Tag Archives: hospital

Destination: Miami, FL – Part 4

While I was having a “war” of sorts with the waffle maker at breakfast, Fern was having a “battle” of sorts over her tests in the hospital.

South miami hospital

She called me around 10:30 to say the first test had to be repeated, which meant an extra 3-hour wait for the results.  I can only imagine her anxiety about what was happening that morning:  the not knowing; the what is going to happen next?

Fern called again around 12:00.  She was still waiting for the results of the first test, a second time around, and didn’t know if there would be time for the other tests (and how long they would take) and when she was going to be discharged.  She was concerned about the fact that we might need to extend our stay at the hotel.  (Reservation was for only the one night we had already spent there.)  Upon check-in, Fern had asked for a later check-out time the next day and it was extended to 2:00.  (Usual check-out time is 12:00 noon).  There was no problem with that.

Our original plan, before traveling to Miami, was:  Fern was going to have her tests, and we would travel home that same afternoon.  The best-laid plans, right?

So, at noon, Fern was still waiting for the results of her first test (second time around), and had 2 more tests lined up.  I decided to wait until 2:00 to ask for an extension for another day.

I had plenty of time for lunch before asking for an extension of our stay.  In the mean time, I had asked at the desk for directions to the hospital.  Carlos wrote them down for me and handed me his card in case I needed to contact him.  (As it turned out later, I was glad I had his card.)

My plan was to go the Dadeland Mall,

dade mall

order a take-out lunch at Cheesecake Factory, and come back to the hotel, and enjoy it while watching TV in the dining room.  Good plan, right?

cheese fact

Everything went well at the Cheesecake Factory.  Their Chinese Chicken Salad is a favorite of mine.

chinese chix

I got back in the car, and back-tracked my route; only, I lost the route in the maze of the parking lot around the stores, after going around J C Penney.  I made a wrong turn somewhere.  Found myself in front of Macy’s.

macys

The card Carlos gave me came in very handy.  I told him where I was, and he guided me back to the hotel.

Dadeland Mall is a crazy maze.

Dadeland Mall is a crazy maze.

I don’t like to be lost.  I don’t like to not know where I’m going.  (If you read my first post, Destination:  Miami, FL – Part 1, you will have a perfect example of what not knowing where I’m going will do to my psyche.)

Only half of my salad was consumed (it’s a huge salad), and I saved the rest for Fern, thinking she will probably be so hungry when her tests are finished.

I decided the best thing for me was to take advantage of the shuttle service and be driven to the hospital.

shuttle

While waiting for the shuttle van (it took a half hour to arrive), I extended the hotel stay for another night.  I also had to call my pet sitter to increase the visits to take care of my cats for another 24 hours.

Finally, I was at Fern’s bedside.  By that time, she had already had her second test, and she was going to be discharged:  there was no time to do the third test.  This meant another trip to Miami.  We were almost jumping for joy!  Not really.

 

[images from bingdotcom of:  Dadeland Mall; Dadeland Macy’s; Dadeland Cheesecake Factory; and South Miami Hospital]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Destination: Miami, FL – Part 3

Well, having that wonderful dinner at Cheesecake Factory in the Dadeland Mall was a great ending to an anxiety-filled day.  The next day would be one filled with anxiety as well.

Fern had to be at the South Miami Hospital at 5:30 am.  That is not a typo!  She had to take a taxi to the hospital, since the shuttle service from the hotel starts at 6:30 am.

South miami hospital

Needless to say, not much sleep was happening in room 230 that night.

Breakfast was alone, while Fern was in the hospital for the start of her tests, and it was courtesy of the hotel.  I was amazed at the selections.

a great breakfast

Eggs; sausages; cold cereals; fresh, hot oatmeal; fruit; muffins; bagels; juices; and BELGIAN WAFFLES!  Love those.  It was “make it yourself” in the waffle maker.  Couldn’t wait.  Filled a cup with the prepared batter and poured it onto the hot waffler.  Uh, oh.  The batter overflowed down the sides of the hot waffler.  I didn’t know why that happened.  I wasn’t familiar with this kind of apparatus, and couldn’t imagine what went wrong!   I covered the batter with the top part of the waffle maker anyway, and hoped for the best.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me to take a photo of the overflowed waffle maker; however, this is the machine on which the dastardly deed was done.

that dastardly waffle maker

I gathered some other items offered for breakfast, went into the dining area, got some coffee,

coffee-tea round the clock

and sat down at a table.

Completely forgot about my waffle!  At my age, I’m susceptible to that malady – forgetfulness.  When I remembered about it (several minutes later), I hurried into the breakfast area to get my waffle.  It was not there; the waffle maker was clean, and waiting for the next pour.

There was a nice young boy, about 9 or 10, standing near the waffle makers.  I mentioned that I had a problem with the waffle maker, telling him about it overflowing.  He told me that I have to fill up the cup to the line, and not to the top.  OMG.  I never read the instructions, and didn’t notice the line on the cup before.  It was embarrassing to be instructed by this young boy on how to use the machine!  I politely thanked him.

