and hotpants at 12.

    Tavi, unlike *alot* of other fashion bloggers has a brain in her head.

  14. Susan Says:

    Good to hear that Max has that surgery behind him. Sending love and kisses to you all. xoxo

  15. dust Says:

    Yeah, here in The Other Life shoes are much more better!
    Good to hear you rant….

    Yes, the cardigan should most definitely go to Tavi. She’s a good kid. Better Tavi in old lady’s pearls than Closet’s Fat Legs. At least she is not 24 AND stupid.

  16. gretchen Says:

    having just this week spent a day and a half in a hospital waiting on surgery on my guy, i understand ….it got to where the nurses were asking me if I needed anything – took me a bit to realize i was doing much of their job by staying in the room and tending to the small needs- drinks, pillow placement, diet coke runs….he’s on the mend now, but i’m still at beck & call and thankful i can do it. you understand.

    oh, and i looked good, too – give’em a reason to mend quicker ~

  17. Alicia Says:

    So glad to hear the surgery went well.

    The hospital is definitely other worldly…a sea of Crocs, bad sweaters, the occasional hot doctor, and that weird smell that hospitals always seem to have…I don’t miss it.

  18. Bex Says:

    I am glad the surgery went well..and glad that you haven’t lost your wit!

  19. Sister Wolf Says:

    Skye -Thanks, xo. If ONLY readers would do that!!!

    arline – Thanks, xo. Tavi is not getting shit from me, though.

    Joolzgirl – Thanks, xo. Fierce shoes, anyone?

    Jools – Thanks, xo. I hope your shoulder is better! Yes, Lucky is annoying that way.

    Sarah P – Thanks, xo. I have been berated for retaining my sense of humor but that’s just how I roll. I once started laughing when I thought I was having a heart attack. We need to think how you can win the dead cardigan.

    WendyB- Wow, Yay me! Thank you!

    andrea – Thanks, xo.I did put on lipstick in order not to scare him (at first.) Now, I do it because I have a little more time.

    WCGB – Thanks, xo. I agree: You have to keep making sure they don’t kill your loved one.

    Iheartfashion – Thanks, xo. This gift shop has an abundance of shit with rhinestone peace signs. Horrible.

    Make Do – Thanks, xo. I was given a link to a video of Tavi today. You will really be traumatized, I’ll send it to you!

    annemarie – That is the BEST IDEA EVER!

    Ann – Thanks, xo. So true about priorities, I still have just the three.

    Iron Chic – Thanks, xo. You have a good point about not looking like a slut. And yet, she is like a living incarnation of all that is sickening and wrong about devotion to the wrong things.

    Susan – Thanks, xo. I hope the husband is doing okay as well!

    dust – Hahahha! Closet’s Fat Legs = wonderful turn of phrase.

    gretchen – I do understand.

    Alicia – Thanks, xo. How did you know about the Crocs???

    Bex – Thanks, xo.

  20. Queen Michelle Says:

    I had to watch my mum die a slow and painful death at hospital and every day, twice a day, I went to visit her and every day I made the effort with what I wore. She was being so brave and always made sure she had her best nightgown on, her hair brushed, so it seemed disrespectful of me to not do the same. She always loved seeing what I was wearing and when I took her in her wheelchair a wee wander around she always told all the nurses that I had a fashion blog and had been in magazines! She didn’t really know what a blog was, but she was proud that I dressed up and loved seeing me in my odd, inappropriate outfits. It provided a small escape for both of us for those few short hours a day.
    Every time I put together my outfit for my visit all I kept thinking was it could be the last thing she sees me in so I wanted to be the pretty daughter she thought I was.
    The irony is the night she died it was in the middle of the night and I had been in my bed so I ended dressed in a tracksuit.

  21. Moda Says:

    Shit Sister Wolf, I didn’t realise it had been so bad with your son. It’s great the surgery was succcessful. I know how much this stuff sucks badly. I’m in and out of hospitals with my daughter often – she has a dodgy kidney so what you said about hospital style is so true. It’s also hilarious – got to try to laugh during these times. Once your son is better – he’s getting better – he has great vibes heading his way from all around the world -so do you. You know we love you. Anyway, once Max is better you could burn the cardigan. I enjoy getting rid of clothes that I wore or associate with painful times.

    I loved what Queen Michelle wrote. It’s beautiful. Queen Michelle, your mum saw you in all your pretty gear and I bet she was so amazingly proud of you. I was really proud of you and the way you wrote when your mum was so ill. You had and still retain such grace and strength. I think you’ll always have that, whether your in a track suit or not.

    I love you blogging girls.

    Keep up the awesomeness!
    xxxxx

  22. Moda Says:

    P.s. Tavi’s style really is fucking awful!

  23. hammie Says:

    Pretentious-from-the-western-suburbs-but-trying-to-be-middle-class-bitch that I am, I find hospitals especially horrendous as of course, this is Ireland and our hospitals are shit.
    So unless you are extremely wealthy and can go private you find yourself surrounded by people with one gold tooth and tracksuits as day wear and eastern european furs and in one memorable trip – actual spats.

    They also call their bookies in inappropriate places at inappropriate times
    Nurse “We are ready to take little Britney for her pre-med”
    Spats wearing father “yeah I’ll have a granddington on Ebony Bess in the 9th”…..

    Apart from the shite food, pissey tea, confusing signage and overcrowded waiting rooms with broken toys; there is the waiting!!! And the fact that the last time you were there people did things that hurt – Bratty doesn’t do hospitals so it is a universally horrendous experience for both of us.

    But at least we did not have your awful worry.

    I will tell you one funny story.
    We were in for day surgery one December and during the pre-med Bratty relieved herself copiously all over my jeans so I had to go change into scrubs.

    Bratty having returned from Theatre was resting peacefully when a Phillipina nurse ignored my instructions for “NO OBS” – removed the tape securing her monitor yoke from Bratty’s foot and woke her up.
    All hell broke loose as Bratty decided she was ready to leave, drip and all and she began climbing up my back as I tried to get her to re-settle.

    Enter 2 members of a popular (well C-list popular) boyband with a laundry trolley full of toys. “To brighten our Christmas in Hospital” .

    To their credit they actually approached the crazy lady with the small brunette girl in a backless gown clawing at her head and attempted to give us a Barbie Drinking Flask (?) which Bratty flung back at them across the ward.

    my love to you and your boy. xx

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