As the year draws to a close, I thought a bit of hospital wisdom might be in order. Based on the wildly successful book Ten Things I learned in Kindergarten, I thought I would share my list of Ten Things I Learned at the Hospital.
1. If you have a doctor that is a yob, you can exchange for an upgrade:
Learning: You are in control of your own health care and do not have to put up with arrogance or incompetence.
2. On the 2nd floor of Princess Margaret Hospital, there is a secret washroom that is spacious, private and almost always clean
Learning: If you look hard enough, you will find the things you need.
3. It is okay to be late for appointments because the doctor or clinic is always running late (unless they’re not, which you will soon learn)
Learning: Don’t rush to wait.
4. You get into the clinic faster on the day you bring in the Christmas chocolates for the staff.
Learning: Kindness, especially in the form of chocolate, will bring you to mind more often.
5. The second floor chemo unit is the only clinic that plays the Food Network on their TV rather than the 24 hour news channel.
Learning: We don’t have to spend our days surrounded by bad news. (Update: There is no longer a second floor chemo unit, so, sigh, no more food network).
6. The time when you finally get to take a nap while in the hospital, is a moment that a dutiful member of the clergy will arrive to bring you some good cheer.
Learning: Call before visiting.
7. Gnocchi with tomato cream sauce will taste like cardboard for the first few weeks after a stem cell transplant. In fact, just about everything will taste like cardboard except for grapefruit and cucumber.
Learning: Let go of expectations.
8. Ignoring a 24 hr urine collection bottle does not make it go away.
Learning: Procrastination doesn’t help you avoid unpleasantness.
9. The minute you are told not to eat something, you instantly develop and urgent craving for it.
Learning: Our minds can really play games with us.
10. The times when you feel good cannot be taken for granted and the low days do not last forever.
Learning: I repeat, let go of expectations.
Happy Holidays to everyone!