Milestones in a Mask: Club Med(ical)

Katie Maier

Although my hospital “vacation” did manage to spice up my usual quarantine lifestyle, I don’t recommend including appendicitis in your summer plans.





You may have read my last (somewhat depressing) column about how I didn’t travel anywhere for spring break because of the whole global pandemic thing going on. As it turns out, however, I had an all-inclusive vacation waiting for me just a couple weeks later at a place I call “Club Med(ical).” 

My trip began on the morning of March 24th (specifically, 2:30 in the morning) when I woke up in severe pain. Jetting off to the four-star Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, I underwent several hours of testing in order to determine my cause of illness: an apparently vestigial organ called the appendix that suddenly decided to do the only thing it can do: burst. From there, I underwent emergency appendectomy surgery and was booked into an appropriate room. 

While my vacation was originally planned as a day trip, it was extended once it was discovered that I had developed the most exotic form of appendicitis: a ruptured appendix. Thus, I was able to experience a four-day, four-night “vacation” at the hospital. 

Ongoing COVID-19 protocols caused my visit to look a little different than, perhaps, the “normal” appendicitis experience. Only my mother and one family friend were ever able to visit me, and I had to wear a mask whenever I embarked on a (frustratingly slow) walk down the hallway in an attempt to regain my strength. I also didn’t get to take part in CHOA’s world-class bracelet-making events. 

Still, I must say, if it weren’t for the fact that I was doubled over in pain for the duration of my stay, I would have enjoyed the visit. A Room Service menu listed dozens of choices, and all my meals were personally delivered to my room. People sent me all sorts of beautiful flowers and balloons. I wasn’t allowed to go to school. There was a TV in the room with access to premium basic cable. Everyone (doctors, nurses, technicians, and even a member of the clergy) were constantly popping in to make sure my stay was as comfortable as possible. If I needed anything (granted, the list was limited to medical supplies and fresh towels), I had only to press one button and issue my demand. Had I felt better, there was even a library and a gift shop in the lobby open to all “guests.” These things are all very enjoyable–when you don’t constantly feel like you are on the verge of death. 

All in all, although my hospital “vacation” did manage to spice up my usual quarantine lifestyle, I don’t recommend including appendicitis in your summer plans. But if your appendix does decide to burst, you can look forward to some great perks at CHOA’s Club Med(ical)–they accept tourists up to age 21. 
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