Today’s warning comes to you courtesy of my own life experiences and is intended solely for the use of local hunters, fishermen, and others who may put themselves in harm’s way as you use your chain saws, tractors, or any sharp objects in your daily yard or farm work routines.
The object of this particular exercise is to keep you out of the hospital so that certain elements of those dreaded places can be avoided. In particular I’ve found that hospitals not only have an abundance of germs floating around but they are also crawling with big brawny male nurses that will force horrendous atrocities on your body. So whether you are deer hunting, fishing or just working outside remember to be extra careful so that you may be able to evade some of the things that happened to me on my most memorable visit to the local sickbay.
Now I’m not really talking about your garden variety outdoor accident. Those happen no matter how careful we are. Mishaps that result in stitches, sutures, hook removals, and dog bites are unavoidable. They typically result in a two hour visit to your local physician who can fix you up while he laughs at your stupidity and charges you $200 a minute to take the physical and mental abuse he metes out.
No. I’m discussing the catastrophic calamity that puts you in that big building with all the aforementioned germs and body-building male nurses and may result in a week’s worth of torture and mind numbing aggravation.
My most noteworthy trip to the hospital was the result of an unfortunate misadventure that I cannot clearly recall. I’m not sure if it was a tick bite that sent my brain into a fog or if I fell out of a deer stand and landed on my liver. Either way some of my innards were messed up and when I came to I was lying in a strange bed with a bunch of people hovering over me using words I’d never heard before. They were clearly relieved that I had come back to life but the adventure was just beginning.
To be fair there were a couple of positive things about my visit. The drugs were amazing and the female nurses were all very sweet and attentive to my needs. Those things aside, the other end of the spectrum (that is to say the negative end) was what I remember best.
I noticed right off that I had a bunch of tubes coming out of me in several different directions and that there was a particularly uncomfortable feeling in the nether region of my body. I looked up under the sheet and there was a thick tube protruding downward toward a little bag that appeared to have a yellowish liquid in it. Turns out I had been introduced to one of the most devious devices ever known to mankind and I learned it was called a catheter. When I discovered where it was connected I quickly relapsed into a comatose state and the staff had to immediately call a code red or blue or something like that to resuscitate me.
When I finally came out of that funk and was lucid once more I had some important questions for the doc. Question one was how did that big old tube get in there and perhaps even more crucial, how does one go about removing it? The old doctor just smiled and told me not to worry about that but I can honestly say it remained at the forefront of my thoughts.
A few days later a big dude with a white uniform came to the room and with a sugary smile said to me, "Alvin, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that you are making wonderful progress but the bad news is that it is time for the catheter to come out." Another code red quickly ensued and unfortunately I didn’t die right then and there.
Upon rejoining the mortal world big boy returned to the room and I meekly and politely asked how this catheter removal was to be done. At that point I wanted to be on the best terms possible with my new buddy.
He told me that catheter removal was a relatively simple process known as "yanking" and I started looking around for an escape exit but he pinned me to the bed with his left forearm and used his right hand to execute a classic "yank" maneuver.
Moments later I looked down at him from the ceiling and in no uncertain terms told him that as soon as I got my fingernails loose from the tile I was going to whip his big butt.
So the moral of today’s story is to be careful in your outdoor pursuits. If by chance you find yourself in a hospital and one of those large guys in white uniforms comes into your room, wrap that little gown around you and run for your life.