Quarantine day 14 Part 3, I’ll finish I promise;)
The day starts well when they wheel you in a porta-potty and say ” Go for it, are you game?”…am I game, if I never have to pee lying down again I will be happy! Ashley the bubbly nurse shifts stopped at 6 and the Jamie Lee Curtis voice lovely lady was on for the day, she wheeled me in the portable commode, I was ready to try to sit up, regardless of the spinning and have a go;) It was lovely, the commode, the spinning not so good but something about being able to wipe your own bum gives you a sense of accomplishment, however small. A basin of hot water and a few wash clothes also started making me feel slightly more human, less ape creature. I think I had dreadlocks at this point as well;) I was a greasy greasy spot spot….you Black adder fans;) I combed my hair with my fingers after my lovely wash cloth bath and waited for the doc. who could be heard coming down the hall, he is a very cheerful talkative guy:) Great news-NO Stroke!!! Yahoo! “Now, just to work on the inner ear” he proclaimed. He went through some exercises with me, gave me a few sheets of instructions and went on his way…sigh…a day to practice those and I did, and I sat up, spinning, and I used my commode, and I tried to move around as much as I could in my bed, I now wanted OUT!
Maybe it was just a normal Saturday asfternoon on the ward floor but it seemed short staffed, the nurses tempers, especially Nurse Ratched as I called her, were running a bit higher than normal perhaps, and the dementia yeller down the hall was definitely grating on their nerves at shift change. He was yelling, screaming, crying out for “Nancy! Nancy! Nancy Prudhomme where are you?” as well as a bevy of other names, then he started getting mean. I’m not sure if they tied him down or wheeled him to the farthest away room on the floor but his screams were muffled for awhile, I was thinking a ball gag would have been handy about then, he was having a very very bad evening…the two dementia ladies were somewhat easier to deal with Dolores and Phyllis, they just needed to pee a lot and that took supervision on a regular basis, yes, the bathroom was opposite our room. They were sweet and the nurses teased them gently but you could hear the affection in their voices as well.
We had a new roommate, poor Father Jack’s surgery had been postponed again but at least he could eat now! Across from me a man was brought in suffering severe stomach pains, colitis the Doctor had said and he was started on an IV. He had had a bevy of health problems, stroke, angioplasty to both sides of his neck, can’t remember what else but there was a laundry list of maladies…wow…only smoked a half pack of cigarettes a day he said and hadn’t touched a beer in 35 years…go back to the beer buddy I was thinking, and also contemplating how lucky I was. Genetics? Better diet? Who knows but I don’t have a prescription drug in our bathroom, other than for the cats;) Was counting my lucky stars listening to him, he was an ice chewer, OK, I get the irritation now Mike! hahahahaha! and he snored, it was going to be a chorus tonight!
Dinner arrives, another bright red isolation tray…c’mon guys! and yes, another weird Chinese Food concoction…HELP ME!!! I ate the veggies, mother taught me well;)
I can see why meals are the highlights of your day. They define the hours passing and the days, like a sort of clock that you can judge the rhythms of the day, and mark them off as they go by. Beginning to sound like prison isn’t it;) The ladies who delivered them were very nice, always asking if you needed help. At this point I could half way sit up so could actually look at the trays:) A lovely member of the cleaning crew on the day shift had also loaned me her android phone charger so I could keep the phone going, talks with Mike motivated me to do what I could to come home.
Last night in Ashley our bubbly voiced nurse also found me another charger, these ladies and gentlemen really deserve a standing round of applause for what they do in here. The yeller had finally settled down and all we had were the pings of the call buttons and the beeps of the IV’s, the 4 am blood pressure and temperature checks and the pills in their little plastic cups.
Morning came and they finally removed the stint in each arm…freedom to move. A walker had arrived at my bedside the day before but I couldn’t quite get there, standing, shuffling in place 90 degrees to sit on the commode and shuffling back was the most movement I could manage standing up. I did my ear exercises at 5 in the morning, again at 8, could I do too many? and I finally asked JLC nurse” What would it take for me to go home today?”…”You have to walk” she said….Doc came in, said the same thing, I was just double checking;) This was it…I am a pretty determined individual once I set my sights on things, I’d rather fall over trying than not try at all. I stared at the walker for a few moments, tied up the back of my gown as best I could, my goal was the bathroom across the hall, real flush water…up…unsteady, look straight ahead….shuffle shuffle shuffle, the Fred G. Sanford walk it was;) We made it, there and back! “Now go show the Doc!” JLC said and I did the shuffle past the room the Doc was in and back. It was truly a short 100′ shuffle that resembles the antics of a drunken sailor but it happened!
“You can go home now!” were the sweetest words in the world. I texted Mike “Come get me! Drive slowly” as I envisioned him tearing across the countryside like the Cannonball Run. I took my gown off and put my pajama top back on, and my shoes, and I lay there waiting for my chariot to arrive. The nurse faxed my prescription for the anti-dizzy drug into the local Shoppers at Perth and handed me the paperwork. I lay down and clutched the bag with my papers, a vomit bag, health card, and pill cups (I had to bring the cats a new toy!)…Waiting. I was going HOME!
45 minutes from Perth to Brockville. There was a pile of new construction around the hospital so Mike was turned around and he texted he was near the entrance to Emergency. The porter was called, I was helped into the wheel chair and off we sped down the corridors, no elevators, and out into the beautiful fresh cold air and sun. I squinted through my blur and told the porter “That BIG blue truck!” way over there! I pointed! and she wheeled me all the way out to the door of the truck. I stood up, thanked her, and then just held onto Mike like I would never let him go, we were both crying…that beautiful connection with another human being…how sweet it is to be loved by you:) The trip home was a blur I was just so happy to be with the one I love. We arrived at the trailer and Mike helped me up the steps and into my chair, Beezil the old cat immediately settled down on my lap with his heated blanket, he stared at me adoringly. Mike said his whole demeanor changed as soon as I walked in:) My old boy, Beezil, boys Groot and Rocket and my girl Gamora, our fur kids, all so happy to have me home, as well as Mike;)
It is funny how much we appreciate the smallest things in life when we realize we might not see them again for one reason or another. A chair, some warmth, the ones you love. I’ll be shuffling around the trailer here for a few days learning to walk upright while life goes on and hopefully balance improves:) In the meantime I will be the butt of many good jokes and the smiles and laughs from my significant other as he expresses his happiness at having me home. Mine as well. Hug the ones you love and cherish every day. I’ve learned for some they end much sooner than others and while at this point I think the Golden years is a crock of marketing shit I’m determined to live my life to however fullest I can, before I, one day, may be one of those very unfortunate ones on the ward floor permanently:(
Saludos amigos, hugs, abrazos-Hoping to pick up that big lens again very soon;) Here’s the view out the window:) Spring has decided to postpone her arrival today!