Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hoarding at the hospital!

Last week my uncle was admitted to the hospital for being sodium deficient. A couple days turned into a couple more. More tests were needed and then a week went by. And then he got pneumonia. If it's not one thing, it's another!

10 long days and I was there with him most of the time from sun up to sun down, going home in the evening to get whatever sleep I could steal only to go back again in the early morning.

His hospital room was small but cozy. The bathroom, tiled from floor to ceiling, was filled with light and the only area I had any privacy in. A huge mirror greeted me every time I washed my hands and I began turning the lights off so I wouldn't have to keep looking at myself. Uggh!

Here's some shots of the designer bathroom!

Shiny and silver!

I so badly wanted to give this showerhead attachment a try!

Close-up of the glass tiles. I LOVE all those browns!

During his stay, my uncle refused to eat much of the hospital food (at one point exclaiming, "It's horseshit!"). Not liking to see food wasted, I went ahead and ate what he didn't. I must've put on five pounds this week alone!

The hospital also sent condiments with each meal three times a day. Little packets of this and that, which over the course of 10 days added up. Again, maybe it's the OCD in me but I just can't let things go to waste. Surely the hospital discarded any unused items to prevent spreading germs from patient to patient. So everything that went unopened I took home!

The list includes:

53 packets of sugar
29 hand towelettes
2 large wrapped cookies
3 mayonnaise packets
2 syrup packets
25 butters and imitation-butter spreads
18 straws
1 chocolate pudding
3 jellys
9 rolls
6 salad dressing packets
25 individually wrapped crackers (2 per set)
6 ketchups/3 mustards
5 creams
4 salts/5 peppers
2 single servings of frosted flakes


At least I feel better knowing all this stuff will get used up at home.....eventually!

My uncle is okay now. He was finally released from the hospital yesterday and is on antibiotics.

The best part is my cousin drove in from Ohio and is taking my aunt and uncle to Cleveland to attend their granddaughter's graduation ceremony. This will be the first "vacation" I've had from being a caretaker in months! Finally a few days to myself. I'm a free man until Tuesday!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everybody!!


Mike said...

I'm so glad to hear that your uncle has been released from the hospital. :::HUG:::

I love the browns on that tile too!!!

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear your Uncle is doing better and on the mend. The timing of your vacation is splendid after that stressful period of hospitalization as well. I do hope you get some much deserved rest and relaxation.

Linda said...

Yes they are paranoid about germs in hospital, while I was just in, as a patient myself, I was 'told off' for helping an 90 yr old lady who was being sick, by fetching her a bowl and talking to her, the two nurses were just ignoring her. I felt well enough by then to tell them, they should be helping her.
Hope your uncle is doing well, I found its just nice to be out of hospital.

Unknown said...

You are such a good caregiver!

Glad your uncle is doing well.

A little OCD or something on the sugar packs, hand towellettes, etc...?

Neurotic Workaholic said...

That's really nice of you to take care of your uncle like that.

I also sometimes take home those individual condiments from restaurants or those little cookies or pretzels they give you on airplanes. But the problem is I usually leave them in my bag and forget about them for weeks; then I end up finding a bunch of smashed cookies and ketchup spilled all over the bottom of my bag. So unfortunately I'm not as resourceful as you. I'm just too lazy/forgetful to actually make good use of the stuff.

naturgesetz said...

LOL at hoarding. I save condiment packs, sugar, salt, pepper, and paper napkins. The difference between us is that I rarely use them.

Enjoy the holiday weekend and the mini-vacation. :)

jason said...

Hey, can I borrow a hand towelette?

Enjoy your vacation, Dean.
You've earned it.

I like your style. I'd have taken every last thing....and more myself. I learned from the best, my mother.

sMacThoughts said...

wow... this is a LOT for one very young man to take. You deserve this time off, so I hope it's happy for you. Enjoy!!

Dean Grey said...


Those glass tiles were gorgeous!



