I Heart My iPad

After three months of torturing myself about whether to buy an iPad – tweeting my agony to my friends – I purchased one. And it’s better than I ever expected. It’s a game changer when it comes to how we use computers.

Now I can wear an electronic bag over my ugly face

The iPad transforms the Internet experience into a book you hold in your hands while sitting in your most comfortable easy chair, or on the couch, or outdoors at night in a hammock. Its ergonomics when reading Internet articles and digital books blow away a laptop’s weight, size and physical design.

I can place the iPad in more positions due to its design than I can a laptop. And it boots up in an instant, which is a nice bonus when you want to check something quickly, like Twitter, your email or a web site. (Why can’t desktop PCs and laptops boot up like this?)

Then there is the bonus of all bonuses for me: reading digital books.

I don’t like the feel of rough paper e.g. grocery bags. If I were a captured spy, wrap me in a few Von’s paper grocery bags and all the Agency’s secrets will be spilled. I’ll talk, just don’t rub that paper bag on my chest again. I have never liked the feel of book paper either, or holding a book and trying to get comfortable with it for a long period of time.

Reading books on the iPad is my dream. I can read an iPad one-handed by propping it against something. I can read while eating without pages flipping over. I can read while using two hands to do my flutter. I love the (almost) hands-free reading. I only have to tap the screen to turn the page. And they turn fast.

A blog post within a blog post

When I go to jail next time, my iPad will make the terrible experience of being locked up better. I won’t have to sit in a crappy hospital chair with my knees hitting the bed’s framework, my laptop sitting on the bed. I will be able to kick back on the crappy plastic bed and tweet and read blogs and books, and watch movies streamed from Netflix – all with one device – awesome.

I waited three months to buy an iPad because I wanted to teach my daughter a lesson about not getting caught up in the hype of being the first to own new gadgets. (Now the lesson is to wait at least three months before getting caught up in the hype.) However, I did research it and talk to friends before buying it.

And with those conversations in mind and some hands-on time with it, I knew my daughter and I would get a lot of use out of it for a long time. I did resort to using the “Life is short because I have CF” excuse to help make the decision – just a tiny bit.

Other than fingerprints, which are annoying, my daughter stealing it and some software quirks, there is little downside.

I expect that one day in the future, my daughter will leave for school, but she won’t have a backpack full of heavy books hanging from her shoulders. She will have an iPad or other tablet computer in her hand. And it will contain all of her school books, notes, dreams, pictures of her parents, dogs and friends. And every book she has ever read.

I’ll stand by the door watching her skip down the walkway, love in my heart, thankful there won’t be chiropractor bills coming in a few years from her lugging 50 pounds of books each day. How nice that will be. And I’ll watch as the happy trees shake their leaves and wave and say to her, thank you, little girl, thank you. Have a great day at school with your paperless device thingy.

What a wonderful world it will be.


Fox’s Communications Tips: Speaking to RTs


Dreaming of Princesses

Fox here. I’m hung over and irritable because I loaned my nurses to a blogging buddy and he’s not returning my calls. I hope my team comes back in time for my midnight dose.

I’ve spent the day deep in thought about Unknown’s problems in the hole last week. I’ve boiled it down to communications, meaning crappy verbal skills on the part of Unknown.

So, I thought I might share a lesson I gave his highness on how to communicate better with RTs. Here are the role-plays I designed for him.

Lesson 1: “It’s all in the wrist”

RT gives you a med you don’t take

RT: Hi. I’ve got your Pulmozyme.
Fox: I’ve got your Pulmozyme, too.
RT: What?
Fox: Yeah, I got it right here.
[Fox sticks paw in pocket. Pulls paw out flipping the RT the bird]
Fox: See, here it is, and it says F U Pulmozyme on it.
RT: How dare you.
Fox: How dare you, SIR, for bringing me a medicine I don’t take.
RT: It’s in the chart.
Fox: That chart needs to go up the person’s ass who added Pulmozyme to it.
RT: There’s no need to speak like that.
Fox: Since when is “ass” a bad word?  Is it because there’s a chart sticking out of the ass? Does that make it bad? It’s because of the image it creates, isn’t it? Chart hanging out of ass, that sort of thing. Would it be better if the Pulmozyme was sticking out of someone’s ass?
RT: [leaving quickly] You’re crazy. I’m leaving.
Fox: You go ahead and do that. I’ll be here hyperventilating because you almost killed me with the wrong medicine.

