In my 50 + years of study on this planet, I’ve come to learn one thing. Life teaches you lessons, whether you want to learn them or not. I recently found myself in the hospital for 5 days. Most hospital stays are totally unplanned, as was this one.

I learned that hospitals are a cross between a hotel and a Federal penitentiary. The nurses are as nice as they can be. “Can I get you anything, Mr. Loynes? If you need anything, just push the button and I’ll be right here!” They bring you snacks, fluff your pillow, almost better service than in a 5-star hotel. But…you can never leave. You are trapped in total lock-down. Oh, and we’re going to wake you up at 3 a.m. to take your temperature and blood pressure…two numbers that haven’t changed in the last two days. Not that you can sleep in a hospital anyway. Especially in the ICU, where they strap a blood pressure cuff on you that squeezes your arm like a vise every hour on the hour. That, along with various torture devices they shove you into, push you through and insert into you, doesn’t make for the ultimate vacation experience.

Now don’t get me wrong. I appreciate their hard work and expertise. But after 14 doctor and 11 different diagnoses, I was the one who figured out my problem. Do you think they’ll give me a discount for that? Doctors and weathermen seem to be the only ones who can be right half of the time and still get paid. I gave more blood away than the Red Cross, and had more tests run than I ever took in college. But the good news is I feel better than I have in the last three months. So thanks to the good people in the medical profession, and the Florence Nighingales of the world, for making my life better.

Next time I want a mint on my pillow…