The Time-Sensored Light Switch

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2016


A fun, true story about the broken light switch in the bathroom of my hospital room.

I’ve been here since Saturday, in the hospital, and I keep telling everyone that something is wrong with the light in the bathroom. They say it’s timed so if there’s no movement, it will automatically turn off. It is timed for 10 seconds!


After several complaints, they put in a call to maintenance, but so far, I’ve seen no one resembling a maintenance person enter my room.

As if dealing with the light wasn't bad enough, they gave me the prep the other night to prepare for my colonoscopy which was yesterday. Ahhh, fun. But apparently it wasn’t fun enough on its own. You see, Henry is attached to me, that’s my IV pole, whom I’ve affectionately named Henry. He comes everywhere with me. No matter how personal the situation, trusted Henry is by my side. I’ve found like most males, Henry is not always cooperative. The prep makes one run to the bathroom, however, I’m not capable of running very quickly on my own, with Henry by my side, it’s near impossible. He needs to be unplugged, then he isn’t the fastest, he gets hung up on wires and stuck on chairs and beds and the bottoms of tables.


Once we make it into the very small bathroom, there’s not much room for both Henry and I, but, we make it work. That’s when the fun begins. I realize, I have 10 seconds to accomplish the task at hand in light. After that, I’m doing everything in the dark. Motion is supposed to turn the light back on. Ok, I’ll keep that in mind.


Henry and I got through the prep; I was a bit cranky through it all I will admit. He bailed on me for the actual procedure. He stayed in our room and relaxed. But he was right there waiting when I arrived back, apparently drugged out of my mind. They gave me Benadryl in the IV on top of anesthesia, so I was fruit loops for a while. My husband, mom and sister got some good laughs so I’m told. I have no memory of said incident and deny it all and luckily my sister didn’t film it, so there’s no proof.


I’m told the nephrologist came to see me after my procedure. He found it pointless, as I was still fruit loops, and said he would come back in the morning. However, he did place orders. I was to pee into a hat for 24 hours straight. Oh, more fun! We started this new marathon at 6 a.m. this morning. Henry and I stumbled into the bathroom, we both looked so lovely, and I tried to situate myself over a hat on the bowl all in 10 seconds. The rest was done in the dark. And so, not only was I peeing into a hat, but I was frantically waving my arms, as if I were leaving on a cruise ship, in a vain attempt to stimulate the light. Alas, my only destination was back to my hospital bed with Henry. So far, he’s been a gentlemen, he knows his place at the side of the bed and stays there.

Today, they let me take a shower! The nurse wrapped up my arm with the IV in it in plastic and used a lot of tape to keep it in place. I was freed from Henry for a short while and told very emphatically not to get my arm wet, even to keep it outside of the shower. Now, the IV is in my right arm; I’m a righty.


I stripped in lightning speed and, of course, the light went off just as I was almost done. I clicked it back on, turned on the water and hopped in. Now… in order to keep my right arm outside of the shower, I need to face the water. I was trying to pump soap into my left hand using only my left hand. Bam, the light went out. Standing in a pitch black shower stall, facing the water, trying to wash in the dark with my left hand no less and my right arm extended outside the shower stall is no easy feat. I thought, wow, this would be so romantic if only Henry were here, but they wouldn’t allow him in, so, I was on my own. I came to the conclusion even I’m not supposed to see me naked.


I shuffled out of the shower in the pitch black and clicked on the light. Now I had 10 seconds to dry and dress. I didn’t make it. I clicked the light back on about 6 times and finally thought, ok, I will finish dressing by my bed, I’m alone in the room. Great idea. So out I came with a towel wrapped on my head and a tiny towel covering my front. The door to my room was closed, at least when I went into the bathroom. Well…. Guess who was awaiting my exit from the bathroom! The maintenance man. Yes, he was standing in my room with tools in hand tinkering with my air conditioning/heating device and waiting to gain access to the bathroom.


After we exchanged some ridiculous comments that I can’t remember and I ran back to the bathroom, I got a knock on the bathroom door. Now, I’m again in the dark trying to balance myself to put on panties, because I don’t want to upset the hat that is sitting on the toilet bowl, so I’m standing up to do everything. The maintenance man yelled through the door that he is going to speak with an expert in bathroom lighting. I had no idea bathroom lighting was an expertise. You learn something new every day.

Henry and I are as close as ever. We made it through the shower experience. He was a bit jealous of that maintenance guy, I could tell. We had a long talk and I reminded him, who is it I’m attached to? You. Did you see me take off with the maintenance guy, no, so you have nothing to worry about.

I’m now dressed in a gorgeous gown and awaiting visitors and food, the highlight of my days other than the next time I have to go pee into a hat in the dark while waving frantically to no avail!


Visit my categories, Life Stories and Inspiration and Long Island, New York.


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Harbes Farm Out East North Shore Long Island

Long Island North Fork Farms, Food and Fun

Long Island - South Shore On The Coldest Day of the Year

Wineries - 30th Birthday Surprise

Long Island, New York Northshore Winery

Hurricane Henri Hitting Long Island

Long Island Favorites, Eating Out or Ordering In - Gluten Free

Never Forget

Check out some of my other categories:

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Gluten Free Baked Goods

Gluten Free Pasta

Instant Pot Recipes



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