Tuesday, April 02, 2013


Texas Rehabilitation Hospital
Where my sister, who suffers from MS, is trying to recover from a major surgery.
She had 3 discs in her neck fused together. In addition to these specific maladies, she is also pitiful, miserable, has a low (zero) tolerance for pain, and will never miss a chance to complain.
Here is how yesterday went:

“They are kicking me out of rehab” she said.
‘Why?” I ask.
“Because they are a bunch of horses asses here. They are not taking care of me. This bed is uncomfortable. The pillows are like bricks. They locked me into the bed last night without telling me. They keep changing my medicine without telling me. They made me eat broth because they said I was constipated. That won’t work. They don’t know what they are doing. I asked for water, and they won’t bring me any, and now I have contracted Thrush, and it feels like my mouth is on fire. I can’t get any rest here, so I can’t do the therapy exercises, so they are releasing me tomorrow.”
(there is a sign on her door saying she is not to be awakened until after 7am, I don’t know what time they start there, but my sister is a special case)

And what I am thinking is what a high maintenance patient she must be, and how they are likely doing everything humanly possible to keep my sister comfortable, but she is just too ready to complain and willing to be miserable for anyone to ever be able to satisfy her needs.
But then my sis continues:

“The doctor ordered a soft neck brace for me Sunday, and they haven’t brought that to me yet. He said it would be more comfortable for sleeping than the one I have now (a big green plexiglass monster looking thing) but they haven’t brought it for me because they are idiots and just don’t care, and I can’t get any rest in this Frankenstein neck brace”

Well, this makes me sit up and take a little notice. She is in a Million dollar facility, probably her insurance is paying 1000 bucks a day, and she has gone 72 hours without a medical device that has been prescribed for her by her physician? A medical device that would alleviate her discomfort, and maybe help with her therapy that she is unable to do and that is why they are releasing her? Suddenly, all her bellyaching has a certain credibility to it.
I'll tell you the truth...the fact that they have given her story some credibility pisses me off even more than her actual discomfort. That's how big an asshole I am.

So I go to the nurses station.
“My sister needs her soft collar neck brace”
“We don’t have one”
“Why not?”
“I don’t know.”
“It was ordered Monday right, yes?”
“Yes, but they keep them in storage downstairs, and no one is here with a key tonight.”
"But its Thursday today. What happened to Tuesday and Wednesday?"
"They didn't get the brace."
I look around over my shoulder. "They? Who is they?"
"The day shift."
“Is this some specialty item?”
“No, Mr. Bullets, you can get them at CVS.”
Holy crap! Now the short hairs on the back of my neck are going “woo-woo-woo” and I say:
“So if I go get one of these, you can put it on her, and she will experience some relief, and she will have one less thing to bitch about?”

So off I go to CVS to furnish the million dollar hospital with rehabilitation supplies they have, but just can’t seem to deliver to my sister. And the whole way there and back, the old chef, the crazy killer intolerant son-of-a –bitch that resides in a shallow grave in my head, he starts to rise up.

I am going up the elevator now, and thinking to myself “Don’t stop at the nurses’ station, just keep going and put this thing on her by yourself, and nobody gets hurt.
But I just can’t do it.

I set the package with a thud on the counter. Nurse Ratchet looks up and says happily:
“You got it!”
“Yes, I did. Could you please put this on my sister so that she doesn’t hurt anymore.”
“Sure. You really are a good brother to go get this for her.”
And that was it. That’s all it took.

“No I’m not a good brother. I suck as a brother. But she has laid there for three days waiting to get this brace the doctor ordered for her. There must be thousands of these down in your little neck-brace closet downstairs that nobody has a key to, and all I did was show a little empathy and take a 5 minute drive around the corner to get a medical device a doctor ordered 3 days ago for YOUR patient that cost a whopping big 14 bucks, and I think that is ridiculous. This is a Rehabilitation Hospital right? That’s what it says on the sign out front. I'm sure i saw a sign that said it was a Rehabilitation Something.”
She gulped, but another nurse in the station turns and tries to help.
She says “You know, you sound just like your sister.”
And she laughed.

Holy shit. I got two of them now. So I said:
“ I know my sister is difficult. She is pitiful acting, she complains, she’s vindictive and its always someone’s fault whatever is happening to her. I can’t hardly stand to be around her more than an hour at a time. But I love her, and if ya’ll here at the Texas Rehabilitation Hospital can’t supply her with the medical rehabilitation supplies that a doctor has prescribed for her to help her with her recovery, even after three days, then you incompetent dumb-asses deserve everything you get from her. I don’t think it’s fucking funny at all.”

They didn't even flinch, but went back to staring at their computer screens.
I said all this outside the earshot of my sister, but I said it plenty loud.

I went back to the room and told her that they would be in a minute with her neck brace.
“Thank you” she said, almost in tears “You are the best brother in the world”


Kristi said...

Oh dear lord this made me cry. Wow. Because I know how you feel. I experienced the same damn thing when my mom was in the hospital with her head injury last year. Effing assholes. Grrr. But yes, you are a lovely brother. xxoo

Martijn said...

Your brother skills are only surpassed by your stoly telling abilities. Fantastic, Mr. Bullets!