Lesson 2, version A: “Liar Liar, pants on fire”

RT shows up late with your morning meds and you’re caught red-handed doing your own

RT: You’re already doing your meds?
Fox: Yep.
RT: Where did they come from?
Fox: [lying] The other RT brought them
RT: The other RT?
Fox: Yeah, the other one. He looked like you, but different. He was bald
RT: When was this? Bald?
Fox: Not too long ago. No, he had blonde hair.
RT: You said he was bald.
Fox: I was wrong. He had black hair.
RT: What? Did you get his name?
Fox: Whose name?
RT: The other RT.
Fox: What other RT?
RT: The one that just brought you the meds.
Fox: Oh, that one. I don’t know. I don’t work here. Don’t you guys know each other?
RT: I don’t know who it could be.
Fox: He had a limp.
RT: A limp? We don’t have anyone with a limp.
Fox: [holds the neb away from his mouth like poison] You have me worried now, man! This could be rat poison delivered by a bald guy with one leg. Who brought me these meds? Was it a real RT? Are these the correct meds? I’m feeling light-headed.
RT: It’s okay. No need to panic. I probably missed it in the chart.
Fox: Oh, okay. Yeah, it’s probably in the chart.
RT: I bet it’s in the chart.
Fox: Charts are never wrong. [crying] Would you mind leaving me alone now? This has been very stressful.
RT: Sure. Sorry about the confusion.
Fox: Okay. I probably won’t file a complaint this time.
RT: Thanks.
Fox: [stops crying] Do me a favor, would ya? On your way out, slide my beer keg against the wall. People keep bumping into it. Thanks. You’re the man.

Lesson 2, version B: “Message from a friend”

RT shows up late with your morning meds and you’re caught red-handed doing your own

RT: You’re already doing your meds?
Fox: No.
RT: What?
Fox: [throws the covers over his head and tries to hide]
RT: [pulls the covers off] You’re doing your meds. I see you.
Fox: No, I’m not. And you don’t see me.
RT: You’re not? But I’m talking to you?
Fox: I’m not and you’re not talking to me.
RT: What are you doing?
Fox: Being invisible.
RT: But you’re still inhaling meds.
Fox: You call them meds. I don’t.
RT: Aren’t they?
Fox: No, it’s beer.
RT: You’re inhaling beer?
Fox: Yep. Yes, I am.
RT: Are you kidding?
Fox: Nope. Would you like some? I’m seeing two of you right now.
RT: You can’t inhale beer.
Fox: I can’t. Sure tastes like Old Milwaukee to me.  Ring, ring, ring. Hold on, someone’s calling. [pretends to pick up and answer an imaginary phone with his paw] Hello, CG. Yes, the RT is right here. [to the RT] It’s Cystic Gal.
RT: Who?
Fox: Cystic Gal. And she has a message for you.
RT: What message?
Fox: She says, “Suck it, UPS driver. Suck it.” That’s classic, CG, Dude. What a mouth she’s got when she’s pissed. And she’s pissed at you, lucky fella. [laughs his fox ass off]

I'm CG's cat and I say "Meow it."

That’s it for tonight. These examples should help old Unknown communicate better the next time he blows a gasket.

Party like it’s your last.

Fox out.

Communication Breakdown

“Communication Breakdown, It’s always the same,
I’m having a nervous breakdown, Drive me insane!”

-Led Zeppelin

When I started this blog for my daughter, I wanted to leave behind an accurate record of what I went through fighting cystic fibrosis. I’m not sure I’ve accomplished that or not. I can tell you that this week the blog feels as live and raw as it’s ever been. I don’t think I’ve held much back, if anything, for better or worse.

I reread the posts and it has been quite a week.

Don't look down. Creative Commons image

If the week has taught me anything, it’s the dangers of miscommunication. That lesson started in the hospital and extended itself into Friday. I didn’t realize how tightly wound I was balancing work and the hospital stay – there’s nothing like a battery of heart tests to keep you from the laptop and to get you behind in your work.

