Sunday, June 08, 2008

Through the Boob Tube Darkly - A Post-Surgical Perspective

I wrote this post over a few days last weekend from notes I took in the hospital and during my first week or so at home. During that time, I was still taking pain meds on a very regular basis. Yes, the photo is my hospital room and IV.

I'm feeling much better today and no longer take the pain meds except when going to physical therapy. We're in a heat wave here, but I've had no reason to leave my apartment at all and I have the air conditioner on low. I'm feeling so good today that I came up with my own physical therapy! I put on a CD I have with old hits like "Wooly Bully" and "Louie Louie," cranked the volume, and danced or dance/walked my way around the apartment. I twisted a bit; I made a point of bending my knee and putting weight on it -- no walker (been folded all week), no crutch ... on my feet! Although the knee got very warm, it didn't hurt and still doesn't now a half-hour after I stopped acting like a lunatic. My cat wasn't thrilled, though.

Without further ado, here's the rather drug-induced post --

Before I get into my list of what my drug-induced mind has been either entertained or irked by, I have to spend a moment talking about hospital televisions. One day, you too could end up in the hospital and you'll remember my words of wisdom here.

First, it was a great 42 inch flat screen, better than my televisions here at home. Thank you. Oh, and I had a DVD player, too! Woohoo! But it's all downhill from there. What? No remotes? What's up with that? There I was, strictly bed-bound for four days before they let me get up and I don't have a darned remote at all for the DVD player? Not only that, but the DVD player was across the room from me! How about the remote for the television? It's not a real one! Hooked into the "call nurse," more pain meds thingee, and change bed positions doohickey, I had an on/off for the television and up/down controls for channel changing. No numerics, mind you. I was stuck going through the realm of channels to get at anything I wanted to watch.

So, hospitals, listen up. I was not there for comedy relief accidentally shooting myself up with more pain meds when I just wanted to watch The Late Show with David Letterman. I wasn't there to make a spectacle of myself contorting my bed into odd positions when I merely wanted to find anything other than an infomercial at 4:00 in the morning. And if you're thoughtful enough to have a DVD player there, put it where the patient can actually operate it. Real remotes are desperately needed. Feel free to search my belongings. Body search me on the way out since you've already shred any dignity and privacy I ever had. I won't steal the remote; I have plenty of my own. I won't mention that the on/off switch for the lights on the doohickey did nothing. Oops, I mentioned it.

Then, after nearly a week in the hospital, I went home sweet home. Home, where I know my cable stations, home where I have real remotes. Home, where I had set up everything convenient for limited mobility. Now, since I've been home, I've still been pretty heavily medicated. It's made for a long strange trip of television watching between the zombie state and the insomnia. Here are some of my observations from that state of mind, not in any particular order:

1. The Late Show with David Letterman - Reruns last week on my first almost full week home? Yeah, I know it was the end of May Sweeps, but sheesh, Dave ... it's bad enough you had Jack Hanna on for the same night as my surgery and I missed my favorite guest on the show. Oh, and the Stupid Pet Tricks were on the pathetic side this time around. Dave, you let me down.

2. Dexter - I don't have Showtime and was trying to catch the first season when they aired it on CBS. Due to writing up the Sunday night Big Brother review, I missed enough to make me buy the first season on DVD. Great show, can watch while medicated and I sometimes identify with Dexter. But I don't go around killing people for either good cause or bad. I have been known to kill bugs on the "he needed to die" basis, but I don't think that's a crime.

3. The Meerkats movie on Animal Planet - Whoa, too much background into the filming of the series. I fell asleep both times I tried to watch it. Hey, maybe that's the cure for my insomnia! I enjoyed the series and I'm looking forward to the new season, but this didn't do anything for me.

4. Raw Nature on Animal Planet - Oh, animals eating each other, always a diversion from life at home! This kept my interest, but I think my cat got too much into watching it. You know, I've heard tell of cats eating their deceased owners. Eep.

5. Old original series Law and Order on TNT - My interest in this show has waned over the past few years, but I like the older episodes with Benjamin Bratt. Whether it's poor memory or the drugs I've been on, I didn't even remember a few of these I watched. So it was like new entertainment for me.

6. The Andromeda Strain on A&E - Speaking of Benjamin Bratt ... he's still adorable these days! I know I have the book and I saw the original movie, but it's been decades. It didn't wow me, but I stayed awake through it.

