A post-procedure instruction list was given to me as I left the hospital. I do not have the original one; so instead, I found a similar list online, page 3. This one is from a civilian doctor, however, it’s pretty close to the one I received on base. Just keep in mind while you read it that my hotel was not really a hotel, it was Junior Enlisted quarters. Which meant that in my “space,” I had a bed, television, fridge, phone and microwave. Yeah, you read it right, no toilet, shower or sink. There was a community bathroom up the hall. Now this wasn’t a problem before I-131, because it was an all female floor, however, with my discharge instructions, it could be quite a problem.
For example, the sole use of bathroom thing, yeah, okay, if I were back at home that would have been possible, however, I live in the Junior Enlisted quarters at the moment so that is not an option for me! Other women were in the bathroom at all times! I reminded the doctor about my living arrangements and she paused for a moment and told me to avoid taking a shower for the next 48-hours, (I had been placed on a 48-hour “in home” quarantine), and only use the toilet if absolutely necessary. When I did use the toilet she told me to flush a few more times than the paper said and then clean it out with bleach. She also told me to put my “Do Not Disturb” sign out so that the maids would not come in during that time. All to which I irritatingly replied:
“Why now is it okay for me not to take a shower? Am I not supposed to keep on letting the stuff out of my body? And why do I have to use the bathroom when I really got to? Ain’t anytime somebody gotta use it necessary? I understand y’all not wanting to contaminate other people, but then y’all should have arranged for me to have other hotel plans or just let me stay in the hospital!”
I took my papers and began walking off “commando” style, (take it which ever way you want, LOL), as she tried replying to me that it wasn’t a requirement for patients to be hospitalized once their level reached the required…her voice trailed off.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Proverbs 13:12 NIV