All Santa’s at Harlem Hospital

Last week, my appendix decided it was through with me, and that it was time to part ways. It happened so suddenly. My body said go to the hospital now, and my mind said it’s probably just bad food poisoning. I am so glad I listed to the body.

Being new to Manhattan, I never thought to research which hospital I should go to in case of an emergency. I went with what my insurance listed based on my zip code. I hailed a taxi and asked the driver to please take me to Bellevue Hospital. Once I got there, they got me registered, on a gurney and in the emergency area to be treated. I was quickly greeted, asked questions, had my abdomen pressed on (Ouch) and given something for the pain. They performed a sonogram and then a cat scan, with the diagnoses of the appendicitis.  When they came over to tell me that it would need to be removed, I had to ask “are you sure it isn’t food poisoning?” Why was I still hanging on to that?

It’s pretty common procedure, in fact they told me there was another women in emergency that they thought had the same thing. I was glad it was caught in time, but unfortunately, Bellevue could not perform the procedure, as they are not performing surgery’s, (I never asked why?). I was told that they would locate a hospital for me and I would be transferred via ambulance. They would make the arrangements, I knew that I was in good hands. I had no one with me, but I was OK and very calm about the whole ordeal.

After a few hours, a group of 4 ambulance folks came to get me, I was actually a bit embarrassed, all 4 folks for me?.  I wanted to help them by moving from my gurney to theirs, but they said,” just stay there we’ll take care of you”. They wrapped me up like a burrito, made sure my property was in my possession,  and transferred me onto their gurney. I was so nervous of the them moving me over the curbs, while on the way to their vehicle. cause of the pain, but they were so smooth, I didn’t yelp once. It was a bit of a drive to my next destination, Harlem Hospital, but they got me there pain free, wished me a Merry Christmas and went onto their next call.

When I arrived at Harlem Hospital, they were ready to take me straight to the operating room. After changing, and handing over my property and my wedding rings (which was the only time I wish I had someone with me), they took me to the new surgery wing, and got me prepped for the procedure. They were so kind, informative, and friendly. At 10:15pm (they call it like in the movies), I was going out for surgery.

I woke up being wheeled to my hospital room, that I shared with 3 other women. I slept a lot, but in and out of sleep, I knew that I was the best off out of all of us in that room. I felt guilty, I just had an appendix removed, and these women were in more pain then I. The next morning my Doctor came in to check on me, and said that if I could start walking I would be able to leave after I ate. I was very happy to hear that. I has some soup and then fell asleep. I finally got up so I could start walking. I would come back to my bed and fall back asleep. Later in the day, it was getting dark outside and I wanted to make sure it was OK for me to leave. I got out of bed and did a slow walk over to the nurses station and asked “will I be able to leave today?”. They located my paperwork and said “Yes, we were checking in on you, but you were asleep, are you ready?” I replied yes, signed some paperwork and they removed my IV.

I walked back to my room and got myself dressed. One of patients visitors  commented “Oh, look at you, you get to leave, God bless you”. I smiled said “Thank You”, and wished them a Happy Holidays. As I walked to the Nurses station, on my way out. I asked where the nearest taxi stand was, and which direction to go to leave the hospital. I thanked them for everything, and stopped when I came to the wall of  Santas’.

It was such a thoughtful display, a Santa in every color. I had never seen a brown Santa before, it was a nice shout out. It made me think of all the different people of all colors who took care of me, and made sure I was OK, and on the road to recovery. Every time I look at my scars, I’ll remember the multicolored Santas’, and that puts a smile on my face.

p.s. Baby I can’t wait to see you!!!!