Ten observations from a short [Virginia Mason] hospital stay

 *** Glen Melin recounts his recent stay at Virginia Mason Hospital through 10 observations and a dash of humor. Thank you , Glen, for allowing us to share this with our readers.  ***

There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.

  1. When you pass gas in the hospital after surgery, people shower you with praise. In other settings, not so much.
  2. The Inn at Virginia Mason is attached (literally) to the hospital, but is open to the public. Reasonable rates for downtown Seattle, good room service food from the hospital kitchen, and they won’t accept gratuities. Worth considering if you need to stay downtown for any reason.
  3. Thank God for all the foreign-born workers in our health care system! I was particularly grateful for Isaac, my Kenyan-born caregiver.
  4. The views from the 17th floor at Virginia Mason are terrific! Which is ironic, since it’s hard to see out the window when you’re on your back in bed.
  5. Little things can bring great joy – like finding out that coffee is considered part of a clear liquid diet.
  6. Prayer is the most powerful force available to us frail humans. I very much felt carried along on a bed of prayer throughout this experience. That’s very humbling, and more than once it brought tears to my eyes.
  7. Hospital gowns must be the least-changed item in the entire U.S. health care system in the past century.
  8. The surgeon tells me the primary incision is below my bikini line. I never knew I had a bikini line.
  9. The Newsboys song “Your Love Never Fails” paraphrases Psalm 30:5 as, “There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.” That’s a great verse to hang on to during a rough night – what a difference a few hours can make!
  10. Although I’m sure the hospital dietitian meant well, I challenge her to chew each bite 50 times before swallowing. As Paul Newman almost said in Cool Hand Luke, “Nobody can chew an egg 50 times.”

Glen Melin, a resident of Kitsap County,  donated a kidney through Virginia Mason’s Living Donor Program.  For more information about becoming a living donor, go to VirginiaMason.org/Living-Donation.


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