I know I’ve joked about this before, but it would really help if they had a workstation in the room. I need to figure out something better for future visits. Now that I’m older and cranky, it’s not as comfortable sitting at the bed typing away. If I win the lottery, I’m donating a chunk of dough to the hospital to redo all of the rooms Marriott style. I’ll ask them to name it the Fox Lives Here wing, with pictures of my arrogant pal on every wall.

Despite bringing a printed list of meds with me, the hospital seemed incapable of getting them correct. Some meds never showed up. Some showed up two days into the visit. My favorite part: certain meds I don’t take that weren’t on my list showed up, i.e., Pulmozyme, some stomach med they gave me during the last visit, and TOBI, which is wrong because I take TOBRA mixed for the eFlow.

Each time the RT arrived with a dose of Pulmozyme or TOBI in his hand and a look of “but all of you are the same” on his face, I thought Fox might unleash some of verbal kung fu on him.  Worst of all, then you have to argue with the RT that you don’t take a med.

“It’s in the chart,” the RT says.

“The chart’s wrong,” I say.

“The chart’s wrong?”

“Yes, the chart’s wrong.”

“How can the chart be wrong?”

“That’s a good question.”

“The chart’s wrong?”

“Yes, the chart’s wrong.”

“Oh, okay. I’ll go check the chart.”

“Sounds like a good plan.”

Five minutes later the RT returns.

“It’s in the chart,” he says.

“The chart’s wrong,” I say.

You get the idea of how it goes from there. Usually the last line is “I’ll go check it out.” What he really should say is, “I’m going to go on break and your insurance will be billed anyway.”

There’s always a corkage fee at any fine restaurant when you bring your own wine. Why not at the hospital?

Now I know why playwright David Mamet is a genius when it comes to writing dialogue. He writes it with repetition and that’s how many of our conversations go. The RT dialogue isn’t an exaggeration. It takes place in real-time, rapid fire, and lasts 10 to 15 seconds.

But it happens three times a day.

Then I received the email that sparked yesterday’s posts. When you receive partial ALL-CAPS from someone you respect, it sets off a chain reaction. Here’s the kicker. The primary person who read my original blog post, misread my statements, then placed the misreading on the Internet where other people reacted to it, causing my friend to have to deal with it.

I realized this week that the most important game we ever played in school wasn’t really a game or a joke. It delivered a great lesson, but was usually breezed over with a quick “do you get it now?” by the teacher.

The game I’m talking about is when one person tells a secret to another and the secret travels from person to another until it gets to the last person and sounds nothing like the original message.

What chaps my lips is how this game of “communication breakdown” takes place during each hospital visit. And worst of all, how it’s played with only two or three people working from a printed list of meds. They have a program in their head about cystic fibrosis and insert that program, overriding what’s in front of them – especially the doctor.

I’ll email my clinic later in the week about this visit and the story of the printed list. They’re good at dealing with these situations. I’m glad because if I hear “it’s in the chart” one more time, Fox will go postal. Not that I wouldn’t like to see that, but I don’t want to have to switch hospitals. Despite its flaws, I like the one I’m currently at.

Stay well.

Fox’s Adventures in Los Angeles – Hospital Time

Handsome and curious looking for . . .

Unknown is tired after his jail time this week, screaming for the Lakers tonight with his daughter, and no McGriddles in the last three days.

He asked me, humble Fox, to post in his absence. I’m feeling pretty tired too after my quick jaunt to Vegas last night with a couple of gal-pal nurses. Rum Jungle was rocking. I got thrown out again, but that’s not unusual. What can I say? It’s my nature to cause trouble.

Tonight, I’m going to share a few photos from my vacation. There should be more, but Unknown panicked and forgot to grab a fresh camera battery before leaving the casa. Slim photo pickings thanks to that boneheaded error.

The photo below is the first room Unknown stayed in – for 45 minutes. Then he cried like a little lab pup about chest pain and they took him straight to a lower grade room. Learn from Foxy on this one, folks, never talk your way out of an upgrade. They’ll snatch it from you if you do.

Now this is a room for a hospital party!