A glutton for punishment, and a glutton for a Belgian waffle, I made the attempt again; this time, making sure I stopped the batter at the line.  Everything seemed to go well, but there still was some batter that overflowed – not much, though.  I closed the cover, and again hoped for the best.  It came out alright, but would have been better if I stayed there and turned the waffle maker once, during the cooking:  one side was quite done, and the other side wasn’t done enough.  I have hope that next time, things will turn out even better.

And, there will be a next time.  We have to go back very soon, for Fern’s last test.

Destination: Miami, FL – Part 1

Many of my followers are aware that my daughter, Fern, is suffering from the chronic illness known as M.E. – myalgic encephalomyelitis.  This week, she had an appointment for Wednesday, at the South Miami Hospital, affiliated with Baptist Health South Florida, for some testing ordered by her new cardiologist, based in Coral Gables, FL, which is part of the Greater Miami area.  We had a one-night reservation for Tuesday night at the Hampton Inn Dadeland,

Hampton Inn Dadeland

which, as its name indicates, is less than a mile from the fabulous Dadeland Mall,

Dadeland Mall

and is a short drive to the hospital.  We figured we’d stay the one night; Fern would have her tests, and we’d leave on Wednesday afternoon to return home.

The drive down along I-95 and then onto US 1 was actually uneventful; that is, if you didn’t put into the mix that I was feeling nervous and not without trepidations about the trip due to not being sure exactly how to get to the hotel, it was uneventful.  I tried keeping my sense of humor (Fern could argue about that), and she finally secured some info from her phone’s GPS the driver (me) needed as to where to turn left or right and which streets were involved.   Just in the nick of time, because the driver was getting a little hot under the collar and anxious and it’s not a good idea to have the driver maneuvering in heavy traffic on US 1 in such a state of almost panic.  I had visions of driving around the Miami area on an ill-fated mission and never finding the hotel, especially after having stopped for a red light at the intersection where the cardiologist was located, and my saying, “We could stop in and say hello to Dr. D.”  I don’t think Fern appreciated that remark.  If I were sitting in her seat, I wouldn’t have.  It was a telling remark:  Mom was getting a little upset.  I know daughter got the instructions from mapquest, but they happened to have been accidentally put into the trunk with our belongings – quite out of reach at the moment.  And the atmosphere in the car at the moment was getting thick.  We both were feeling it.

We still weren’t positive about how to get to the hotel; it seemed there was more than one way to get there.  A call to get more precise directions was a little helpful after getting no answer, then a message that no one was available.  Panic mode was instituted.  Here I am, still driving along US 1, and still not sure where I was going.  The info received, after finally speaking to someone, was a little misleading.  We were taken in a kind of round about way, turning left off US 1, but then crossing it at another point, and finally getting to the hotel; but not before traveling on a crazy, crooked street, and not before almost passing the hotel which was hidden from the road.  It was easy to  pass the entrance.  It is not easy to describe the feeling of accomplishment and RELIEF of finally reaching our destination:  the most out of the way hotel I’ve ever traveled to.

 

[images from bingdotcom]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteering Has Its Own Rewards

When I was in high school, I decided that I was going to be a nurse because I always wanted to “take care of people who needed help and to bring some happiness into their lives.”  At that time, I hadn’t realized what a noble calling that was.

One of my nursing instructors looked just like this!

One of my nursing instructors looked just like this!

But I thought that perhaps I should “test” myself and see how I would feel and react to a hospital setting and experiencing being with people who were ill and/or disabled.  I was totally lacking in that sort of experience.

So, during my Junior year, and during the summer, I volunteered in the “Jewish Hospital for Chronic Diseases,” in Brooklyn, NY, a hospital/nursing home for chronically-ill and disabled patients, with room for hundreds.  (I don’t think it exists anymore.)  The setup was in very large wards, containing approximately 20-30 beds.  No private rooms.  This was a hospital for indigent patients.

The hospital building looked somewhat like this - really old.

The hospital building looked somewhat like this – really old.

Those who were able, participated in a patient-controlled and staff-approved social club, and they managed to arrange for their own entertainment.  They were making the best of their situation – some would be there for the rest of their lives (many were young people).  In all the time I spent in that facility, I hardly ever saw visitors for the patients, but they seemed to have accepted their lot in life and they seemed happy and joyous and capable of, yes, excitement.  (Remember, I’m thinking back to the time I was a young teenager, and trying to experience again, my feelings and perceptions.)

There was an organizer/leader – his name was Manny, and he had his “secretary” and “treasurer.”  Manny was the most social person you could ever imagine.  He was wheel-chair bound and was one of the most intelligent, jovial, thoughtful people I think I had ever, and have ever, met in my life.  He was suffering from MS.

man in wheelchair

If the patients smiled and laughed any harder, I swear their faces would split apart.

Manny immediately put me at ease and welcomed me so warmly.  I told him I was there as a volunteer and had scheduled myself to give at least 10 hours during the week and some on the weekend as well.  I made his day and many more.  During the summer, I devoted more.  Visitors were a treasured commodity.

I found myself feeling that I found a second home.  The best thing for me was the feeling of great joy that I felt, in the giving.  Yes, volunteering had its own, unexpected, rewards.

Volunteering is more than it's cracked up to be.

Volunteering is much more than it’s cracked up to be.

[All images from bingdotcom]