Secrets to a Having a Hospital Experience You Don’t Totally Hate


Dr. Elliott, my Conan O’Brien look-a-like urologist who wears a boy-tie, and his “under doctor,” the student doc who observes and learns from the “master” (Dr. Elliott is considered one of the best urologists in Minnesota), who looks like a sexy heterosexual version of Zachary Quinto, were definitely one of the highlights of my bladder cystoscopy/botox injection/biopsy procedure last Friday.

See, I’ve always been a girl who looks on the bright side of things. When you’re in a crappy situation that cannot be avoided, ie, a cysto caused by a neurogenic bladder, there aren’t many options worth talking about, but there is one that can help you through it – looking at the positives that still exist.

Some people think of this as grasping at straws, but really it’s just the smart thing to do. Having a disability can try you. Coping smartly is huge. And believe me when I say this – looking at the positives isn’t just “positive,” it’s the logical next step.

And so I tallied the positives: My doctors were hot and fascinating, the painkillers were delightful, the procedure didn’t require me to stay overnight, and the best part – the procedure was successful. The 8 hours of crappiness were 100% worth it. And on a side-note: Botox injections in the bladder are awesome.

Also, do what I do – bring items that make you the happiest – your own pillow, an eye mask, your favorite drink (I bring warm water in a mug), a book you actually like to read. Phone service isn’t always guaranteed; especially if you’re in the OR area. Waiting un-entertained is the first thing you want to avoid of when you’re at the hospital.

Another item I keep close at hand in an overnight situation is my laptop – my window to the world. But you can’t always trust the staff. Having the computer in a case locked up tight near you is a must. And I bring my neck warmer; my old lady creature comfort that really is one of the best physical pleasures I still have. Hopefully a microwave will be at the nurse’s station if this is you.

You also need to keep it simple, so in effect, these are all of my must-haves in a nutshell. I’ve figured out my favorites, and I stick with those. As long as I have my must-haves, nothing can bug me when I’m there, except a really crappy nurse of course.

And they’ll never make me love the hospital, but they do help me feel like I have some control of the situation, and as we all know, having some kind of control is one of the most powerful weapons you can have when facing something you have no choice but to confront.

I hope…I hope one day visiting the hospital frequently enough to be familiar with all of this won’t be as necessary in my life, but in the meantime, I plan on taking a proactive approach to ensuring my happiness in every medical situation as much as possible…Gold help me so.

How do you cope at the hospital?

Products I love

– Earth Therapeutics Anti-Stress Neck Pillow

– MiGo 20 oz. mug

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

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