Here’s the hole they sent Unknown to after he complained.

Welcome to the garden view, Mr. Unknown

Remember when they strapped Unknown to a table and scanned his heart? This is the badboy itself. Those are the two blue straps they used. 20 minutes of hell for Unknown. 20 minutes of napping for me.

Don't move or you'll have to repeat the test

Someone thought it would be funny to erase the hospital information board below. I am Fox, after all. Everything worked out great and the nurse thought it was cute until she read “patient goals.” The smile fell off her face. Ouch, you nasty boy.

Fox out. Picture below. WARNING: Adult language

You got in trouble, you got in trouble. Ha, ha, ha.

Fox Takes Over for the Night

I am famous, people.

The famous Fox rocks!

I, humble Fox, King of the Vulpes vulpes, received the accolades I am due in @CFFatboy’s blog extraordinaire. Here’s the link so you can read all about me.


I’m honored. Anytime someone stays up until 1:30 in the morning writing about you, with a hot fox named Beautiful at his side, well, how nice is that? Thanks, CF Fatboy, you’re a stand-up guy kicking CF’s green ass. May you live a long life and write about me a dozen more times. I’ll send you some adventures that Unknown is afraid to add to the blog.

Remember, I created Unknown. He sprang from my animal imagination one day while I was taking a beer piss. What a puss I invented, too. Never look up to a cartoon character, my blogging friends, especially one who is a complete fool.

Speaking of her highness, let’s see what unwound in Unknown’s imaginary world today.

First, this is how normal people look to Doctors: Picture a 24-piece Dora the Explorer puzzle:

Easy to solve

This is how Unknown looks to doctors: Picture a 5,000-piece puzzle of a tiger.

It may bite you.

Now you know why doctors start backing out of the hospital room when Unknown starts talking. Here is what the doctor thinks when Unknown speaks: Too confusing. Where does this piece fit? Is this a piece from a different puzzle? Holy crap, there are a lot of pieces. I’ll start with the sides. Oh, screw it. I didn’t go to medical school to solve complicated puzzles like this nut job. I see the world in black and white, as in my black Porsche 911, and my model girlfriend’s white bikini filled with her 100K chest and hips.

I am Fox, hear me growl.

So, some good news. Unknown’s Labrador heart ain’t too bad. He passed the dart frog test. Though he can’t figure how, as he guesses a missing beat every two seconds counts for passing. Jerky Unknown, you lived through it. That’s a passing grade. Get back in the F’ing casino – you got a movie to finish.

Here’s why Unknown ain’t talking tonight. The cardio docs came by and gave him the green light and told him to stop eating chocolate, which makes no sense whatsoever cause he’s been eating chocolate for many months without problems. They played the “blame it on M&M’s” card. But that’s not why he’s pissed.

He’s upset because the cardio docs didn’t fill out their damn report and now he has to stay in the hospital one more night because the main doc won’t kick him lose without their kiss of approval. When doctors own a hospital, don’t expect an early release. There are yacht payments to be made.

Unknown is a sucker on a stick. I would have ripped out the I.V., crapped on the floor and scampered out of there with August and Tiffany at my side, and a few shots of that poison frog they shot him up with yesterday.  Here’s your report, doc, I’d say as I flip him the paw. I’ll email you photos of tonight’s Rum Jungle party in Veg-ass.

Something funny did happen today. The nurse came by and said the pharmacy wanted to know if Unknown had a Symbicort with him or had it gone back by carrier pigeon?

This is two days after he checked into this hotel of hell. Two days. Was he supposed to call in his order for a Symbicort ahead of time, like a chicken fajita at Baja Fresh?

So, the nurse had to take Unknown’s contraband Symbicort to the Rx and they had to place a little sticker on it: Approved by someone who didn’t read a printed list two days ago. What about the other five meds Unknown hid in his carry-on bag?  When do the federales break down the door and bust his chicken ass?  Let’s see you serve a “nickel” in a real prison, pretty boy.  You’ll be begging like a chocolate Labrador pup to return to the hospital and your private “isolation” room.

