Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday, August 15th, patient tower

I wake up hungry. When the nurse comes in to check on me I ask her for ice cream. It’s 4 am. I love this.

I’m certain I’ll be discharged today but an early morning visit from the doctor indicates otherwise. Arg. They must be proceeding with caution because of the premature discharge.

I feel (and apparently look) much better and it’s easier for Teri to say goodbye to me today. While I wish none of this had happened, I’m glad she was here for it. I miss her the minute she walks out the door. My Princess.

I’m cleared to take a shower today! Hooray. My products, however, are at home. The nurse brings me a bottle of something that is soap, shampoo and conditioner all in one. I really don’t trust anything that claims to do all that much but patients can’t be choosers.

Adam’s got to work today to catch up for the days out earlier this week so Diane and Bengt take over “Jamie Duty.”

The Physical Therapist comes by and I’m ready to do cartwheels for her in order to get the OK for discharge. She takes me out to the hallway for the various “tasks” she needs me to perform.

There’s one task I’ve been asked to do several times. Hold your hands out in front of you, arms a bit far apart, point a finger and touch your nose. With your eyes closed. It’s the strangest thing when you miss and I’ve missed this one repeatedly, today being no exception.

Despite not being able to touch my nose, the PT says I’m “cleared” and I should be out of here soon.

I had better be out of here soon! If they don’t let me out tomorrow I’m going to pull the flat screen TV and throw it out the window a la “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

Diane, Bengt and I start a Scrabble game. I get tired in a hurry (or maybe I just picked bad tiles!) and they decide to head to the mall to run some errand so I can rest. They’re also going to pick up lunch.

I experience a twinge of envy at them being able to just do your basic Saturday things. Funny that going to the mall triggered that. I must be getting better and back to my old self.

I wake up from my nap hungry. This is a fabulous feeling. Diane and Bengt are still not back with my sandwich and I send Bengt a text telling them to hurry up before the feeling passes.

They arrive and I eat the sandwich with no issue. Fantastic!

I’m learn allowed to put on my own clothes and my friends can take me “outside” (hospital courtyard) provided they do so in a wheelchair. Today is full of privileges, indeed.

Outside. I’m thrilled for some fresh air. Until we get outside. It’s August in North Carolina and the air feels heavy and hot, not fresh. I delight in it anyway.

Adam and Colin join us and everyone takes turns pushing me around the small courtyard. Adam does the equivalent of popping a wheelie with me in the chair. I am not amused.

I have a very happy moment outside. I’m clean, I’m wearing my own clothes, I’m outside, and most importantly I’m in the presence of friends. We’re just chatting about whatever and it feels normal. So normal that I really want to get up and walk around but I know I’m better off following doctor’s orders so I stay put.

Later that night when everyone has left the pendulum swings and the tears finally come. I think it was the moment when it all sunk in. The woman moaning “Mom” in the background doesn’t help. None of this has seemed real up until now and even though I’m well enough to be discharged it’s at this moment I feel the most scared.

Eventually I find comfort and sleep.

No comments: