The first time I remember being in the hospital, I was 4 years old. I had to have my tonsils out. I remember walking up to the rooms, holding my moms hand. A nurse was leading us. First she took us to a crib, and decided that at 4 years old, I could sleep in a regular bed. At first, I was kind of bummed out because the crib looked kind of neat. Later, I would realize that in the big bed, I could get in and out on my own.
I remember the gown they put me in was way to big. I remember I had to struggle to keep it on. Eventually, a few days later, they found one that fit me. I also remember not having a pillow. They folded up a couple of blankets for me to sleep on. It was a county hospital.
I remember there was a big wooden cart in the hallway, that was like cubbies at preschool where we kept our belongings. Only this thing was made into a giant Barbie doll house. I also remember playing in the play room, and a nurse and a doctor came in to get me. They took me back to my bed and made me lay down on my back. They told me I was going to get a shot in my leg. I don't know what it was, but I remember the nurse holding me down some while the doctor gave it. I remember it hurt!
I remember my doctor coming in for rounds I think the day of the surgery, before my mom got there. I remember I liked him a lot! I remember waving to him and him smiling and waving back to me.
I remember a nurse coming in and making me take my panties off. I didn't like that at all. I tried to be good, but I didn't like it. I put them back on a little bit later. I also didn't get any breakfast that morning and I was starving! I was in a room with a bunch of other little kids (there were 6 of us). They all got cereal, and it was all the kinds my mom never bought me. I was so mad! I didn't understand why I couldn't eat. No one told me. They just didn't feed me. When I couldn't stand it anymore, I remember going to the drinking fountain and trying my best to reach it. A nice lady came over and picked me up and I just guzzled it until I didn't feel hungry anymore.
I remember when they came in to get me for the surgery. My mom was reading to me in my bed. I remember the big gurney and the big guys pushing it. I remember saying "OH NO YOU DON'T!" and the fight was on. I remember kicking and fighting for all it was worth. I don't think they expected it, because they had to tie me down with sheets. I remember fighting on that too, but then I was afraid that I would get another shot, so I stopped fighting.
I think I had a stuffed animal with me. I kind of remember a nurse talking to me about it in the O.R. It smelled funny in there and I didn't like it. I remember them telling me something about letting me have a syringe to play with when it was all over. I remember them putting a mask over my face and it smelled funny too (ether) and I didn't like it. They kept telling me to take deep breaths and to count to 10. I was 4. In the 70's you didn't learn to count until kindergarten! I didn't know how to count. I remember trying to hold my breath...then I remember waking up on my tummy in a bed, no one around. There was one of those kidney shaped bowls near me, and soon a nurse was there. I remember throwing up (I guess I shouldn't have drank all that water, huh?).
I remember that I couldn't talk. I found my undies in my room on the nightstand in a paper bag. I remember putting them on as soon as I could. I remember I had an i.v. and an i.v. board over the i.v. itself, so that I couldn't bend my arm. I remember if I bent it some, it hurt. They took it out the next day and let me keep the i.v. board. I remember I had to make someone find my promised syringe too!
The rest of the time was spent playing. We had wheelchair races in the hall. Since I was one of the youngest, I was pushed. It was fun. I also got to hold a teeny tiny baby that was in the hospital (my mom said that she wasn't growing). The nurse picked me up and put me in a rocking chair, then put her in my arms while she changed the baby's bed.
I remember a lot of things from when I was little, lol.