ICU. (You may want to fasten that gown.)

26 10 2006

Hospital shows have been around forever, from the long-running soap opera General Hospital (my babysitter used to watch that when I was a kid; is it still on?) to ER to Scrubs to Grey’s Anatomy. I confess I’ve not watched any of them, but apparently they’re very popular and successful.

So, maybe I should jump on the gravy train. After the past few days at St. Paul Hospital in Dallas I have enough fodder to fill scripts for an entire season. I could at least give it a try–you know, pull a Jerry and George and write a pilot. First of all, I’m thinking this will have to be a sitcom, simply because it involves my family. Don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty of drama, but something in the way we’re wired keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously.

Here’s a little scene from yesterday afternoon to whet your appetite. Dad, having made a remarkable recovery, is propped up in an ICU bed. He’s off the ventilator, and the nurse has removed quite a few of the many tubes and wires connecting him to various monitors, drips, and drains. He still has drainage tubes from his chest and legs, a catheter, an IV, an oxygen tube in his nose, and a port to his jugular, now covered with a bandage. He’s eaten breakfast and lunch and been for a stroll around the ICU with a couple of therapists. Now he’s tired and dozing in bed. Mom, my sister, and I are sitting in chairs nearby.

Mom: Jim, if you want me to bring your laptop up here, the hospital has wireless, but you have to get a password–
Dad (mumbling): No, I don’t want it.
Mom: Just let me finish. Yesterday Jimmy got a lot of work done on his computer, but he had to call this number to get a password–
Dad (a little louder): I don’t want my computer.
Mom: You just call the number and this guy gives you a password–
Mom: Well, okay then.
Dad (mumbling again): Can I still have a password?

About thirty minutes later, Dad is drifting in and out of sleep . . .

Me: Hey, Mom. George and Jacob will be flying into Dallas from Florida Friday and they’ll want to come see Dad.
Dad (groggily): I may be home by then.
Mom: You won’t be home by Friday!
Dad: I may.
Mom: No, you won’t. (turns to me) Are you in communication with George?
Me: No, we’re not speaking.
Mom (ignoring my sarcasm): They’ll be moving your father to a room. I’ll need to give you the number so you can give it to George.
Me: George is flying into Dallas. You’ll see him before I do.
Mom: Yes, but if I’m not home when he arrives, he may need to get the room number from you.
Me (ignoring the anti-logic): Okay, fine. You can give me the room number and I’ll be sure he gets it.
Mom writes herself a note about this.
Dad (still groggily): I think it would be good if your room number could also be your password.

So, what do you think? Will it be a hit? I don’t know. Maybe it’s too subtle. I could always start with the scene in the ICU waiting room where the woman in leopard-print, spike-heel boots hit on my brother as he sat working at his computer (thanks to his trusty password) with his oh-so-sexy reading glasses perched on the end of his nose.

Or maybe the pre-dawn drive to the hospital when we passed a partially burned out neon sign, and my sister said, “There’s the Corvette WareHo.” And Mom quipped, “There’s no use in WareHo.” And I was so enamored with the wordplay they all told me I should call myself a WordHo instead of a writer.

I’ll have to think about it. (What scene to start with, I mean–not calling myself a WordHo. I’ve already decided to do that.)

Meanwhile, thanks again for praying. Dad is doing so great. We’re counting our blessings, and amongst them we count you. ♥



12 responses

27 10 2006

I laughed out loud multiple times. 300 points for you.

27 10 2006

ICU, Too!! 😉

Jeanne–Well, you’ve all been through the word-ho wringer, but it seems like there may be a use in it, after all. Your daddy’s getting better and your sit-com future looks bright! Need a co-writer? We could sit around like Dick Van Dyke and RoseMarie and that other little guy and come up with stuff for shows at the VERY last second and then go home and trip over the ottoman! That sounds like fun.

I’ve got more med stories from the past year alone than I could ever use. Mom’s not as productive right now, though. She’s feeling…better. Sheesh.

So glad your father is doing well, password or not.

Katy McKenna

28 10 2006


Jeanne, this is so funny. I’ve spend many hours in hospital with mom and dad so maybe someday there will be a FIF collaboration. I’m thinking the FIF gang steals Grayhound bus, hit the road and do some brainstorming.


29 10 2006

Yay! I’m glad I made you laugh, Gracie. Thanks for the points. I will frame them and put them over the mantel. ♥

29 10 2006

Re: ICU, Too!! 😉

Co-writing with you would be a blast and a half. And you definitely have the stories. Let’s do it! (Or, if not the writing, at least the tripping over the ottoman thing.)

Love, J.

29 10 2006


Thanks, Suzan. An FIF collaboration sounds like a fun gig to me! You get the bus, and I’m in. 😉

30 10 2006


So, an ottoman in the bus, then? Can I wear the little black velvet clip-on bow, please? 😉

Just spent the day with MIL in the ER. Now she’s admitted. Dizzy as a loon. If it doesn’t resolve and it’s an inner ear thing, it may spell the end of assisted living and the beginning of nursing home. She can’t lift her head without throwing up she’s so dizzy. Fun times!

Katy McKenna

31 10 2006

Generally Hospital

Very funny. I can picture the whole thing. Of course, besides you, I have to make up faces, hair color, build, the whole bit, but I’m picturing it all the same, and I think it would make a very amusing sitcom. Like Scrubs.
Are you still in Dallas? I’m behind on my blog check-ups. I’m guessing from the anti-logic conversation that you have already gone home.
I live in Dallas, so if there is anything I can do for your family, from rides to food to passwords, let me know. (Um, I do draw the line at fastening your Dad’s gown.)
Heather Goodman

31 10 2006


Yes, Katy. You may wear the sassy little bow. And you’ll be gorgeous. 🙂

Sorry about your MIL. I hope she feels better soon. ♥

31 10 2006

Re: Generally Hospital

Thanks for the offer, Heather. You’re so thoughtful! I think everything’s covered though (including all the essential body parts). Dad is home now under the care of “Nurse Patsy” (my mom). She even bought a white nurse’s cap and wrote her title on it in red. Scarier than a Halloween mask, lemme tell ya.

I returned home Wednesday afternoon, shortly after the password conversation took place. Where in Dallas do you live? I come to Dallas pretty often. We should get together some time. You know, just hang out and swap stories. Or passwords. Fun times.

6 11 2006

Sitcom Star

What a treat it would be to play a principal character in a comedic family sitcom. Of course that’s what I have been doing for the last 50+ years since my marriage to the lovely “Nurse Patsy” with the cast increasing over the years. I am thankful for my wonderful, delightful, talented and strangely wired family !
Love, Dad

6 11 2006

Re: Sitcom Star

Aw, thanks Popster. We of the strange wires are thankful for you, too! (Did you ever get a password?)

Love, J.

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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