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When you’ve been here sooo looong…

...How long is it???

  1. You start setting random goals for yourself. Some of which aren't actually in your control at all: "I will get out of here before I run out of toothpaste."

  2. Over time, you have been given about as much freedom to decorate your room as a typical teenager would have, minus the ability to paint it flat black or put up SI Swimsuit posters.

  3. The nutrition services workers know your habits and make food suggestions to you based on that. Also they bring extras of your favorites. Which might or might not reduce you to tears once they leave the room.

  4. You learn the "secret-menu" meal items. And you are reasonably sure they don't spit in your food when you order them!

  5. Nurses and CNAs casually stop by to chat. You greet them--by name--when walking in the hallways. You are contemplating the creation of a fun handshake. Or maybe hats.

  6. You start leaving your room door open so you don't miss any drama, and request a hot water boiler so you can sip tea. That guy in 17 is a total drama queen. Also, last night, 22 was feeling some kinda way about her daughter not visiting yet. Oh, and CNA X told CNA Y that Nurse Z hadn't done a single thing for herself all day and she was 'bout DONE with it.

  7. Your mother-in-law sends an entire jar of Fluff to go with the box of hot chocolate she gave you. You spend an unusual amount of time wondering if the nurses would judge you if they walked in on you eating it straight out of the jar.

  8. You read. A lot. Like, literally a book a day. (To fellow book nerds: yes, it feels as great as you think it would to be able to read a book straight through with minimal interruptions from "a job," or "a spouse," or "sleeping.")

  9. Your exercise therapist starts offering to bring things of his own to facilitate your efforts. You both contemplate why the ankle weights go from a 5lbs pair to a single 7.5lbs one. So for 2 weeks you wear a 5lbs plus a 1.5lbs on each leg (because there are also no 1lbs ankle weights...) until he can get his weighted vest back from his brother for you to try. You both promise that if either of you wins the lottery, part of the funds will be used to buy complete sets of everything. Plus extras.

  10. Your exercise therapist waltzes into your room as you're editing the above entry, declares that he's just going to bring you the 10lbs ankle weights for your leg day today, and that way you can't complain that you aren't sore the next day. (Addendum: Apparently I should have kept my mouth shut after the last leg day. Honesty was not the best policy...*wince*)

  11. You actually have to start cleaning things out, sending things back home with your husband because your shelves are so full. Contemplating this amount of love and support inevitably makes you teary, and sitting in the dark, silently crying freaks your nurses out, so you try to instead think words of gratitude and then hustle to find something to occupy your mind while your get yourself together. Often this involves standing-in-place, dancing to your "Happy!" playlist.

  12. Your nurses sometimes roll their eyes at your antics. Right in front of you! This is unusual because nurses generally don't let patients see the amusement, ire, irritation, or sadness on their faces. It took weeks to build this level of rapport. You beam with pride and revisit the idea of group hats...

  13. You are allowed to do certain things for yourself. Nothing really cool. I mean, you might have offered to push your own Lasix a few times, flush your own lines, or even draw labs from your PICC line. Can't do any of those, but you are allowed to wander down to the Nurses Station when your telemetry unit gets low on battery, and switch out the 3 AAs for fresh ones. (Obviously you tell your CNA so she can go ahead and check you off her list.) Maybe next I'll get them to tell me where the linens are stored so I can make my own bed, or get the code to the nutrition closet...

  14. You start getting "advice" emails from your insurance company, largely because they can see that you haven't been picking up your prescriptions at the local Walgreens. The current one in your inbox is "Prescription for Success: Taking an ACE inhibitor or ARB can help keep your heart healthy!" Yikes...! I'm thinking it's a liiittle late for that...

So today is Day 90! 3 months doesn't feel correct. Some days it feels like it's been 30 months, but more surprising is that some days it doesn't feel like it's been that long at all. Which is totally ok by me. Happy 90th day to meee!


Dec 21, 2022

You. Are. Amazing.



Dec 21, 2022

So thankful for your positive attitude and super communication skills! You're a "classy" lady and we're benefiting from your wonderful spirit.

Brenda Eckard


Dec 14, 2022

Please. please, promise you will offer "list making" classes soon. So fun! Thinking of you and sending heaps of good vibes your way. So grateful for all of the joy you are spreading on your floor, I hope you know of your super-powers! Blessings and prayers my friend.


Dec 13, 2022

Elise, thanks for the list - we appreciate and admire you. Happy 90+ !😍


Dec 13, 2022

My thoughts and prayers are with you every single day. I would love to be a fly on the wall to witness your shenanigans 🤭 You are an amazing lady Elise. Keep up the great attitude!



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