Last of all, why are the light switches in the hospital room painted red? Shouldn’t a red switch always blow something up? “Pop,” on come the lights. Where’s the fun in that?  Now if it caused Unknown’s bed to blast up to the ceiling, well, that would be a good reason to paint a switch red. Eat acoustic tile, UC.

Party like it’s your last.

Fox out.

Day Two in Jail – Torture Tests

Day 2 in Lock up, Lock down, Lock Sideways – it’s all a matter of perspective

I woke up on the wrong side of my plastic bed this morning. Reality smacked me with where I was and why I’m here. I can serve the “nickel” of the normal CF prison sentence. This stay has rattled my nerves and tested me. Escape plans fill my mind.

I swear I heard Fox partying in the hallway last night. I have never slept in a noisier hospital wing than the one I am in now. Loud talkers on a cell phone can’t match these people for volume. I miss the quiet floor I usually stay on.

Yesterday’s nurse princess transformed into a nasty, bossy four-foot troll who woke me up for blood pressure around dawn.  No sweet kisses on the forehead here to awaken me from my slumber. Just a nasty lady mustache atop grinning wart lips. 

Hospital communication breakdowns are my favorite. I give them a printed list of my meds but somehow they find a way to f**k it up. They cannot process the fact I take two nebs of hypertonic saline in the morning and two in the evening. They write down what they think it should be. READ THE LIST, people. I will be placing a special note on future lists: “Yo, it’s two, I repeat two HTS in the morning and two in the evening. That’s not a typo.”

Then there is the “surprise test of the day.” Today, I wasn’t supposed to eat breakfast, yet breakfast showed up. Luckily, I had treatments to do and didn’t eat it right away. The nurse stopped me in time. What if I had eaten it and couldn’t complete the tests? There’s another day in the hospital and another 10K all because of a three-dollar breakfast being delivered by accident.

It’s getting harder to hide CF from my managers at work. It was easier to do it years ago when I only went in once a year or every 18 months and I could depend on having a new boss every year. Now, it’s tightrope walking and juggling at the same time. It’s getting technically more difficult to hide the truth. I’m not sure how much longer I can do it. I want to work as long as I can, but CF is screwing with that plan.

Tests, tests, and more tests

My insurance company will look for ways to get rid of me after today. These doctors love tests. And they delivered big time with that love today.

First up was what I call the Survivor test. They injected radioactive Thallium into me, then strapped me to a table so I couldn’t move. Three large boxes circled me, taking images of my Labrador heart. It seems strange to say 20 minutes being immobilized feels like a long time, but it does and did. Holy crap. I have new respect for Survivor games where they have to stand on a stick for 6 hours. The tech made it a constant point to tell me not to move. I didn’t and couldn’t thanks to his strap-down job.  

From there I went for the poison dart frog venom test. In this one, they placed me on a table and the same guy who shot me up with radioactive material 30 minutes earlier, dosed me with what must have been poison. All of a sudden it felt like I had just chased Fox out of a downtown L.A. bar and down the block. My chest tightened and I couldn’t breathe. SOB. SOB. SOB. Alert. Alert. Dying here. Shoot the f’ing frog that humped me, damn it.

The techs acted like it was normal to feel like you just ate bad blowfish. FU. Normal this, dudes. The bad guy just poisoned me like James Bond in Casino Royale.  But I don’t have an Aston Martin with a drug kit in it. Why are you standing there? Give me the antidote. I’ll tell you what I did with the “Nurse, Nurse, Nurse” guy from last night. He’s duct taped to a gurney on the top floor of the parking garage. Antidote, please.

It’s no wonder I have a splitting headache tonight. It took me 10 minutes to come down off of that joy ride to heart stretching heaven.

From there, I enjoyed the Fast Pass to my 50-minute echo test.  The three guys working it were cool and Fox had some x-rated guy conversations with them, but it was still painful.

Lunch came after the tests, which was a cheeseburger and fries with three ketchups and no salt. I get the no salt part. I’m in the heart ward. But three ketchups for all of that food? Are you kidding me? Who do I kill?

I got to repeat the Survivor test after lunch. It was just as fun as the first time. Try it yourself sometime. Lie on your bed, with arms at your side, hand clasped over your groin, and don’t move. 20 minutes. Start now.

