Monday, January 9, 2017

Death by Booklight

Naturally everything brought into the IOP had to be inspected and inventoried. Only when it was deemed "safe and appropriate", would it be released to you. If not deemed "safe and appropriate", the item (or items) would be stored in a locked closet for safe keeping.

My daughter had insisted on getting the few items I had requested and bringing them back that same night. After they were "processed" they would be given to me. I knew she had brought the items and around 8pm I checked with the nurses' station to see if they had received them. After a very brief search, they said no, she had not brought them in. By 9:30 I was exhausted and hoping I could get a good night's rest.

The following morning when I walked past the nurses' station, I noticed a box of drinks with my name written on it. I asked the nurse if anything else had been brought in with the drinks. She said not that she knew of. I pointed out that the box of drinks had been delivered and my name was on the box, I would think the other items would also be there.

To her credit, she left in search and returned in just a few minutes with a bag. From it she pulled 5 magazines, 3 books, and a book light. I was thrilled and thanked her. "The problem," she said as she handed the items to me, "was getting clearance on the book light."

As I walked back to my room, I contemplated the issue with the book light. What harm could one do to themselves with a book light? It was too large to swallow, yet too small to wrap around my neck. This one did not have a battery that could be removed and swallowed. Surely I was not the first patient to request a book light?

My DH came to visit the following day. When he realized there were a few more items I needed, he said he would get them after his visit and drop them off for me. Knowing my DH, I knew if he said he was going to this, he would. Yet, once again when I inquired at the nurse's station I was told that, no, they had not received anything.

I checked back before bedtime, then again in the morning - still nothing. Finally I found a very helpful nurse. She said if I thought they had been delivered then she thought they probably had been. To her credit she mounted a search. Again, nothing could be found.

Then she said, "There is one more place I want to check. Surely they would not be there, but around here nothing surprises me. Follow me." We went back to my room where she unlocked the closet. Sure enough, there was everything my DH said he would bring me. There was also a small bag taped shut with a note written in red taped to it. "Not to be given the patient."

The nurse looked at me, I just shrugged my shoulders, "I do not have a clue what that is all about."

She opened the bag to find the pen I had sent with my DH and the pack of ink refills I had requested. The nurse just laughed. I asked her if there was a problem with this, since it concerned a writing pen that had already been "approved". She said she could not imagine that being an issue and handed the bag to me. She also handed me all the other items he had brought.

I laughed. How was I supposed to know the items were in the locked closet. My issues did not include hearing voices or seeing through locked doors. She just smiled and said, "You would be surprised," and left the room.

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