Monday, May 19, 2008

A Night at the Hospital

My poor hubby had another attack of kidney stones. When he finally couldn't take the pain and actually went to the ER (no Clooney to my disappointment), they decided to admit him since the tests showed that he had something like 28 stones, of different sizes & shapes.

I went to visit him during the evening visiting hours and found that he shared a double room with an elderly guy. I'll nick name him Abdullah. Abdullah had the door bed, so to go to my husband's side of the room, I had to pass by Abdullah and his six or seven visitors who filled his side of the room.

Seeing that the women cover their faces and that the men were all bearded, I thought the suitable salute would be "Assalam 3alaikom". Wrong move. All what I got back was "Wa 3alikom...". By then, they all had time to look at me walking into the room, and impressively, they all stopped short of completing their reply and had the same expression on their faces, even the women who only showed their eyes. Surprise and Shock. I guess they expected this salute to come from a covered woman, a doctor, or a nurse. I could tell they definitely did not expect it from a woman who not only did not cover her hair, but also wore sweatpants and a T-shirt (I walked to the hospital so I thought I should wear something comfortable)

When I walked on to my hubby's side of the room, I could hear a well orchestrated sigh of relief (the highest came from Abdullah himself) since they then realized that I did not come to visit Abdullah. I bent to kiss my husband's forehead, but then stopped and looked across to make sure the curtain protected us from any curious eyes. I then looked around to find a chair, but discovered that Abdullah's visitors had hijacked all the chairs in the room.

I was tempted to go over to their side and ask for a chair, but decided to avoid a confrontation and sat at the foot of the bed, which was extremely uncomfortable, specially with the my bad back. I tried to have a conversation with my husband who looked exhausted, but the noise from Abdullah's side of the room made any civil volume-level conversation impossible.

My husband asked me to turn on the TV. I got up and was barely able to reach the power switch to do so. Unfortunately, I was not able to change the channel since the channels buttons were higher up. And guess what? The remote control was with Abdullah!!! Even if we had asked for the remote, it would have been useless since here was no way we could have heard anything anyways.

Don't know if this was normal, or if the Abdullah clan wanted to test our tolerance, since every two minutes, a member of the clan would come to the small sink in our half of the room to wash some coffee cups. I was just about to explode when my husband suggested that we go for a walk. Again, I am not sure if my dear hubby really wanted to go for a walk, wanted to avoid an inevitable confrontation with the Abdullah clan, or if he just wanted to MOON them.

Whatever his reason was, hubby, the IV stand with the solution connected to his veins, & I left the room for the Abdullah clan. We found comfortable bench in an outdoor courtyard and stayed there until the end of visiting hours. Actually we stayed a bit longer to make sure Abdullah's visitors are all gone. Reaching the room, I thought that there were only three possibilities.
  1. The visitors are still be there (bummer)
  2. The visitors are gone (good)
  3. Abdullah was discharged and sent home (al hamd l Allah)
Unfortunately, I was not prepared for the forth possibility: The visitors were gone, Abdullah was in his bed, AND another patient was in my husband's bed!!!!!

My husband must have seen the expression on my face so he asked to let him handle this. He walked calmly to the guy sitting in his bed. I will call him bed-thief.

Hubby:"Marhab ya abouya, looks like you are in the wrong room"
Bed-theif:"No this IS MY bed"
Hubby:" But I have been here all day and my stuff....." he discovers that his stuff is gone, so he leaves the room and goes to the nurses' desk.
Hubby:" I am XXXX from room xxxx. Did you move me to a different room?"
Nurse:" No DR.XXXX, we did not"
Hubby:"There is a patient sitting in my bed and all my personal belongings are gone"
Nurse:"Oh my!! Please come with me"
Nurse:"Excuse me, what are you doing in this bed???"
Bed Thief:"Well Abdullah told me to ...."
Adbullah:"This is my friend. I want him to be my roommate!!"
Nurse:"This is a hospital and not a coffee shop. You cannot just move people around." to the bed-thief: "get out of this bed and back to your room. And by the way, were are all the doctors belonging?"
Bed-theif:"In my old room, he can stay there"
Hubby to the nurse:"Listen, I have no problem moving to the other room. I am tired and just wanna rest."
Nurse:"No doctor. This is not possible. Bed assignments are based on the case. This guy is not even from the surgical ward. I cannot switch your beds." to the bed-thief:"I will go collect Dr.XXX stuff from your room and by the time I get back I don't want to find you here."
Hubby:"Sorry ya abouya, we cannot switch rooms. Please get off my bed cause I need to rest."
My husband & I sit in the now empty chairs waiting for bed-thief to leave.
Abdullah:"This nurse is just being nasty. I don't see why he cannot switch your beds. When he brings your stuff, we'll tell him that we will do as he says, but then just leave my friend here and you go sleep in his bed."
Hubby:"Are you serious??"
Adbullah:"Yes, why not?"
Hubby:"How about the vital signs check they do every two hours??"
Abdullah:"You both look healthy to me. They won't know the difference."
Hubby:"How about the medication?"
Abdullah:"Don't swollow it and tomorrow swap medications with my friend."
Hubby:"How about if they decide that I undergo the operation tomorrow morning, and they take your friend to the OR instead of me?"
Hearing that, bed-thief jumps from the bed and says:"No No Abdullah. Any thing but this. I will come sit with you all day long, but I will not switch beds with the doctor here. Good night."
Adbullah laughing:"Oh my, never thought about that. Excuse me doctor, I just wanted his company"
Nurse walking in with hubby's stuff:"Did he leave?? Al hamd l Allah. How did you convince him to go. I was coming back expecting him to put up a fight. Oh well, I forgot that you are a psychiatrist. You must have hypnotized him. ha ha"
Hubby:"Not really, but close."
Nurse:"Well done. I will send you someone to change the bed sheets right away. And Abdullah, please no more funny stuff"
Abdullah:"Sure. And now that I found out that my roommate is a psychiatrist, I would have sent my friend away myself. I think I will enjoy the rest of my stay with Dr.XXX."
Moi to hubby :"I don't know how you do it. But anyways, take care, and enjoy your conversation with your new friend Abdullah. Good night."
Hubyy:"Good night."
Abdullah:"Good night and don't worry, I'll take good care of him".


mansour said...

funny story,it can be a scene in limby movei,by the way ill do my sugery after tommorow ,i hope that i donot find another abdulla ,mosh kol mara teslem algara.thank u habibi to remeber me ,i beleive that we can deal with any situation if we are calm and give excuse for the other side ,do you remeber what we used to say when we face any trouble during our trips(ALWAYS SMILE AND TAKE THE FUNNIEST PART OF THE PROBLEM)

Anonymous said...

This happens only in Saudi Arabia and nowhere else on earth.


بالسلامة ان شاء الله لمنصور ووربنا يبعد عنه عنه لصوص السرير

Patrick said...

Sorry to hear about your stones again. You must be doing something wrong to be generating so many stones. As for the incident in the ward, it's laughable only if you've got and exceptional sense of humor. I don't, so I'm glad it's happened to you as I would have really lost it. Hope you recover soon and come visit us in Alex.