The rest of the day I worked, barely.  But I did eat more M&Ms in one sitting than I’ve ever eaten in my life. They’re monitoring my heart – WTF. Let it race.

Stay well.

Fox’s day in hell.

I thought it was a dude that woke Unknown for blood pressure. It was the lady stache that fooled me. I’ve woken up next to a few whiskers in my day, but this one was thick, black and greasy. I jumped on top of the TV and waited until she dragged her club foot out the door.

I partied hard last night with the nurses. Loud, lively honey babes charmed by moi. Bambi and Ginger helped me tape up the dude next door who couldn’t master the call button. We laughed our asses off to his duct taped, muffled “nurse” yelps. Press the button next time, dude. Press the button.

The docs punished Unknown for “chest pain” today with more chest pain. Whatever they shot into him is something I want a bottle of. That looked like 10 minutes of rollercoasting while drunk on Gin Ball Twisters fun to me. Gotta get me some of that stuff for tonight’s g-string martini “fiesta of love.”

Party like it’s your last.

Fox out.

Day 1 in Jail and Fox Looks at the Sun

I’m in jail.

I had a choice: Spend a few days driving back and forth for outpatient tests or go to jail and get them done there.  I turned myself in. And what a fun first day it’s been.

The day started with a tease. They brought me to a room in the new hospital wing. Excited, I was. Alas, reality crushed that dream hard and fast when they realized I needed telemetry.

“Don’t unpack,” the nurse said.

There was a silver lining. The nurse usually worked on the intensive care floor, so when she asked if I wanted her to start an IV before I transferred, I almost got down on my knees and kissed her feet.  Yes, please.  Start away, O wonderful IV Goddess. Stick me, stick me good.

She aced the IV insertion, of course, like nurses from that floor do. No tapping veins or doing rain dances to summon a vein or calling another nurse to do it after you’ve screwed the pooch three times. Bingo, bango, bongo, she was in and blood was coloring the towel placed on my knee bright red. Afterwards, I almost wanted to see if she could do it blindfolded. I bet she could have.

As this nurse doesn’t deal with CF patients, she cracked me up when she told me meds from home would have to return home. Yeah, sure thing, babe. I’ll get right on that.  Where’s my carrier pigeon? I hope it can carry a large bottle of enzymes, two packs of the xopenex dosage they don’t stock here, and the myriad of other meds I brought. Welcome to CF World, Ms Nurse; it’s different from any other world you’ve ever been to. We have our own rule book and it’s 9,023 pages long. Rule #5,879: Always bring back-up meds.

I got to the “heart” floor and was joined to a heart monitor.  Now they can watch every beat and “misbeat” while I’m in my room working.  How exciting that job must be. One lead was off for an hour and no one broke down my door to see if I was still alive, so someone’s not paying close attention. At some point, I’m going to switch all the leads just to see if they notice. That’s on tomorrow’s agenda.

The RT came along with her high dose of Xopenex that makes my heart race. I was prepared for her. I had my low dose in my pocket ready for the switch. I excused myself to wash my hands, placed her dose in my pocket and then pulled out the low dose. That’s how the magic works, my friends. No conflict or arguments about it with the RT or doc, just smiles and fun. Suckers.  You didn’t even know there was a magic show going on, did you, people? 

The guy in the room next to mine must still ride a horse and buggy to work and write with a quill and ink. He kept yelling “Nurse, Nurse, Nurse.” I’m thinking, did they not show you the big red button on the remote for calling the nurse?  The same remote that you’re using to change the channels of the blaring TV in your room? He must of screamed it a dozen times. This is why some people get a pillow placed over their face Godfather-style in the middle of the night. Holy cow.  Somebody tell that guy what century he’s living in.

Many thanks to everyone for the kind thoughts and messages. They make a difference. When I wrote that CF drove me crazy, I wasn’t making it up was I?  You won’t see the CF Foundation posting any videos of me on their web site. No, I’m the poster child of what you don’t want to do when you have CF. Someone has to set the bar low. Happy to do the job.

Stay well.

The real truth from Fox.

