On a scale of 0-10, how painful would you rate this column?

Pain is a relative thing, as witnessed by those who have followed this column for any length of time.

Before we begin this issue's foray into literary excellence, in spite of having spent the last several days in Fairview Hospital for a malady, the cause of which is yet TBD, there are a few things I need to get off my chest. As you will see, things some of which have been festering for a long, long time.

Seriously, how come it's called Fairview Hospital if it's located in Cleveland? Fairview's just on the other side of the valley, no? I'm way too lazy to verify this but I'll bet that long, long ago Cleveland annexed the hospital side. Why? Probably just because they could. I guess the city of Fairview should be happy the hospital still bears their name. Possibly one of the very first "naming rights" deals ever negotiated.

And what's with the asking of my name and birthday seemingly every 30 seconds? Heck, I was born in that hospital; shouldn't they already have that information? Or is the real objective actually to just keep asking away until I make a mistake and then using that as justification for throwing my rear out? A tricky bunch, I tell you.

In a similar vein (much like my IV) why do I have to keep giving them my pain level (on a scale of 0-10) even more frequently? I mean, you smile and tell 'em the level is zero, the nurses do a happy dance and toss macaroons into your mouth. It also begs the question of what the heck you're doing there in the first place if you're doing that well? But you throw a ten their way and that's your fast track to the morphine drip.

So I messed with them and alternated between zero and 10. See, I prefer my macaroons with morphine on the side. Yum! (Side note: after watching Clevinger struggle for the first two innings against the Twins the other night, I'll bet even the cardboard cutouts of folks in the stands could have registered pain numbers of 7+ (and eagerly qualified for some of that morphine.)

Did you ever have to snake a clogged toilet in your home? Since I was admitted to the hospital via the ER, I had to be COVID tested to make sure I wasn't one of "them." (No, I don't mean the Roto-Rooter man, I mean COVID-19 positive). They take this thin little semi-circular swab (which looks eerily similar to the very same bamboo shoots they torture people with) and insert it into the nostril of your choice (proving once and for all how flexible they can be) until it feels like they've reached the back of your skull. Then their phone beeps, they say "I have to take this," and vanish for 20 minutes while you writhe in pain. Okay, okay, I made that last part up. But I had you goin' there, didn't I? Besides, while the snaked toilet analogy may be a bit harsh, you get the point: it's no picnic.

I thought semi-private rooms went the way of the dodo bird a long time ago. Well, I'm here to tell you that that is not that case, Marcus Welby. The first night was semi-peaceful ("peaceful" in a hospital setting defined as "only" having to deal with hourly interruptions for blood work, clot shots, battery changes in the portable monitor(s), vitals, reaffirmation of my identity, and/or pain level. And let's not forget the changing of the IV bag, which invariably sets off an alarm loud enough to draw the attention of medical professions as far as 7 counties away. It usually starts the local dogs a-howlin' as well.)

The second night brought a roomie, who, as luck would have it, didn't hear so well. That's not his fault, but apparently keeping the TV on all night with the volume up as a means to helping him sleep seemed a bit much. I can now recite – word-for-word – the audio tracks for about 10 consecutive sitcoms that played (loudly) on TV Land from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Then, thankfully, it all went silent. When he awoke, the poor guy couldn't find his remote. He had to call the nurse to help find it, which was found under his bed on the floor. All I can say on the matter is if there's one thing I'm grateful for, it's the long cord on those remotes. Just sayin'.

Anyway, how 'bout we talk about some sports now?

Yikes! I'm way, way, way outta words. (Which unto itself should reduce your pain level).

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

Read More on Sporting Views
Volume 12, Issue 17, Posted 9:31 AM, 09.01.2020