Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How I Spent My “Fall” Vacation – Episode 69

Episode 69 – January 7 – My mind today was focused on two things, the Notre Dame – Alabama Championship Game and the desire to attack the stairs. The first could bring some temporary joy and the second absolute ecstacy.
Last night’s sleep was the same as the night before but I was much more alert in the morning and I was up doing my exercises at 5:30. Of course, if I hadn’t made another decision based on pride over convenience, I may have been able to sleep a little longer. I have decided to forgo the urinal bottle altogether even if it means tying myself into the braces in the middle of the night.
Katha is back is as my day nurse and she’s always fun. The thing is that on this unit, your nurse isn’t as critical on this unit where you are no longer totally dependent on them. I can do most things for myself. However, they still get cranky when I help myself to the meds cabinet. Nurses can be so picky!
Fatport, the wireless provider for the hospital was still working on correcting my billing issue but they have provided me with another access code so I can maintain my online presence while they correct it.
My first physio session was scheduled for 11 but Amanda was running late but at least I was informed of the situation. The problem is that I have to suit up with my braces then sit and wait. This is a lot like when you get dressed up for dinner and then you end up sitting waiting for your partner to finish getting ready. It always seems like hours. She arrived at 11:30 and took me downstairs to the main physio department where we basically repeated a lot of the exercises we worked on last Friday with Leanne on the parallel bars with a few more repetitions. She showed up for my 2 PM session and did more of the same plus some work on the shuttle machine where I did some horizontal squats. I keep asking to take to the next level but we keep going over the stuff I can do already. At this rate I’m never getting out of here. Let’s kick it up a notch. Hopefully I got my message through to Amanda. Stop babying me and start challenging me.
The options today for lunch were a chicken salad sandwich or meatloaf. I chose the meatloaf. Well, when I lifted the cover I couldn’t believe the amount. There were two huge slices of meatloaf and two mountains of mashed potatoes. The old guy, sitting beside me, eyes just about popped out of his head. There wasn’t a square centimetre of empty plate. On top of that they sent up two salads. However, they did send up another packet of French dressing for the fourth day in a row. Does anyone actually like French dressing? I ended leaving those giant mounds of spuds alone and I hate leaving stuff on my plate. The nurse that was responsible for increase in my portions saw the plate and even she thought it was way too much. The portion of shepherd’s pie at dinner was more reasonable. And there was no French dressing either.
They did some more bed shifting with my first roommate, Mona and sent her upstairs to neurological floor where Dale came from while she waited for more surgery on her degenerated disc. The nerve block the tried didn’t take. She was in terrible pain all the time she was on this floor; so I hope all will work out for her. I know she appreciated my short little visits to her room. She wasn’t exactly popular with the nurses because she wasn’t really into the whole program and in many ways I can see why. The unit is designed primarily for geriatric patients to get them back to their care homes and independent living facilities. I don’t really fit in here either.
I received another surprise visit from a former classmate, Ray. I’ve know Ray since elementary school. He grew up one block over from us. He happened to be over on the North Shore to quote on a roofing job so he thought he’d just drop by. We chatted awhile about his business and a lot of other things while I relaxed on the bed letting my legs cool off without the braces between therapy sessions. Thanks again for dropping by Ray.
After my afternoon therapy session, I took it easy caught up on my writing and even drifted off a little.
My plan to get to the TV after dinner, worked. Those old people eat so slow so I just ate at a normal pace and hurried down to the lounge and the remote was mine. Unfortunately, my Fighting Irish  were not as cooperative going down 28-0 at the half so I headed back to my room. However it was worth listening to those self-entitled old men and ladies grumble that the News Hour wasn’t on. Look it’s 6:15 so the actual news has been over for at five minutes and don’t worry Mike McCardle will do the same sickening sweet story at the end of tomorrow’s news just with different characters in a different location.
Okay so my favourite lost tonight and they lost big. I think Notre Dame fans everywhere are proud of the Irish. They won all twelve regular season games during a season they were not even picked to finish in the top 25 and they ended second best in the nation losing to the odds on favourite to repeat as national champions. The team was led by one more ND legend in the making, Manti Te’o who overcame personal tragedies this season and became the best defensive player in American college football. Notre Dame student-athletes are students first and athletes second unlike many of the football factories in the south.
Now back to the hospital, my nurse tonight, Joanne, is another part timer from paediatrics and even she couldn’t figure what I was doing here when she saw me walking around the unit. I told her the magic word “stairs” and she sighed. But one knows if I can do them or not because the physios are afraid to overstep the surgeon and he’s nowhere to be found. Surgeons should leave the healthcare to healthcare professionals and stick to cutting and sewing.
And so to bed.
To be continued...

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