There’s one part of the adventure Unknown left out. When they brought him to the Heart wing, his heart almost fell out of his pants. The most smoking hot of hot nurses got assigned to him. His worst fear. We’re talking stripper hot with long brown hair and green eyes. A nine out of ten, like looking at the sun.

Unknown’s a gentleman and averted his eyes. Not me. I’m a fox. I looked and my eyes burned. But it was worth the blindness.

I prompted Unknown to suggest they bring a pole into his room to see her moves, or just drop a couple dollar bills on the floor to see what might unfold. No luck. This Unknown is the wuss of all wusses. I’m stuck here because his little hearty heart did go pitter patter a little bit funny. No one hooked old Fox up to a monitor when this nurse walked in, but they should have. I’m still dazed by what I saw.

The other terrible part of this current adventure is that there is no beer to be found.  None, not a drop. A little AC/DC playing, some beer and tonight’s post would have had a much different tone. Unknown would have titled it “A letter to my wife: I’m so sorry for what I did in the hospital.” 

This is when I need to be hanging with Tiger, not Chicken Boy.

Someone send a six-pack, a boom box, and a stack of dollar bills. This party needs a jump start.

Fox out.

Why I Love Visiting the Emergency Room

[Disclaimer: Adult content. Do not attempt anything mentioned here. You’ll only get arrested,]

Do you have a reservation, sir?

I almost had to visit the ER visit last week due to stomach problems. I hate going to the ER so much, I gutted it out, pun intended.

Here are my favorite things about the ER:

I’m really here to rob you. I must be the only one who enters with a mask on. That’s the look I get from admissions, to the nurse who takes my vitals, to the first doctor I see two hours later. And to tell you the truth, I’ve never see anyone else show up with a mask on. No wonder they’re afraid of me. “Everyone raise your hands. This is a robbery. Toss your pulseox, heart monitor, and X-ray machine on this dolly. I can do all of this at home, people.”

Not like it was years ago, honey.

For VIP service. Look, let’s face it, the ER isn’t the Brown Derby. There’s no tipping the nurses to get served faster. But there are a couple of methods to reduce your exile in waiting room hell. First, always mention your chest and heart. I don’t care if you only broke your toe, say: “I’m having chest pains and can’t breathe. Oh, and by the way, could you X-ray this swollen toe while I’m here?” Second, if you’re coughing up blood, don’t be shy about it. Either bring a white towel with CSI blood evidence all over it or let a good cough splatter hit your shirt like you’re a drunk. They’ll take you right to your table. Don’t forget to tip.

CF is slang for Genetic Lotto Winner. Oh, how I love to hear, “you’re really lucky” referring to how long I’ve lived with CF. Yeah, I’d agree with you most days, but I’m not feeling so lucky right now with this collapsed lung and upcoming week “tubed” to a plastic suction box. Or, I’m not really connecting coughing up blood and luck, doc? Does the first person tonight with hemoptysis win a chicken dinner or something?” Then I’d feel lucky. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Appearing at Midnight, the Unknown Cystic

There’s a reason they put walls around toilets. Lying on a gurney for four hours in the hallway with staff members discussing my medical history is the equivalent of sitting on a toilet taking a dump in the middle of a mall – the same number of people walk by staring at you. That’s how much I hate the lack of privacy. “Where’s the damn toilet paper? Hey, you, buddy, standing by Victoria’s Secret. Toss me that catalog.” Welcome to my nightmare.

Shake this. I’m wearing a mask. I have cystic fibrosis. And you want to shake my hand, doctor? Please, why don’t you just let me lick your palm like your black lab does after you’ve eaten a slab of BBQ ribs. Better yet, after you’ve wiped it on every other patient and the floor. Just for kicks, how about giving me something I didn’t come in for – like the “hoof and ass” rash the guy in stall four has. In a fake British accent, Thank you, sir, may I have another, please.

What happens in the ER . . .

We’re on Las Vegas time. Just like Vegas casinos, time doesn’t exist in an ER. Gamble as long you like. In fact, ERs could learn something from Vegas. First, cocktail waitresses with real cocktails would be great. And blackjack tables would be a nice time-killer. For once I wouldn’t mind the two-hour minimum to see a doctor. I’d say, “not right now, doc, I’m down five hundred and Dealer Mikey here just gave me a colonoscopy when he drew a blackjack to my 20. On your way out, doc, let Nurse Ratched know I need another Martini. Shaken, not stirred. Thanks, doc.”