7. Judge David Young - This is a judge show I haven't watched too often, so he's pretty fresh for me. I think some of his rulings seem to come from his heart and not the law, but that's what people get for wanting to go on TV instead of a real court with their foolishness.

8. Homicide: Life on the Street - As many times as I see this show, I still want to watch it again. I was ticked at the hospital for not having a cable company which included WGN. Now that I'm home, Kellerman killed Luther Mahoney. Cool.

9. Criminal Minds - This show has always been up against something else I watch and I never had the time to watch many recorded shows due to life constraints. Perfect, A&E is carrying it now. Fresh fodder for me.

10. The latest Optimum Online Triple Play commercial - This is so overplayed! I didn't like the rap one last year and this one is even more annoying. It sometimes plays three times within a half-hour on some stations. Gack. I just see that Optimum flour bag and start to cringe. I only enjoy the lawn guy winking. Make it stop. (And they're the company which doesn't carry WGN!)

11. The First 48 on A&E - Played at all hours in the middle of the night, nothing like a good murder or two to keep the TV zombie staring at the set.

12. So You Think You Can Dance - I don't watch Dancing With the Stars, but this show is a constant hit for me. But just wait until some of these dancers get some good years on those knees. They'll end up in a hospital without real remotes for the TV!

13. American Idol winner David Cook on The Early Show - Darn it. A crane fell and we only had one song while I'm sure there was to be two. Not that I'm cold-hearted, but here in the NYC area, all programming on all local stations carried the news until well past noon. Five hours of pretty much the same news shots with little or no real new news during that time. I was thankful noon came around and WGN with its Homicide comes out of Chicago.

14. Reruns of Home Improvement and Rosanne on either TVLand or Nick - I never really watched the former when it originally aired. So it's like mindless light fluff entertainment for me, grunt. As for Rosanne, watching it after so many years made me remember why I enjoyed the series in the first place.

15. Groomer Has It on Animal Planet - Although I'm getting tired of the same old formula for reality shows, I still got hooked on this one. They should groom more cats, though. And, as entertaining as Artist is, he's a weak groomer.

16. Forensic Files and The Investigators on truTV - More real murders. I think perhaps I have a twisted mind. I still think truTV is a dumb brand for the station, but they didn't ask me.

17. The Wire on DVD - Ah, now I have the time to go through the four seasons I own without much real life interference (day job) cutting into my viewing time. Come August, I'll have season five. Life is good. Well, maybe not for the corner boys, but I'm more of a stoop kind of gal.

18. Hell's Kitchen - Matt has to go. I think his presence makes my knee hurt more. Thus I have to take more pain meds. It's Matt's fault! (Update - he's gone and my knee feels better!)

19. The Smoking Gun Presents on truTV - Now, any reality TV blogger knows The Smoking Gun website. For years it was the source for dirt on reality contestants. So when I found this in my channel surfing, I watched. Leif Garret, Tonya Harding, Danny Bonaduce and other Z List celebs known for their stupidity judge the stupidity of others on video. Hmm ... if Darwin's Theory of natural selection were indeed correct, all of these people should be gone, right? That said, it made me laugh. Of course, it could be my medication.

20. Saturday Night Fever movie repeat this past Saturday - A blast from the past and I was surprised I watched it all the way through. "You hit my hair. I worked hours on it and you hit my hair." Oh, I should be dancing. But I don't think my orthopedic surgeon would approve.

21. Sunday Morning on CBS - Always a part of my Sunday morning routine, this brings a sense of normality to my bizarre life of late.

22. NYCTV25 from - This is a local cable station, but always interesting. From Cool in Your Code to the music to the events to Secrets of New York, it makes me want to get back to photo stomping around town. Yep, an incentive to recover!

23. Trauma: Life in the E.R. on Discovery/Health - Like I haven't had enough of hospitals, eh? Maybe this caught my attention because I'm grateful this was a planned surgery. I don't know.

24. Living Lohan - That's a half hour of my life I'll never get back. Even on medication, this is a waste of my valuable time. I could be dancing, y'know!

So there you go. I feel a bit like the guy in A Clockwork Orange with his eyes forced open, a true TV zombie. Pardon me, it's 2 AM and I found Without a Trace.


Sydney said...

Fabulously entertaining Jackie! Great to have you and your POV back. Loved it that you were dancing! 20 lbs down and twisting away

delee said...

