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Friday, June 19, 2015

A Tale of Two Hospitals

When they brought me to the first hospital I went to after my stroke, I experienced much dismay.
A dismay I did not express when previously writing about it.
They were helping me on the road to recovery to some extent,
but there were a lot of downsides.
The main one being the quality of the food.
It was, to put it charitably, institutional food, and I could not eat a drop of it.
I felt I needed all sorts of excuses to not eat their food.
I had my wife bring in boxes of shredded wheat and raisins and all I required of them was skim milk, which they provided.
Whenever I had dinner, it was because she brought it for me.
This hospital is considered the premier hospital for the kind of illness I had.
So, of course, I considered this inexcusable.
There was a great deal of impersonality from the therapists.
I knew they were helping me somewhat, but it seemed that they did not care particularly.
Again, I found this somewhat disconcerting.
My most vivid memory of that place is how many MRIs I had to go through.
Every time they did one I felt one I felt like I was reliving the opening credits of Ben Casey, where all you saw were the hospital lights overhead.
The only other upside was that I had a private room.
The next step was to move me to a sub-acute facility.
My attitude was "Oh, my God, how much worse can it be?"
As it turns out it was far better in many ways.
The level of caring by the therapists has been awesome and I am recovering much more rapidly than anyone had expected me to.
I am using a walker and I am just days away from being able to use a cane.
Which was kind of where I was when I had the stroke.
These people understand their reputation.
They know that they are Avis to the other hospital's Hertz.
So they are striving constantly to prove that they should be number one.
They also certainly accomplished that in terms of the level of food that they serve.
It is downright edible.
I know we are still dealing with food in an institution, but it is of far higher quality.
And it is served very attractively, making you think that it is far higher than it actually is.
Not that this place is without its dark side.
I do have to share a room with somebody; there are no private rooms here.
That is not really unpleasant, except for the fact that we share a very small bathroom,
and any time one of us makes a mess, no one is rushing to clean it up.
So I find myself in the awkward position of having to clean up his mess.
This shouldn't happen; that is their job.
As I do go to dinner in the dining room most of the time, occasionally there will be an experience where someone who really shouldn't be in public goes there too and behaves wretchedly.
Yesterday, one of the patients who I see there very often, and who spends most of his time coughing his brains out, hacking up phlegm, sat down at my table,where I was by myself.
He seemed to have no awareness that he was violating my rights.
Maybe it was like this at the other hospital, too, I just didn't get a chance to find out.
So I actually complained to the nurses about him and he was immediately placed at another table.
But, again, why did I have to complain? Why did I have to take the initiative?
They saw what was going on!
How did it become my responsibility to get rid of him?
At least no one thought I was out of line by complaining.
The nurses are usually very pleasant and usually try to please you.
Another chink in the armor --- there are all these little black foofies all over the place in the room.
They make the beds everyday.
New sheets and everything.
And I know I didn't bring them with me from home.
We don't have any little black foofies at home.
It's something this hospital provides.
I don't know why, and I don't know how to get rid of them.
The other one didn't have them.
It's really been starting to bug me.
One last fly in the ointment: there is a woman who works here whose job is the job of a professional cheerleader.
She talks to the patients as if they were nine years old.
Now a lot of people need a person like this; they need to be talked to as if they were nine years old.
But I am not one of them.
The only reason I put up with her is that she bought both of my books.
That buys a lot of good will.
They actually let me do one of my "library appearances" here.
Which I needed to do to test out my voice, which is coming back strong.
It went over very well.
I expect to get out of here and go home in about a week and a half.
I am doing everything I can to accelerate the process.
The end is in sight, but I am beginning to feel like a prisoner here.


My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. If you're betting on sports and kvetching, you're feeling much better. Good sign.

  2. Many good wishes to you, Mark, as you endure this process, and I hope you will achieve full recovery soon. This was a good lesson about issues I may face, as I am a senior citizen now, too. I also bought one of your books at a library session in Michigan, and thank you for putting up with me as well! :)

  3. Many good wishes to you, Mark, as you endure this process, and I hope you will achieve full recovery soon. This was a good lesson about issues I may face, as I am a senior citizen now, too. I also bought one of your books at a library session in Michigan, and thank you for putting up with me as well! :)

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."