Episode 35 – December 4 – The fourth of this month has always been a bittersweet day for reasons I won’t go into. Regardless things are looking better for me every day despite the screw on this morning’s breakfast. They forget my dry cereal and brought me another damn banana. At least today was an egg day so I got some chewy scrambled eggs. I supplemented breakfast with a couple of mandarin oranges.
Before leaving for the day, Barb checked my glucose levels and they were back down to 6.0 even with Pam’s shortbread last night.
My nurse today is Catherine and she has Kim from VCC helping her. Kim actually did most of the work this morning he was even given the power to dispense my goodies. I like people that dispense my goodies. I did however make sure Catherine earn her keep. (“I never want to be a nurse”)
Jane, one of the nurses working the front desk, popped into see me. This was frightening not just because she casts an imposing. She is at least my height. The scary thing is she supervises all the bed placements and discharges. The first question she had was “Now you have been here over four weeks, is that correct?” And immediately my little brain kicked and thought “Oh shit, here we go again. They’re going to tell me they’re discharging me today.” She was just confirming a good thing, my weekly Wednesday shower.
Obviously the pain meds have worn off Gerry in the next bed. Yesterday, when he came in he was talkative and very friendly with all the nurses. This morning, he was cranky and snapping at the nurses and physios about everything. He was also complaining about how he had already been here almost two full days and it would still another two days of this hell before he could go home after his hip surgery. Uh dude, I hope you’re not talking to me about your extended stay. The one neat thing about Gerry is his unique voice. His deep resonating voice reminded of Don Sage, the teacher at Temp. (“Hurry, hurry, hurry!”)
Reading The Province, I spotted an article that sounds like a great idea. Amsterdam is toying with the idea of creating “scumslums” for bad neighbours. I have the perfect candidate and I’d be willing to pay his air fare to Holland. I guess the karma rule is that when you have great neighbours like Pam and Dennis on one side you get stuck with a total shithead on the other.
Sink maintenance - Well, at least, the tap wasn’t dripping all morning. Maintenance had shut the water off to do some work on part of the floor but they still haven’t fixed that effing drip.
Just before lunch, Kim organized a team to move me into my wheelchair with me guiding the team of course. Just as I was seated, lunch arrived and it was a decent beef stew dish and a hardy bowl of cream of celery soup.
No sooner had I cleared the tray from my table and my buddy from as far back as kindergarten, Danny T walked around the corner. When Danny and I get going you know that there’s going a lot of swapping of war stories and today was no different. We spent over an hour laughing about our youthful adventures. It was fine if any heard the tales because the statute of limitations had run out on most of our crimes.
After Dan left, Catherine walked in the door and asked how I was doing. Timing is everything because I was ready to back to bed so her and Cheryl, the nurses’ aide were able to do the lift with two people.
Just as I was asking Catherine to check with physio to make sure they were coming, Jennifer, the physio, walked in with Jenny, and Riza another Capilano student. Jennifer gave them instructions and the two students set to bending my legs. What a great concept, get someone else to your exercise for you. With the new 60° protocol, I can actually feel like something is happening. Each day gets a little better.
The Iranian woman in the opposite corner was discharged this afternoon. It was funny to listen to all the nurses and other staff trying to beg off the offers from her and her family of candies and sweets. I’m actually surprised that the nurses haven’t figured out by now working in hospital in the middle of the largest Persian community in BC that it is culturally important that you accept their small offerings of gratitude. It is considered polite to say no the first time but almost an insult not to eventually take it. This is true dealing with many Middle Eastern and Asian groups.
It didn’t long for her bed to be filled by another elderly woman brought up from the OR. This was another knee replacement patient.
And just for good measure someone burned the toast in Evergreen again. Sheesh!
The dinner fairy left me with a dilemma. Normally, it is a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. Today was one where both items were usually okay, salmon or turkey. Turkey would have been the safer bet but I went with the salmon and it turned out fine.
Barb was again my night nurse. She always seems out of it and lacks a sense of humour.
As per last night, I capped off with two cookies, oranges, Rachel Maddow and a little blue pill.
And the damn tap is still dripping!
To be continued...