Be well.


@onlyz’s Fun Friday – Five Fun Pranks To Play at the Hospital

[Disclaimer: Each of these pranks has the potential to go drastically wrong and harm people, including you. Please remember that this an entertainment site and it is strongly recommended that you do not follow anything that is written or said here.  You may end up in a car trunk with hospital workers debating how they’re going to chop you up. It could happen. Don’t say you weren’t warned when you’re searching around in the dark for crowbar to defend yourself.]

[Disclaimer #2: THIS POST IS VERY ADULT, or childish, and you should skip it if this isn’t your cup of tea. So, perhaps, you may want to return to something not written by an insane person who is tired of quarterly hospital stays.]

Prank You Very Much

Ah, there’s nothing like 30 or more hospital stays to bring out the humor. So, today on @onlyz’s Fun Friday, I celebrate that joy and happiness with five fun pranks to play while enjoying your vacation at the hospital.

This can't be good

  1. What does the color of your sputum say about you? This is an easy one to start your life of hospital pranks. You’ll need an extra sputum jar. Take some food coloring and put a little in your next sputum sample. You’ll have the nurse looking at it like an engagement ring from a rock star as she walks headfirst into the door.
  2. Privacy Please. When you absolutely need to be left alone for that conference call or quiet moment with your spouse, putting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door is about as effective as inserting your own PICC line. Here’s a sign that will make anyone check their courage meter before coming in: If the van’s a rocking, don’t come knocking – massage therapy session in progress. For added authenticity and  confusion, print it on paper with the hospital logo.

    Hello? Anyone there?

  3. Big Brother Is Watching. Place a fake security camera in your room (available on eBay). When someone notices, and they will notice, say “yeah, I thought it was strange when they installed it. Who do you think is watching?” Then stand up and pretend to look in it, making crazy faces and acting like a monkey. Finish by mooning the camera. “Let them tape that bitchin’ backside,” you say laughing.
  4. Pump yourself up for the big game. Sometimes its hard to take the sixth blood draw from the guy whose piece of fruit in phlebotomy class couldn’t scream every time he stuck it with a practice draw.  My suggestion: have a football helmet next to your bed and every time someone comes to stick you, put in on, do a motivational pump me up dance and cheer: “I’m ready – BRING IT ON!” For extra effect, spike a football after they’re done.

    Have you been a bad boy in the hospital?

  5. I hearted stewardesses. Nothing says party and drunken flight attendants like empty mini-bar alcohol bottles lying around. You won’t believe the doctor’s face when he sees the bottles, United Airlines flight attendant blazer, lacy undergarments and lipstick marks on your sheets from the previous night’s romp. If the doc puts up a fuss and lectures you, it’s time to pull out the greatest excuse known to us CFers. “Doc, I have cystic fibrosis. What did you expect me to do, say no?” Likely, you’ll get a wink and an approving “don’t let me catch you doing that again” look. Offer to show him the video when he’s cowboy enough watch it.
  6. I.V. Hell. This one is a classic, needs to be done early in your stay, and works best with residents. And you’ll need the help of a nurse. Have the nurse dress your neck like there’s an IV inserted in your jugular vein. When the doctor comes in and says, WTF, keep a straight face and say: “Yeah, I was surprised, too, but they said it was there or [point to your private area]. Not much of a choice now was it, Doc?”

    It's hard to find ruby slippers in an 11

  7. The Wizard of Oz. This trick will require some money and a trip to the costume store, but it’s well worth the investment. Each day you’re in, wear a different Wizard of Oz costume. Think of the fun you’ll have growling at people as the Friendly Lion, and making a hay trail as the Scarecrow. When you’re the Tin Man, here’s your line: “I hope you brought a strong needle today, babe, cause I’m 100 percent pure tin made in OZ.” Always wear the Dorothy costume on the final day, as nothing brings about a psych consult like cross dressing in Oz costumes. Also, don’t forget the stuffed Toto for that added detail.

BTW, @onlyz can’t count. Have a good weekend.