As I wrote in my previous post, I had my umpteenth neuro appointment last week. While it wasn’t one of my best performances on my Myasthenia Gravis test (they do strange things to test the strength of my limbs and my stamina or lack thereof), it was actually a lot of fun. How? Well I made myself (and a few nurses) laugh by “vacationizing” my hospital visit. And now here is the second half of the Top 10 Ways to Vacationize Your Hospital Visit, complete with pictures from my vacation.
*NOTE: This article was originally published a decade ago. I have been busy with grad school lately; I recently started a Psychology program at University of California-Berkeley.
Top 10 Ways to Vacationize Your Hospital Visit or Inpatient Stay
5. Find a restaurant after your visit that embraces the theme of your vacation, in this case my Hawaiian vacation. I went to this restaurant called Tiki Terrace where I took oodles of pictures with the scenery, the closest I may ever get to Hawaii with 85% of my vacation days (PTO) spent going to the hospital. For instance, if you “Disneyfy” your visit by wearing Mouse Ears, you could visit the Disney Store at your local mall afterwards.
4. Put an umbrella in it. No vacation is complete without an umbrella in an oversized glass.
(Note: As chronically ill people, we’re drinking nonalcoholic beverages, of course.) If you’re inpatient, you can always have a friend bring over tiny umbrellas to stick in the milk cartons you get on your hospital tray.
3. Examine the hospital guide as if it were a giant map showing you “places of interest,” like popular tourist attractions. It’s funny–as I mentioned earlier, one of the two nurses who played along with my vacation asked me, “Are you enjoying the sites today? Have the people been nice?”
2. Take pictures with the hospital gift shop pretending you’re shopping at some touristy gift shop.
1. Post your pictures on Facebook. In the social media age, when all is said and done, is your vacation complete if you don’t post pictures on Facebook? Isn’t that what everyone does in our hyper digitalized world, even when the number of vacation pictures taken is excessive? Betty White famously said during her SNL appearance a few years ago, “In my day looking at someone’s vacation pictures was a punishment.”
Why I Laugh
There you have it–ten ways to vacationize your hospital visit or inpatient stay. As much as possible, I try to laugh in the face of my hardships be they illnesses or other losses. When you have five diseases, laughter keeps you from getting bitter-whether it’s watching Carol Burnett’s greatest hits during a polycystic ovarian episode or vacationizing my autoimmune checkups. I hope you too can find something in all of this madness to laugh about.
–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno