Friday, April 13, 2012

Faulty Towers not Hollywood Hotel

What would an adventure be if it didn’t have a few bumps in the road?
My only request in Hollywood Hotel, (I mean Hollywood Hospital), was that the food better the experience of the stay.  Understandably, it is going to be pot luck for food choice for the first day.  But I choose after that and I was looking forward to my choices.
I must admit that I was a little bit disappointed when my first meal out of surgery had a ‘white theme’.  I didn’t realise it was a fancy dress party for my lunch tray.  White bread roll, butter, mashed potato, cauliflower, vanilla yoghurt; really?  Do I have the left overs?
Dinner was water with a beef stock cube and mashed potato  with mystery meat and brown gravy, (that was actually described as pork and apple sauce).  I think these pain killers have seriously altered the effectiveness of my taste buds.

I hate to carry on about the food.  Seriously, I do.  You know it is not like me to complain.  Don’t you?  But I was so looking forward to my pimped up aeroplane food!  Since being diagnosed with IBS, I have been diary free and attempting a diet that is wheat and gluten free where possible in order to train my insides to behave.  I was quite looking forward to my chosen breakfast of Spanish omelette, roasted tomato and fresh fruit.   Unfortunately, the weetbix, full cream yoghurt and white toast I received did not exactly match my dietary requirements.  Neither did the Brussels sprouts I received for lunch, where the heck is my duck and orange salad?
I questioned several staff from nurses to those food servers.  The general response being “Surprise, surprise” and “Oh, yeh that happens a lot”.  Unfortunately none of this can be corrected without hunting down the elusive ‘menu person’.  I think she avoided me in the morning while I was attempting a shower, but like a women scorned I went on a ‘menu person’ hunt.  That’s right do not mess with the hungry patient tracing the hallway in her pyjamas and waving her catheter bag around like a drunken teenager with a half empty bladder of goon wine.  I was not to be messed with.  I fixed my dinner meal, ordered for tomorrow, and assured the ‘menu lady’ that yes I can have the spinach and ricotta meal because ricotta had NO diary in it. 
As my visit goes on, my stay at Hollywood Hotel is enhanced with more memories.  I decided to lessen the children’s fear of the sterile room by taking them on a ride on mummies bed.  Perhaps not the best idea.
“Look, that button puts the bed on an angle.  And to put it back, you press this button.  No.  Maybe it is this one?  Or this one?  How about this one.  Oh no.”  My bed is now stuck at a 45% angle with my feet to the ground.  Do not think this will be to comfortable.

Good bye bed
The next half hour has several nurses trying to fix the bed, which is slowly taken apart and then removed from the room.  We have a quick visit from the supervisor, and a few of the nurses pop their heads around the corner, just to giggle at me standing in the middle of the room with my wee bag in hand and my children lying on the carpet where the bed is supposed to be.

Yay.  New bed finally arrives as nurse attempts a 5 point turn to manoeuvre it into the room. Forward, bang, back, bang,  forward, bang, back, bang, forward, bang; yep, pretty sure it is not going to fit.
He leaves with that bed and returns with another that my husband helps to semi-dismantle in the hallway, before successfully squeezing through the doorway.  Now I have a brand new bed, never used before, they are even taking plastic off the cords.  I have the latest model and when I look at the remote, this one has two extra options of  bed direction.  If I like I can sleep 45% with my head to the ground.  I think it may be best that I do not touch anymore buttons.   

