But my asthma was not getting better that week (I was on Marax- you RPh people remember that?) and so, after repeated visits to his office, my pediatrician admitted me to Local Hospital.
My most vivid memory is watching "The Year Without a Santa Claus" on TV ("I'll have a blue Christmas without you...). It was the only thing I remember being on. Maybe that's why, ever since then, I've been oddly partial to the "I'm Mr. White/Green Christmas" musical numbers.
Yes, kids, back then you had to PLAN your holiday-TV-special-watching. It wasn't as simple as just, say, finding which of the 182 channels were showing it on any given night, or popping the DVD in whenever you wanted. A motivation to learn to read was so you could look through TV Guide and make a list of when and what channel each of the key specials was on. Because if you missed them, too bad. They wouldn't be back until next year. So, no matter where you were, you found a way to watch them.
I also had to learn to pee in a urinal. But, I digress.
I thought I was a good patient. I really did. I don't remember pressing the call button much. My breathing got better. I went home the next day.
And now let's fast-forward to the mid-90's.
Studly, white-coated, intern Dr. Grumpy, fresh out of med-school, is now doing his training at the very same hospital where he spent that night long ago. And one day, while waiting for an admission to come out of the MRI, he wanders down to medical records, looking for that long ago chart from 1974.
Down 2 flights of stairs, in a dimly lit basement, they still had it. It was on microfiche (remember that, people?). I sat down and perused the notes out of curiousity. Reading off asthma drugs long withdrawn from the market.
And then I came to the nurse's notes.
And my nurse that night had written "Patient won't stop whining."
WTF! You bitch!
I didn't whine! I was sick, damn it! And my IV hurt! And the hospital food sucked! And the TV reception could have been better! And you put the urinal where I couldn't reach it! And you kept waking me up for that breathing treatment! And I needed another blanket because you kept my room pretty freaking cold! And you had coffee-breath!
I put the chart away. I was curious. I called the pediatric floor to ask if she still worked there.
She'd retired the month before I started my internship.
You got lucky, lady.