Writing Tips at GarySpeer.com

Tips for writers and musing about writing and life

Trusty little netbook worked great for writing in hospital — get one if you can


That trusty little netbook I bought a few months ago paid off last week as an excellent writing tool during a couple of days I spent in the hospital. No, I wasn’t sick. But my wife was.

My wife spent three days in her favorite cardiac care ward again last week. Her first trip to that hospital land of fun and sleepless nights was April 30-May 5 of this year. I believe I wrote about the experience, though I don’t recall whether I wrote about it on this website. She suffered a frightening heart irregularity known as “atrial flutter.” That means the electrical system in the upper chamber of her heart was firing irregularly. The symptoms were a hollow feeling in her chest, rapid heartbeat, physical tiredness, and nausea.

The doctors got her heart under control then with the use of three potent heart medications and sent her home, after running tons of tests and taking six days to get the job done. (“You’ve got the heart of an 18-year-old, though,” they told her at the time.)

Last week, she called me to pick her up early from work because she was feeling tired and nauseated. That earned her a quick trip down to urgent care, where they passed her along to the ER, and from there (about four hours after our arrival) she was admitted to the hospital — same hospital, same cardiac care unit. This time, the medications were over-reaching their task and causing her to have random heart beats that were TOO SLOW. The solution was to put her in the hospital and let the medications wear off for a day, then replace them with new ones — taking another day or two to monitor the results. (“You’ve got the heart of an 18-year-old, though,” they told her again.)

Thankfully, her insurance is decent, so we’ll only be the rest of our lives paying off our share of all this year’s medical bills.

But back to the point I was going to make: That little netbook worked flawlessly as I sat in the variety of mostly uncomfortable chairs in her hospital room and tried to get some work done. Lucky wife, she had a comfortable adjustable bed with a nice food tray that was sturdy and adjustable for her to rest her laptop on. But I somehow soldiered on, confident that my heart, though not that of an 18-year-old, was the one beating properly in this case.

So, in case you find yourself stranded in a hospital, a bus station, an airport, or one of many other uncomfortable situations where you have limited space and lots of time to work — get a good netbook and enjoy the convenience.