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Holiday in Hollywood

This is not particularly something that I want to talk about, but to be fair to the purpose of this blog, which is to act a family life journal, I have decided to include all of the important (and obviously unimportant) happenings and events that affect my family.
I love aeroplane food.  I love the fact that your food comes to you on a tray with a lid.  I love that everything has its own little compartment.  A space for meat, vegetables, salad, soup, bread roll, dessert.  When I receive a tray of aeroplane food, I picture myself in the 1970’s, sitting with a stable table on my lap and peeling off the foil of my t.v. dinner.  Fantastic.  So.  You can imagine my excitement when I found out I was going to hospital for a few nights.  They provide aeroplane food on steroids, the trays are larger, and when I am finished, I can push the tray away and sails across the room on the trolley table!  I am so excited!
I will not give you any details as such; I will just say that I told myself that my body has felt broken for a while and 2012 was to be the year of fixing.  It was now time to act upon the physical gift of aftermath from two beautiful healthy sized children.
Time for a holiday. Two to four nights away.  It was not exactly Byron Bay, or Madrid, Spain, but it was Hollywood.  Really, it was Hollywood, (Hollywood Private Hospital, Nedlands WA).  Time for instant butler service by a push button, strap on leg massagers for the first 24 hours, and guess what, I do not even have to get out of bed to pee!  How cool is that?
I arrive at 7am and have not been allowed to eat or drink since the day prior.  Needless to say, I was a little anxious and I did not get much sleep prior to going on ‘holiday’, and what sleep I did have involved me dragging myself through the Sahara desert with no oasis in sight, whispering “water, water”.  I know, I am even over dramatic in my dreams.  I spend the first hour of my day scraping what saliva I do have stored from the inside of my cheeks, it seems enough to make it through.
After admissions, I wait in 2 separate lounge areas, I fill out a meal request for the following day, Woo Hoo, and then I am escorted to my first bed of the day.  Here I am asked to get changed; my first offering is a pair of disposable knickers.  Disposable undies, what a fabulous idea!  Surely these would be a profit maker amongst lazy college students who just turn them inside out when they near laundry day?  As well as paper pants, I get a pretty blue dress, with several bows up each shoulder and a few bows at the back, a little breezy back there, but pretty none the less.  My calves are then measured in width and length, (something I have never thought to measure before), and I am fitted with some stockings.  Now I look like a patient, I answer several hundred questions as though I am applying for life insurance and sign several forms.  Now I can relax on my curtained off bed for the next hour and ears drop on my fellow patients as they discuss their allergies ailments, and where you can buy the best apple strudel in Perth.
I am then informed that it is time for my next destination.  I hold on tight as my bed is backed out, pumped up in height then pushed down the corridor.  I felt like I was in the movie ‘Bed knobs and Broomsticks’ only I was travelling through the open credits to ‘Get Smart’.  Buttons were pushed to release each large sliding door; I watched them close behind us.  Immature as I am, I giggle to myself as I am pushed backwards down the hallway, I wanted to say “faster, faster”, deep down I knew that was not appropriate for this situation.  What is also not appropriate is the fact that my legs are too long for this bed, and my feet keep brushing up against my chauffers groin as he pushes me along.  Awkward.  Not quite sure what small talk you make with the male nurse at this particular stage of the ride.  “Tickly under there?”  It is times like this I wish I could whistle.  Yep, the skill of whistling would really come in handy right now!
Next to the holding room.  Here I meet my anaesthetise, then my surgeon, and another nurse who quizzes me on all the life insurance information I have already disclosed.  I am tagged with name, age and serial number on my wrist and my ankle.  I am gathered I am tagged at opposite ends of the body just in case I am chopped in half; it makes it easier to put the puzzle back together.  They also keep asked me what procedure I am having done.  I am getting a little concerned that I am running the show here, shouldn’t they know what the operation is by now.  I secretly wonder if I whispered boob job and tummy tuck if I would come out with an added surprise. To complete my beautiful outfit, a bright red mesh shower cap.  Now, I wait, again.

