HOSPITAL / May 31st: On Saturday morning Kathy’s condition seemed to have stabilized. Doctor Irani had given up on the idea of the temporary NG tube to feed her. The nurses and personal care aides were great. Naturally you always want an instant response to buzzes and beeps in your room, but the hospital is like a city that keeps going night and day.
Someone should redesign the IV pumps that were dispensing fluids and antibiotics. They all have the same beep when they stop, run out, clog or need to be plugged into an outlet. If someone doesn’t reset or fix it then it goes from beep to scream. There is a button to turn off the beep but it is just a temporary break. At any moment of the day or night the same beep is going off in several rooms. The staff is so accustomed to the sound that it becomes background music. But to a patient trying to rest or to visitors it is unsettling.
Since Kathy was doing well in the InterCare unit and I was exhausted. I tried to take a nap in the family waiting area. I pulled up two chairs and a few pillows and cap-napped for a while. Later Trisha went to pick up their sister Mary at the airport and brought her to the hospital. I couldn’t tell how aware Kathy was of anything.
Speaking of not being aware, I have a portable hard drive attached to the lid of my Macbook and I had misplaced the short USB cable I needed to use it. Trisha and Mary looked around a little. I retraced my steps back to the cafeteria. And to the family room. Then I went down to the little snack bar near the hospital lobby. I asked the woman behind the counter “if anyone had turned in a short computer cable?”
She was looking at my neck and said “No, but…” and pointed to her collar area. I reached up to my collar and crumpled in laughter. It was around my neck. I was jealous of all the doctors and nurses walking around with stethoscopes around their necks so I stuck the cord up there before my nap. Duh! I needed a laugh.
Later that night they started to worry that Kathy’s fingers were swelling so much they would need to cut her wedding ring off. But they used some surgical lubricant and eventually worked it off. I have it on my key chain for the time being. It is kind of reassuring to have it there. I left Mary and Trisha with Kathy and did a little late night grocery shopping. I think I was the last customer and they locked the doors behind me.