Jackie is back!!! Throughly enjoyed your show recaps and thoughts. I agree about Meerkat movie, was looking forward to it, but then wondered why.

Yes hospitals are the worse even when really ill. Remotes could be put on a leash, like items at Best Buy with an alarm, attached to your bed rail.

You mentioned the dancers and their knees, same for runners (all that pounding on hard pavement).

Saw SITC today, loved it!!! Off to watch Sun shows...

Zoetawny said...


Howling (laughing...not like my dogs) over here at every turned phrase. I just knew we'd see photos from your hospital room. Now I know to bring my own remote if I'm ever hospitalized. Why wasn't my husband that funny when he was on zombie pain meds in the hospital? Although he did do some weird things with his hands in the air that would have been funny if I hadn't been so worried that they fried his brain. I'm relieved to see the drugs kept your sense of humor in tact.

I could just see Jackie rockin' out dancing to "Wooly Bully"...of all the tunes you could have danced to. Was that a 45 with the big hole in the middle or an 8 track? Ok, so it was a cd. Maybe there might still be some Chubby Checker 45's in my parent's garage that I could send to you, Jackie.

I had to look up what year that was and ran across this...

YouTube - Chubby Checker - Let's Twist Again

Don't try this at home, Jackie, or the hula hoop. :D

Speaking of nostalgia, did you watch "Swingtown" last week? I would love to read your take on it.

As always your humor captivates me and makes me want to read more. It's soooo good to see glimpses of the Jackie we all know and love. Your progress and recovery seems to be moving ahead full steam now.
You go girlfriend! ...but not too fast.

Are we ready for "Army Wives" tonight? If I see the promotion for it one more time I'm going to throw something at the TV. J/K


::::waving:::: How hot is it down there? It's 84° right now. Hey, I just learned to do the degree symbol...Alt 0176.

Well, it's time for dinner. I have no idea what I'm cooking tonight.


Jackie said...

Thanks, guys!

Zoetawny - It was about 95 here today. Not that I noticed because I stayed inside!

I didn't watch Swingtown and don't have Army Wives on my agenda. Neither seem to be something I'd like. My primetime block tonight was Million Dollar Password, the new Law and Order Criminal Intent on USA and now I have on In Plain Sight. I just hope that last one ends on time tonight!

Donna in AL said...

Jackie, so glad you are back to yourself at least mentally if not 100 percent physically yet.

You watch enough of TruTV and you will learn how to get away with murder. My friend says the first thing would be to shave every hair on your body so as not to leave any at the scene.

I tried to do that alt. whatever to get a degree symbol but it didn't work. It was 95 here today and humid. My forehead is sunburned crispy from being in the pool all afternoon yesterday and today.

Jackie said...

Donna - I know if I commit murder not to confess -- lawyer up!

Sydney said...

It was not to horribly hot here today, for Texas that is, but my AC broke in the car. Fan just shut off! Life was so much easier in NYC without a car, for the most part...

Tonight we are watching that space documentary on Discovery Channel and it's excellent. Showed pt 1 and 2 tonight. I had left off a few shows like that and Design Star etc... so I added it to the post about June shows and reminded myself about this show tonight. Highly recommend it!

Delee -- gals you went to see SITC... would love to hear more impressions.

joy n said...

Jackie, if you're dancing, you're making loads of progress. Great to hear that. Maybe you could try some moonwalking. (:>)!

Scherzo must be wondering who turned the world upside down by now.

I see your sense of humor is intact. LOL at your notes.

Hospitals leave much to be desired, but you'd think leaving a decent remote within reach would be a priority.

Watched Design Star tonight. Looks like it may be a good season.

You're sounding more like yourself every time we hear from you. Glad that you are literally back on your feet and getting closer to resuming your normal routine.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you must be doing much better! I haven't had any surgery and if I tried to dance around they'd probably have to call EMS!

Thanks, Jackie, for the rundown on all the TV I've missed the last few weeks. Thank goodness the end of school stuff, the dance classes, recitals, etc. are all over. Ready for some down time! Bring on BB10!


Brent McKee said...

Jackie, if you get Superstation WGN on your cable system, check out Corner Gas. It's a comedy shot here in the province of Saskatchewan (about 180 miles from where I live) in the small town of Rouleau and stars some very good Canadian actors.

delee said...

Sydney, SITC was like meeting an old friend after a few years. The "girls" did look older, if you looked close. Smith had really aged and not sure why! I was shocked at his face. Big was Big, period.

