Friday, September 4, 2009

My First Hospital Stay

Now, I have a terrible memory, so I probably won’t be able to capture exactly what I was thinking or feeling during my first hospital stay, but I do have some memories from hospital stays from early on in life. My first hospitalization for Cystic Fibrosis, in which we so proudly call a “tune-up” was when I was about 8 years old. Like I said, I’m not sure how I felt about it at the time, but I’d almost be certain that I wasn’t scared. My mom seemed to always be with me (I’m sure she still had to go to work) and I knew it was something that I “just had to do”. My mom was always good at being very matter of fact and not making CF related treatments a big deal. Somehow she convinced me, or made me feel, that although I was different than other kids, I wasn’t strange or a weirdo for having to go into the hospital. She would explain to me that some kids are in wheel chairs, some kids wear glasses, some couldn’t hear and I happened to have to do treatments and go into the hospital once in a while. I understood very early on that we’re all different one way or another and it was all relative as to how “bad” you had it. I really fed off of my mom’s attitude towards CF when I was little and never was able to use this disease as a crutch or an excuse.

Anyway, back to my early hospital stays, here’s what I remember:

* Throwing a watermelon out of a window from the third floor of the hospital and watching it crash to the ground with Robbie and Rusty (other CFers)

* I think I had a crush on MULTIPLE nurses. I just remember them being so nice AND cute. There was one in particular that would give me wagon rides in the hall that I would look forward to everyday (my first hospitalization must have been before I was 8, or do they give wagon rides to 8 year old? Mom, help me out here). I believe she had blonde hair, blue eyes and went by the name Julie.

* A older CF friend of mine cutting open his maintenance bag (saline) and putting a gold fish in it to swim around for a while. I remember the nurses and doctors being quite shocked.

* Going to the doctor’s lounge late at night to shoot pool with Dave (another CFer). One time, I accidentally pulled my line out during a pool shot and didn’t notice until blood had backed up all of the way up into my IV bag.

* Playing poker with Robbie (another CFer) using change that we borrowed from the nurses coffee kitty (they would all pitch in money for coffee grounds and filters).

* IV pole races down the hall. Whether it was the one-legged push race for distance or speed, we were constantly flying down the halls on our IV poles.

* We had tutors that blocked out a couple hours a day for us to complete all of our homework. I clearly hated that part of the stay.

Those are the first thoughts that always jump out when I think of my first hospital stays. On another note, I hate to bring the mood down, every CFer I mentioned in this post has since died. Some fought the good fight for a long time while others weren't so lucky (Robbie at 16, Rusty in his early 30’s and Dave in his mid-30’s). The only reason I point that out is to remind some out there how real Cystic Fibrosis is and how badly we need a cure. The good thing is that we've come SO FAR in our fight against CF, but it won't be enough until no CFer (or family) has to suffer because of the disease.

9 people had something to say...:

Jess said...

Great post Ronnie! Both hilarious and touching! I can't believe some of the stuff you and the other kids did, too funny :)

Katelyn said...

I loved reading your stories! I remember the first time I was hospitalized a few years ago, my sister and I decided to exploring. There was a hospital right next to mine that was connected by bridge and somehow we ended up on the psychiatric floor of my hospital and then freakishly close the helicopter landing pad. Then my IV started going off. It was a good time!

Deb said...

it sounds like the staff could not get you out of there fast enough! that's the thing about tune ups... your well enough for all sorts of "antics"

Somer Love said...

Oh the olden days...
~Water fights with large syringes
~taping the room kind of like toilet papering but tape everywhere
~Blowing up gloves with the O2
~Eating peanuts and throwing shells on the floor
~jumping from bed to bed
~playing pranks on nurses( I remember one got me good when she had pretended that she had just collected a urine sample from another patient she spilt it all over my bed... It was just Mountain Dew :)
~wheelchair races
~Phase 10 games til 3 or 4 in the am

So much fun we all use to have... Times sure have changed!

Jess said...

Great memories considering the crap that is CF. I remember back when they'd bunk us with other people. Such a no-no now.

Kellee said...

Only difference with you and M is...Michael and his dear friends still throw water filled gloves out the window and still have IV races and still and im sure will ALWAYS break in to the cafe and takes loads of jello and milk.

I swear CFers were wired with more "push the limits" wires then the rest of us lol.


Lauren & Alexandria said...

Love the post!
The watermelon part made me laugh haha.
I'll have to do something like that sometime ;)
I wish we could meet other CFers without having to worry about cross-contamination..
From all of my hospital stays so far, I've never met one CFer in the hospital.
Actulley, there was one time when I was using the hospital computer and this kid had his email adress saved in the computer from when he used it and I added it to my hotmail and turns out he had CF to.
So we ended up calling eachother through the hospital phones. And I actulley saw him in the cafeteria once.
Pretty neat eh? ;)

Sickboys Momma said...

Wow...and I was under the impression in your younger years that I knew when you farted, but now I learn you were throwing watermelon from the hospital window. Maybe that's why the windows are now in lock down! And as far as wagon rides...we went on more than I could count. Do you think you might be confused and I was that "pretty blonde?" :)

Ronnie "Sickboy" Sharpe said...

You'll always be my pretty little blonde momma :)