Unfortunately, around 4 weeks into my stay in the hospital Master D and I both got a mild case of gastro. I casually let one of the nurses know what was happening and suddenly there was an almighty commotion. A decontamination station was set up outside my room, nurses practically donned hazmat suits to come and talk to me. I was highly amused by the bright yellow “Clinical Waste” bag I was supplied for Master D’s offensive nappies. It’s not often you put your baby’s nappies into a bag with what looked to be the radioactive symbol on it!
But my amusement quickly faded when the doctor broke the cheery news that Master D and I were to be isolated to my room and the adjoining living room for the next 48 hours. At least.
“You’ ve got to be kidding me!” I complained, watching my child rampage across my room, shrieking with delight. I begged to be sent home instead but was deemed too unstable for leave. I spent the rest of the afternoon racing between my toilet and my baby, whose main symptoms seemed to include an adamant refusal to nap and despicable nappies which filled my room with the most noxious odour.
Now forced isolation for a few days may sound somewhat pleasant to some people. I mean, I had a bed, books, a TV and my own private outside area. Someone brought me my meals every day. But I can assure you that forced isolation trying to entertain a bored sick roommate who continually cries, grizzles, and attempts to destroy your belongings must surely be a new level in hell. On my third day out of pure desperation I flagged down a nurse and said “You have got to take him for a little bit before I…” (I had been about to say “before I kill myself” but then realised that was probably not the wisest thing to say given my situation) “before I lose my temper”. She took pity on me and with a sigh of relief I turned on the TV.
About half an hour later the nurse came back and accused of watching pornography. I assured her that I had only been watching an episode of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and that pornography was, quite frankly, the very last thing I felt like watching at this current point in time. But I didn’t have a good feeling about watching the TV after that incident.
Finally on the late afternoon of my third day my psychologist came to release us. Master D and I flew out the door joyously. Even better I had a psychological testing session so I was taken for a walk next door while Master D was cared for by the nurses. Usually these testing sessions bored me, but today it was positively luxurious. Freedom!
It was heavenly going to make myself a cup of tea, watching Master D happily crawl around outside, actually having adult conversations. As I went to bed that night I vowed that I would never ever complain that I felt restricted in the unit again. Who cares if other women were allowed to go for walks and I wasn’t. At least I could walk to the kitchen! Who cares if the food is crap. At least I could choose it! With a newfound appreciation for what I did have, I stopped complaining.
Well…for a few weeks anyway 😉