Sure they sexed it up a bit, but I expected more cover your eyes moments. The clothes were fabulous, but most of us can not afford them.

I am not sure they left any doors open for another movie. Tied most ends up. My friend and I want a Dante to move next door. Swoon....

In the end a glorified TV show, but one I would not have missed, for as soon as u saw them on the screen you felt comfortable.

I taped USA shows and watched Design Star and NFNS. DS does look like it will be a good season. Not sure why they kept Michael, he could not answer their ?'s. Just love how they have to build their own house by a lake. I can see some major brou-ha-ha's over this next week.

STAY COOL or DRY depending on where you live!

Delee said...

PS....forget this! After my daughter and her friends saw SITC, they went to dinner (somewhere in the DC area). They were approached by a Travel Channel team and were filmed for some upcoming show in SEP. They did sign releases, will let you know when I know more, but I said they could end-up on the cutting room floor!

sharon said...

Very interesting musings,Miss J.! At least you know if you have insomnia,all you have to do is pop in the meerkat movie,eh? And yeah,hospital life is not "real" life,after almost 12 years,my sleep patterns are still a mess after 3+ months in one! There's NO place like home.

Watched Password last night,and can I just say,if I was on that show,I'd want Rosie as my partner. She was amazing,and even though I couldn't stand her talk shows after a while,she is a fierce game player and a very smart cookie. I was disappointed the first guy quit when he did,I thought they had a good shot at the million.

Then watched Design Star,and I agree,delee,couldn't understand why Vern gave Michael another chance and then he made the cut. If I were the contestants,I'd be ticked about building that house,too. A great deal of them are not builders or have any experience. What about the plumbing and electric and all that?And the challenges they showed in the previews didn't seem to be about the house building,did they?

Tried to get into Food Channel's Next Food Star,but never have been able to get hooked on it,and In Plain Sight was on opposite it. Got sucked into IPS,and quit on Food Star. I really kind of like IPS,but no Christian this week.All in all,not bad viewing for a Sunday night now that reruns have started.

Was 91 and very humid here yesterday and another day like that on tap,then rain and it cools down. I've been in the house for two days straight now and I am so glad we got our central air last July!!! Stay cool and dry everybody,and keep on dancin',Jackie.

RBennie said...

Good Morning all! Special shout out to Jackie. I'm thrilled to hear how well you are progressing. Not too much of interest on TV for me last night. I watched the new Password and agree with the poster who said it reminded them of Millionaire. They should have stuck with the original concept - it was great the way it was. Rosie was an awesome player though. I watched Army Wives and found it to be a little slow for a season opener, but it started to pick up and I was all teary eyed by the end. Didn't see that one coming.

Delee said...

Just read Friday's USA Today and it reports that Jimmy Smits will be joining the cast of Dexter on SHowtime.

Sydney said...

Yay! So glad all you Smitts fans will now have a reason to join me in commenting one of the best (yet odd) shows on TV right now! And Jackie, I was all excited you got to see the whole first season and liked it too.

Only thing is, I guess season two will be showing on A&E or whatever it is, and the third season will be on Showtime.

Sydney said...

Delee-- wow about the TV show taping your daughter! Keep us informed. And loved to hear what you thought about SATC too.

Shout out to Brent -- nice to hear from you. :-)

Anonymous said...

That was funny. Gotta love a good drug if it's for a good reason of course. The smart ass side suits you. HA!

Awake in Theory said...

Jackie! I love the Wire! I just finished season 3 and if you ever care to comment on it, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Glad to know with you surgery etc. that you are getting back on your feet...haha.

I started reading your blog for BB during AllStars and have kept up since.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jackie, I just had to comment and let you know I usually read your blog for "Big Brother" only, but slowly I have been reeleed in by the master fisherman of Read your post surgical comments, want more, need more, love to read more. You are awesome, keep that great attitude and keep getting better. Linda :)

TV Revival said...

Thanks for reminding me about Benjamin Bratt in "Law&Order" will have to netflix some of those stat.

"The Andromeda Strain" was as you say passable, altho I did really think the f/x were the best part.

And seconds on all "The Wire" (which is the best show on television imo in the last 5 years) and "Dexter" love. I finally got the first season at Best Buy since it was on sale. If you haven't gotten it, get it while it's cheap!

Hope you are well.