Large Slovenian nurse come now.
Man voice, man build, man face with make-up.
Lady hair, lady smile.
“You name?”
“You date birth?”
“You allergic to?”
“You having operation of what?”
“You come with me.  I put you to sleep.”
Hmmmmmmm.  Okay. 
Being pushed backwards through the doors, I have no more giggles about the opening scenes of ‘Get Smart’ , now I feel as though I am being wheeled towards a torture room in an old 007 Bond movie.  Must be a busy morning.  My Slovenian nurse is keen to get this party started, and we overtake another bed trolley in the corridor like we are fighting for the car space closest to the shop entrance.  My legs have not shrunk and my bed has not grown, I am now “Tickly under there” with my he/she chauffeur.  Double Awkward!  We are racing now.  I am tempted to make the eeeeeerrrrrrr sound of screeching tyres as she takes the last corner.  Shockingly, I think she is just as eager to give me my drugs as I am to receive them.
I enter the operating theatre, it is extremely bright.  What if I hear whispers, “Go towards the light”? Which one?  There are so many.  And televisions, there are a few of them hanging above my head also. Are we watching a movie?  I filled out my menu preference, but I did not see the movie list.  I hope it is something funny.  I think I am in the mood for a comedy.  Looks like my holiday officially starts now!
“You name?”  (Argh, here we go again!)
“You date of birth?”
“You allergic to?”
“Breath into mask now”
“One, two, goodnight she/male nurse ………… welcome to Hollywood!”

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Let the boy slide carni folk!

The days outing was Garvey Park, for the 2012 Autumn River Festival, and we unhappily sat in traffic for an hour, (we were informed by the GPS the entire trip would only take 20 minutes).  With husband away, it was up to me to entertain my impatient travellers.  Mental note, they are still too young to play 'I spy'. 
"I spy with my little eye, something beginning with C."
"Elephant"......  next game.
"99 bottles of soya milk on the wall, 99 bottles of soya milk, if one of the soya milks should happen to fall, there'd be 98 bottles of soya milk on the wall!"  Bored by 97.

The Autumn River Festival had free children's entertainment and activities; a fish Fest with Kailis Bros. famous fish and chips; free water activities including water ski shows, gondola rides and kayaking; live music, art and craft stalls, free sausage sizzle and wine tasting.

Fun times watching the gondola rides and kayaking up and down the river, unfortunately they
were fully booked by the time we escaped the bubble chasing!

Unfortunately the rain was like an on-again off-again teenage relationship, and we spent the day ducking from quick spurts of rain.  This put a bit of a damper on the day, and a down poor had us all sprinting to the car.  But of course as I am driving away, I see the suns rays in the rear windscreen.  We missed the opportunity for the children top see the water ski show, something I, (I mean we) were looking forward to.  In all honesty, children were happy with their jumping castle fix.

Fun on one of the 3 jumping castles on offer!

It was a great day, and as you know I love free.  This was definitely free.  Free parking, free food, free entertainment.
I got henna markings, ('Aries symbol') while princess was on jumping castle.  There were tears on the way home when she saw my markings and also wanted a "flowery twirly stick thing".  You could not touch it for 15 minutes.  Not a chance; daughter would of smudged within the minute and would of looked like she had a poo stain on her hand for 5 days!
Any complaints.  Of course.  I am a tough crowd.  Children were enjoying the infaltable slide.  My son went for his second turn, the 'cuddly, hairy carni-folk' changed his mind and decided that my son was now to small to go on the slide.  "I know you have already had a turn... but... you know... too small."  Awesome Mr 'Cuddily, hairy, carni-folk', do you want to be the one to explain to my son, why all of a sudden he looks smaller than he did 2 minutes prior?  Can't you just let the boy slide?  How do I explain this, "Sorry son, apparently you are growing shorter not bigger, chin up, shoes back on, let's go".  He obviously has not met my 2 year old drama queen.  Seriously... he is more drama then the entire cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert rolled into one temper tantrum.  Awesome!  Thank goodness for the funny sailor on stilts and the big bubbles.  (Thank god he also has the attention span of a goldfish.)
She walked for hours with her plastic rat juggling in strong winds and rain,
hope she either got paid well, or really loves her job!

Chasing bubbles, parents being smacked in face with dish washing soap, hilarious!