Why security guards in this room as a TIA patient [minor stroke] entered room 307? Then, after settling in, he asked, “Anyone watching this TV?”
“Yes”, an abrupt and harsh reply from the bed behind the curtains. “It’s Ok” interjected the guard, “we’ll take care of it.”
They lowered the sound and not until 1 a.m. was it shut off by the nurse. In the interim, our humble stroke patient made a trip to the nurse’s station to inquire what was going on. An inmate assigned to a special room was his first surmise. “No,” said the nurse captain, “just a behavioral issue” and thus security guards assigned, 24/7. Each guard for the next 36+ hours, were either sleeping or were with head buried in their cell phones.
Sleep finally arrived for all, with of course the occasional interrupting checks for blood pressure, temperature, prescription delivery and intravenous hook ups. As the time passed and medical personal made their daily rounds, it became apparent what was going on. He was rude, kept snapping at the nurses and even tried to get violent. Thing is, this patient was confined to his bed by the bed alarm and could not walk by himself anyway. His back was damaged from a street altercation causing pain and paralysis in his legs and feet. This forced the situation of being sent to a local Palm Bch hositpal.
The attending physician clarified it all when soon upon his visit he indicated to our sorrowful hospital roommate that surgery was out of the question. In a nutshell – he was a drug addict, an alcoholic and homeless besides. His anger was a result of detoxing. Further, there was no way he could recuperate after the surgery as there was no home or support system available for him. He would supply him some pain pills and send him on his way. In the meantime, efforts to visit the bathroom on his own was particularly disastrous – a non-flushing, smelly, pee spraying disaster. Filthy ! And who do you think cleaned it up? None other than our humble stroke patient.
The time of dismissal arrived clarifying the situation all the more. “You’re being dismissed,” said his nurse, or should I say released.
“How? I have no clothes, no money and no place to go.”
“Where are your clothes?” she responded.
“You threw them out. You said they were too torn, tattered and dirty to wear, so you threw them out. All I’ve got is this hospital gown”
“Well, you are released so you have to get what you’ve got together”
“I’ve got no home to go to”
“Where were you before you got here?”
“At the Walmart on Forest Hill Blvd and Jog. I stay there.
“Well, there is a bus on the corner to take you there.” “No,” replied the assisting nurse, “that bus goes to Southern Blvd.”
Nurse responded ,“OK, well then, go to the Walmart on Southern and stay there.”
They left the room.
Our other humble hospital patient was mortified. “Tim ! Are you kidding me? [his name was Tim] Don’t you have a place to live, a home, any clothes, any money, any transportation, any way to walk on your own?”
“No, I have this walker, they took my clothes. Just this gown. I guess they are giving me some pain pills. I stay at the Walmart. Have few guys I hang with there.”
Seems the Walmart on Forest Hill Blvd. has a large parking lot, a lot of land in the rear and an adjacent canal full of iguanas. Mike [we’ll call our hospital roommate Mike] could not help but feel compassion for this situation. Was his Catholic conscience stirring? “Here, take my pants and shirt. My wife can bring me another pair.” And take this $10 bill. Buy yourself a bus ticket and a sandwich at Walmart, whichever one you arrive at.” I mean who wouldn’t?
Tim thanked Mike and left when they arrived with the transporting wheelchair. He was gone.
To one of the Walmarts I suppose.
Mike telephoned his wife. “Von, bring me something to wear when you visit tonight. I’ve got no clothes.”