Saturday, October 25, 2008


Memorial Sloan Kettering goes to great lengths to make their hospitals, as much as possible, feel like something other than a hospital. Like a museum or an art gallery in places, like a spa or a playground in other parts, or like home perhaps, except it comes about as close as an old folks home--enough to assuage the conscience of those responsible for leaving you there, but not quite enough for either patient or retiree to be fully convinced.

I am writing from the "general medicine/geriatric" floor instead of peds because there were no rooms down on nine. (Not to worry though--after I had complained badly about missing out on the Friday night candy cart by not being on peds, it made a special trip up to 17 to make sure I got my sugar high. I got fig newtons and Pringles when they didn't my favorite Reese's peanut butter cups, they made an extra fun to find some in their candy warehouse!) so perhaps that explains the old fol folks home reverence. (Facing the bed where it can't be missed is a glow-in-the-dark CALL DON'T FALL! sign.)

But seriously, I guess I can appreciate the nicer wallpaper, the nicer wallpaper, the photo of a sunset, and the 'welcome' flower I got on both day one and day three of my current inpatient run. --Funny aside on the flowers: They are both carnations in small brown bottles that appear to be recycled from the pharmacy and the first one is white with pink edges and the second one is all pink. I was asleep when the second one arrived and when I opened my eyes all I could see in my view was the new all-pink carnation. So I groan; "Do you know how depressing it is that that flower is ALL PINK?" Of course they didn't. So I explain that it was white when it got here and then it was white with pink edges, and they must have put food coloring in the water because now it was all pink and what do they want to do--make you feel miserable that you've been cooped up in here for so long that your welcome flower changed colors, or make you think you're crazy? At which point I did feel crazy because my visitors quietly pointed to the original flower (still white with pink edging) and explained they'd just brought by a fresh one for me.

So back to why I find it annoying that my hospital room is floored with fake marble linoleum. I think it's because when I get out of bed and reach to unplug my IV pole and I see that hideous linoleum, which was chosen to give me the illusion of home furnishing, I just think this: "god! I would never in a million middle-aged years choose this linoleum! Who do they think they are fooling?"

But I do like the curtains with their faint batik-like plant designs.


Anna said...

They could have gone with "hardwood" linoleum. Not gonna lie, sometimes it fools me.

TysonArdo said...

You have a lot of people out here who love you and send good thoughts your way.

Katie said...

First of all--Reese's Cups are the BEST! A girl after my own heart : )

And the linoleum.....hate the stuff....but just saw the hardwood kind for the first time in my friends kitchen yesterday and like Anna said, it totally fooled me! I had to bend down and touch the stuff to believe it!

I am sorry I am late joining in reading this 2nd blog of yours......Like Julie--I am sorry that you are going through this again--and hope that you will continue to write when this ordeal is over. You are a very talented and gifted touch people when you write and really let folks in on a glimpse of what you are experiencing....and make us look into ourselves as well.

Was great to see you at Thanksgiving time......sending lots of love and best wishes for you for 2009!