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Growing Up โ€“ Hospital Style

Wouldn’t you know it, but it seems like darn near all of my new blogging/Twitter CF peeps are in “jail” right now for one thing or another, including a successful double-lung transplant. I thought it would be a good time to run down what my hospital stays used to be like, but I do have to apologize for the lack of real photos. See, they didn’t have cameras back when they used to put me in the can.

Annual clean-outs

That’s what they called it every summer. Sometimes July, sometimes August – depending on the Little League schedule, I think. I’d go in for 2 weeks, rain or shine as far as my cough was concerned. Come to think of it, I can only remember two or three times they put me in the hospital for my cough that wasn’t an annual clean-out.

Back then, you didn’t get your own room. Heck, the TV was a 5″ box that swung around next to your bed and cost $7/day to have turned on. There were times we couldn’t afford for me to have TV while I was in the hospital and times where they busted both arms with IVs and I couldn’t swing the TV by myself. I remember bonking my head one night because I fell asleep with the TV right in front of my face. Ah, memories!

Kids remember the darndest things

TroubleWe went game shopping after we got married and I refused to let us buy “Trouble” It was just one of the many games that was in the hospital game room, but it was one that they let you take back to your room, unlike Hungry, Hungry, Hippos. I get chills thinking about that game to this day. Same for the smell of finger paints. I really think I would have a panic attack if I went back to that floor in the Toledo Hospital.

The routine was simple

Jurassic ParkIt was a rather easy life being in the hospital. They kept you on a routine, including when you had game room privileges. The respiratory therapists only came in during the day, as did the nurses – nothing like nowadays when no time is sacred. The food was tolerable and I got to pick my meals from a meal card every day, which was VERY cool for a kid. As long as I had TV, I sat and read books and watched TV the whole part of the day that I wasn’t in the game room or pushed around for testing. My most memorable book I read in the hospital was “Jurassic Park” just when the movie was coming out. The movie was due to come out a couple of days before my release, so I read the whole book and then my parents took me to see the movie as a treat for getting out of the hospital.

And then it all ended

I remember going to school with my first home IV in the 6th grade. I don’t know why they changed, but I think it was school-related so I didn’t get behind, and then I don’t recall ever going back in for a 14-day stay ever again. Early 1990 home IVs were as primitive as all get-out. They were 11″ mechanical pumps that squeezed a syringe of meds in over 15-60 minutes into a lousy peripheral IV that needed changing every four days at the longest. I had a lump in one vein for years after we left it in a couple of days too long. It’s gone now, but the memory remains.

The unexpected stays

Annual clean-outs weren’t my only experiences at the Toledo Hospital growing up, but they were actually my better ones, because my other visits were the things from King novels. I’m going to say one word and see how many of you CFers cringe, shudder, or puke:


What did that do to you? I don’t need to say any more if you have ever had it. If you haven’t had it, just ask your doctor for a whiff some time. I dare you. Looks like I have another article to write after all… man this content just doesn’t end, does it?

PizzaSince I was born with meconium ileus and jejunal atresia, I was the guinea pig for our family learning curve on what foods I needed to avoid, take extra enzymes with, and the like. For years, I wasn’t allowed to eat whole kernal corn, then my issue became melted cheese on pizza – because what teen doesn’t consume massive amounts of pizza? Pizza, in various forms, quantities, and durations of ingestion was what did me in for years to come. We had to figure out about spreading out my enzymes during eating and making with absolute certainty that I don’t get distracted and forget to take them at all, because that’s a first-class ticket to the ER in about 21 hours.

In the early days, I didn’t know the signs early enough to avoid massive trauma to my system, but Beautiful and I have it down to a fine art now so that we get to the ER really early in the battle and tips will be coming on how to get in and out of the ER with a blockage for anyone who has similar episodes. Trust me, we’re pros now.


  1. You're bringing back some bitter-sweet memories! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. You're bringing back some bitter-sweet memories! ๐Ÿ˜‰