There are two things in life I’m deathly afraid of — paper cuts and hospitals (sadly enough, probably in that order). I know I need to grow up, but I live in absolute fear of hospitals. The last time I’ve visited one is when I was born, and I was hoping I wouldn’t have to visit one again till I die. I hate the smell. I hate needles. I hate the monitor that makes that beeping noise that’s the difference between you being dead and alive. I hate all of it.
I’m in Seattle for a couple of days after my quick Aeroplan round the world trip, and I was spending Monday night at the Four Seasons Seattle. I almost always stay at Hyatt, InterContinental, or Starwood properties, though I’ve heard amazing things about the Four Seasons Seattle, and it’s one of the more reasonably priced properties in the chain. So I figured why the heck not for one night, especially since it included a $100 food and beverage credit, breakfast, a room upgrade, and late check-out.
Unfortunately I awoke at 6:30AM yesterday with an awful pain in my lower abdomen. I almost never complain about pain, though in this case I couldn’t see out of my eyes, I couldn’t breath, and I felt like someone was doing surgery on my stomach while I was fully awake. While hospitals are one of my biggest fears, my even bigger fear is going to a hospital in a city without family. Fortunately Seattle has great hospitals, and there could be much worse places to get sick alone, like Vietnam, the Maldives, or in the middle of an 18 hour flight.
So after the pain went on for about 30 minutes I called the front desk and asked them where the nearest hospital was. I feared it was appendicitis, and one of the reasons I didn’t wait longer is because my dad’s appendix nearly burst about 10 years ago because he waited too long.
The front desk agent asked me if I needed an ambulance, and I said a cab would be alright. Two minutes later the manager on duty and security were at my door to take me downstairs to the waiting cab that already knew which hospital to go to. The manager said she’d extend my stay by a night in case I needed it, and asked if there’s anything else she could do.
Anyway, both the people at the Four Seasons and at the hospital were far too nice (I guess they better be with how much they charge), and the nurse taking care of me, Don, had a great sense of humor. They hooked me up to an IV and thought I had either appendicitis or kidney stones, though after nearly three hours of tests it turned out I didn’t have either.
Anyway, I’ll avoid all the other details, but I did take away the following:
- On the plus side, I’m not totally terrified of hospitals anymore. They’re not that bad, and sitting in one of those beds for a few hours with the potential to be minutes from surgery eased my fear a bit for the future.
- Unfortunately I’m now mildly terrified of having something happen on an airplane. I’m kind of scared to get on a longhaul flight and be the reason for a diversion. I’d never get on a longhaul flight if I wasn’t feeling well, but this was something that hit me from one moment to the next. I realize the chances are small, but that doesn’t make me feel any better.
- The folks at the Four Seasons really were incredibly hospitable and I can’t say enough good things about them. Perhaps that’s something that should be expected at a Four Seasons, but they were hospitable without being overbearing. I’ll have a full review of the hotel soon, though I think it’s an incredible hotel that’s actually a very good value as well.
Lastly, I appreciate that you guys always make me laugh. I tweeted a picture of my hospital bed, and some of my favorite responses included:
- “Worst. First Class Lounge. Ever.”
- “Is that angled-flat or fully flat there?”
- “any miles to be earned from the visit?”
Yes, I have a feeling I’ll be earning a few miles for the visit…
Oh, and you know how to tell that I’m totally obsessed with miles and points? When I went to the pharmacy in the hospital to pay for some meds they prescribed me, I took a few seconds to ponder if any credit card would earn me a bonus for that spend category. Yes, that’s despite being heavily drugged up.