Sometime ago, I was admitted to the hospital with a burst appendix. My obstinance and high pain tolerance led me to not seek medical help until the resulting infection led to an up and down sixteen-day stay. First time I had seen a doctor for anything since my time in the Marines in the late eighties, so in retrospect I was overdue. Thankfully, modern medicine won the day, and I was eventually granted a reprieve from my incarceration. Part of my parole requirements were that if I had any abdominal pain, I would seek immediate help and I gladly agreed.

About a week after getting out I had some consistent pain, and now being very conscious of what my obstinance cost me last time and my parole agreements, I gave it about a day and then went to the hospital. I parked and made my way in to have them poke, prod, and scan me some more. They could not find anything of concern, and I was relieved and ready to go home. I had already been there longer than I wanted. But they were less convinced. The attending physician recommended I stay overnight for observation. And I felt hard pressed to offer a reasonable argument, so I conceded.

Unlike my previous stay on the third floor, the fifth floor was specifically for observation. To the point that each room had a small camera so the staff could keep an eye on the inmates. The nurses came by long enough to get me settled in and seemed gracious enough. I had not had dinner and it was too late for them to get me anything of substance, so I resigned myself to finding more enjoyment over the anticipated lack-luster breakfast in the morning.

Before I decided to call it a night and try to find sleep in something that was not my own bed again, I decided I wanted to have a last cigarette. I was pretty sure the guards would not be okay with this, so I removed my less than flattering hospital gown and put on the clothes I arrived with just out of sight of the camera. I then well-timed my casual stroll down the hall, past the nurse’s station, and into the elevator. A few floors below, I walked through an empty foyer to the parking lot and my car. Now being respectful of the hospital tobacco policies, which cover the grounds as well as the buildings, I drove about a block away to a hotel parking lot and enjoyed my addiction. After about ten minutes, I drove back and parked at the hospital now ready for whatever sleep I could muster.

When I walked in the entrance, I was immediately greeted by two security officers none too happy to see me. It would appear they had been looking for me, but completely unsuccessful in finding me. They asked my name, although I am pretty sure all three of us knew who I was already. They escorted me to the elevator and led me back to my room on the fifth floor. I will give them credit for trying to be as official and as intimidating as they could be. Little did they know that I am the last person you want to be trapped in a metal box with, but I was happy to oblige their requests and let them think they had captured the dangerous escapee.

Upon arriving back on the fifth floor and my lovely observation room, I was immediately confronted by “Nurse Ratchet” (the head nurse on the floor). She was none too happy with me and had no qualms about expressing her displeasure. It seems that on a floor with little more responsibility than keeping patients under observation, they had preeminently failed. Likely not their fault, as they just did not know who they were dealing with. At some point in her tirade, she said I was “lucky that they had not given my room away to someone else”. I retorted that she said that “like I want to be here”. And “that if there is someone who needs a room, I would happily give up mine and go home. That’s just the kind of generous person I am.” She also said that “I could only leave if I signed a release”. I begged to differ and explained that “I had no desire to prove her statement patently wrong by walking out the entrance at any time without having signed a damn thing”. Her anger was just as palpable as my “you can’t control me” attitude. I found the whole thing quite humorous, and she did not. Probably not the only thing we did not see eye to eye on. She continued her chastisement until I think she realized it was falling on deaf ears. She eventually left and I settled down for a restless night.

In the morning, I was no longer in pain and desperate to get the hell out of the hospital. I waited for a breakfast that never came. Every time I inquired as to what was going on, they said they were getting my discharge paperwork together. This went on until about noon. It was obvious I was being punished for my misdeeds of the night before. Eventually, I explained to the nurses that I did not want to sneak out of the hospital again but was left with no recourse if my discharge paperwork did not appear in short order. Within minutes my paperwork was in hand, and I was heading out the door. I was tempted to stop at the desk and ask how to get to the lobby, but I am not sure they would find the humor in that just yet.


26 Responses to “Observation”
  1. beth says:

    yikes, ow, and yikes again! glad you all survived and I do have to admit, I liked your responses )

  2. I still adore this story! How it transpired is exactly you!

  3. yassy says:

    Omg , Brad. You take good care of yourself now. Lol gave me a scare but I liked the way you did this post so very interestingly. Think about writing a novel. You might just keep the reader so engrossed 👍

  4. K.L. Hale says:

    Happy Saturday, Brad. This had my Dad all over it. I chuckled because his stints in the hospital were exactly this way. He was hell bent to get his smoke breaks (we all were at those times, lol) and he would tell them he’ll leave any time he wants. It’s good to see you my friend. I’ve been MIA due to battling Covid all week. Sending you love and hugs! 💛❤️🤗😘

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thank you, Karla! I am sorry to hear that you are fighting Covid. I hope you are feeling better soon, and I thank you for your love and support. I am sending you much love and oh, so many hugs! 💕💖💗🥰🌹

      • K.L. Hale says:

        You’re welcome, Brad. And thank you my dear friend. I’m winning, but going slow! I feel a bit outside of myself, but have hope! I feel the love and hugs, thank you! 💛💚💜🤗🥰

  5. A very engaging story, well told Brad!

  6. mistermuse says:

    You were the butt of their retribution, no joking….
    But that’s what you get for sneaking out smoking.

  7. kristianw84 says:

    I love your stories! This made me chuckle, but I feel kinda bad for the nurse. Unless, of course, she truly was nurse Ratchet. In which case, she deserved it!

    • Brad Osborne says:

      If she had been a little more understanding and a lot less preachy, maybe things would have gone differently. But if you decide to get on your high horse and ride it around the room, then don’t be surprised if I shoot the horse. Glad it gave you a chuckle! Love to you, my dear friend! 💕🌹

  8. petespringerauthor says:

    Haha! Nurse Ratchet didn’t know who she was dealing with. You should have told her, “On random nights, I sneak back into the hospital just to keep your crack security detail on their toes.”

    I had a flashback to when our young son had minor surgery to get tubes put in his ears. My wife does not do well in these types of circumstances. After they hauled him away for his surgery, my wife felt poor and laid down in his hospital bed. Fifteen minutes later, a nurse came into the room asking, “Who are you?” 🤣🤣🤣

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thanks for your comment, Pete! It reminded me of another event in my past they may be worthy of a story to share. I should have had your wife with me to act as a stand-in and maybe they would have been none the wiser about my escape.

  9. jonicaggiano says:

    This is an amazing story Brad. You are a rebel with a cause. Smoking isn’t good for you. I am so glad you didn’t die, my friend. You spin a great tale. I can just see you sneaking about. Sending big hugs and my
    Love. ❤️🤗🦋🚬🩺👨‍⚕️🧑‍⚕️ Jonikins

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thank you, Jonikins! It would appear that it will take more than a bad appendix to stop me.

      • jonicaggiano says:

        You were blessed my friend. A ruptured appendix means a much more serious condition which is inflammation of the stomach lining. Many people die from this. God was watching over you. Sending some sunny weather and some flowers. 🤗🦋🌻🌼🌷🌺💐🌸🌹

  10. Jim Borden says:

    great story, Brad! you should have made up your bed like you were in it and just sleeping as calm as could be… 🙂

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