Wednesday, May 5, 2010




: acquired or occurring in a hospital

To clarify, NOSOCOMIAL does not refer to a bracelet or a crappy cup of coffee, but more specifically the unfortunate circumstance of acquiring an illness under a hospital's roof.

In lieu of yesterday's discussion on irony, this seems appropriate. What is more of kick below the belt than contracting a disease while at a hospital. I mean, it makes sense considering hospitals are essentially boarding houses for the communicably ill, but while enjoying your stay you'd like to believe you're burdened enough already with whatever ailment put you there. Hospitals are supposed to be safe, the end of the line, the rock bottom that will send you back toward health. I would be pissed (PISSED) if I acquired someone else's pain in the ass while trying to alleviate my own.

Without counting a dozen or so lackluster visits to the emergency room during my childhood (smoke in the eye, nail in the foot, finger slammed under a toboggan) I have had two hospital stays in my life:

1995 - Spent one night in hospital recovering from breast reduction surgery. Shared room with a young girl who had tonsillitis. On day two a nurse removed IV neglecting to put a bandage on the entrance wound; while returning from the bathroom I left a trail of blood on the floor.

2004 - Checked into emergency room with chest pain. X-rayed for broken rib—negative. CT scanned—discovered blood clot. "The technician didn't notice it on the scan," ER doctor said, "It's a good thing I took a second look." Or else what? Spent three days in hospital thinning blood. Don't remember roommate. Do remember watching Deliverance on a tiny television next to my bed. A nurse walked in on me while I was peeing. She acted so casual. "Um...can you leave?" I said. There were few vegetarian meal options. I ate a lot of mashed potatoes and "mixed vegetables."

During these two stays I was not affected by anything NOSOCOMIAL. Though, if I had been, I may have freaked the fuck out. This word, to the latently childish portion of my brain, is the definition of something that is undeniably unfair. No one should acquire a disease while in a hospital. It is just too ironic. I'm not sure I could go on with my life had I endured such irony.

And what if you died!?!


What a joke!

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