I hope to get some rest and relaxation too!



Thankfully the nurses that treated my uncle were very attentive.



Is it OCD if I don't acknowledge it?



Neurotic Workaholic!

LOL, your bag must be a mess by now!



You enjoy your holiday weekend too!



I have enough hand towelettes for EVERYONE!



I don't think I'm a "very young man" anymore!


Thanks to all of you for the nice comments!


stanw said...


Great the your Uncle is out and now about and you can have that "vacation", well deserved, care-giver extraordinaire complete with condiments, itemized so carefully!

Manon said...

You deserve the break, my friend.... big time!!
Glad your uncle was released!!

Nordic Monsoon said...

You are such a sweet family man, Dean. Hope all is well.

amar said...

Hello Dean,

I am sorry to hear that your uncle had to go through all that. He is very lucky to have you in his life. I'm glad to hear he is better now.

I love the bathroom photos. Especially the brown tiles. Very cool.

I moved from MA to GA and have been very busy. That is why I haven't been by here lately. I want you to know that your blog is still one of my favorites. Your art and writing move me.

Peace and happiness to you always,


martha miller said...

P.S. Ok, so here's just the punch line from an old dirty joke: "Can you tell me, how far is the Old Log Inn?"

Dean Grey said...


That's sweet of you!



I'm glad my uncle was finally released too!






Your loyalty isn't going unnoticed! Hope you are enjoying GA!



So how far in was it? LOL


Everyone's kind feedback is greatly appreciated!


naturgesetz said...

@ Amar — Now that you're in Georgia, shouldn't you close with "Peach and happiness to you always"? LOL

Dean Grey said...




Randuwa said...

Be good to yourself in this respite. My tender thoughts are with you. As is my respect for your good works to your uncle and aunt.

bK said...

I'm glad you're uncle's okay! Plus, you totally deserve a break! I also think you deserve to try out that designer shower.

I sense that you're a bit of a *cough* pack rat *cough* lol. I'm very much the same way.

AndyDrewby said...

Nice tiles. I am always afraid to bring anything home from the hospital, hospitals are so dirty. Glad your Uncle is home.

Unknown said...

Glad your unlce is getting better, thats a lot of stuff youve collected Dean! I thought you were joking, but good for you Im sure you will have found use for them, save me the cookies)

melanie said...

Happy to hear your uncle is out of hospital and on another adventure and YOU' are getting a well deserved break' i was my mothers caretaker' through her illness and the journey was amongst other things a long, exhausting and painful one' but not without it's moments of humor and joy and hospital condiments'
Your post takes me back' i hope that your time is spent enjoying the YOU bit of your life'
wishing you all the best Dean'

Anonymous said...

Before you even said it, I was already thinking, 'I hope he doesn't catch pneumonia', because so many people who stay in hospitals get pneumonia and just complicates everything. Hospitals creep me out that way, and I try to avoid them at all costs.

And my graciousness! That's a lotta stuff that could've gone to waste. I don't even wanna think what the hospital billed the insurance company for all that stuff. Maybe $1.00 for each ketchup pack? I wouldn't put it past 'em.

Dean Grey said...


I appreciate that!



I would LOVE to have tried out that shower! And I'm a pack-rat to a point. I'm pretty good about going through and weeding out unnecessary stuff.



I had the same concern and was definitely worried all those hospital germs would be brought home with all that stuff!



I'm saving a cookie for you!



I'm sorry to hear you had to play the caretaker role at one point too.



Yep Corey, my uncle got pneumonia just as he was about to get released and then he had to stay even longer to get that treated!


Thanks to all of you for chiming in here!


Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

Grueling for your uncle and for YOU! I'm glad you're taking stuff home - they would throw them out! I hope you enjoyed your respite, however brief....

Unknown said...

Glad to know your uncle is back home now!

Dean Grey said...


We made it and that's the important thing!



Thank you!


I always appreciate you two stopping by!