Monday, September 29, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

we did errands this morning and made use of our disabled person's placard. six months of easy access. it makes life a lot easier. i don't mind seeing half the parking lot taken up by blue parking spaces anymore.

things really seem to be falling in place like that. it makes you think, hey the system does work -- if you happen to be lucky enough to have health care.

we had Babe the PT guy sitting and chatting with us for a good two hours at home. he excused himself and used our bathroom. i asked linda what all the banging sounds coming from behind the bathroom door were. but, linda, who is pretty much deaf, said what banging sounds. i said those banging sounds, and she said what banging sounds.

somedays this kind of conversation goes on much too long.

anyhow, Babe, reappeared. i said nothing about the banging sounds -- maybe he was regrouting the bathtub. turns out he was fixing the height of the portable commode. then he showed linda how to walk up and down the stairs on the crutches. he gave her little tips on how to hold the one crutch against the other. remember, he said when she went to step up, "Up with the good, down with the bad". we liked Babe. we'll see him again next monday.

then there was the little guy from Johnston's medical around the corner who delivered and assembled the electric bed. he too gave us tips. always put the brake on before getting into the bed, he said kicking a black pedal down and folding it safely out of the way.

"i want your business, but not that way," he laughed.

he brought over one bed, that didn't rise on one side, took it back and brought back another. he swapped out one mattress and let us try two more. always pleasant. he knew his stuff too. the first day i showed up at Johnstons's for the commode, i tried to describe what we'd used in the hospital. he took the pen from behind his ear and handed me a piece of paper.

"like this", i said. it was a little bucket with measurements on one side.
"you baking a cake?" he smiled and went into the back room and came back with two green buckets that looked identical.
"what's the difference," i asked.
he held the one with a handle out wide and turned his head to one side.
"ahh, i see."

i went back the next day for a wheelchair. remember he said, push this down before she goes to sit down. "i want your businees but not that way." he filled out the receipt and handed it to me. "see you tomorrow," he said. nice guy.

next up, is yolanda. she called friday night and left a message on the answering machine.
"who's that?" linda said sitting up in her electric bed eating prunes.
"yolanda. she says she want to come tomorrow."

all these people you never knew existed until you need them. it's like like some healthcare underground railroad, moving you along to a healthier place.

up with the good. down with the bad.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

linda wants no part of tonight's hospital fare -- salisbury steak, and soggy veggies. the potatoes aren't bad tho.

she's been nibbling on pieces of pineapple, cottage cheese and sipping water. her little bandaged arm rises in the air and i pass her the sippy cup with the bendy straw.

we're stuck here for another night. at least we've got the window side of the room not that i've really enjoyed the view much.

been busy with bedpans.

i was curled up on the right corner edge of linda's bed around 3 am last night trying not to bump anything fractured bruised or missing skin, when linda says, i gotta go. i really gotta go.

so i get out the wretched bedpan and then i close the curtain cuz she says it helps her concentrate and override 49 years of socialization not to pee in bed

how's it coming?
it's not
is it coming now?

finally she breaks down around 3:30 am. she wants the evil catheter.

really? i say. a catheter? i'm not even sure how it works but it sounds awful and medieval. or like something out of that sally fields movie where the mother pounds the piano and shouts

hold your water! hold your water!

plus, i was in that weird sleepy daze, like when you're on an international flight and you wake up and it's light out and the person in the next seat is eating breakfast and you realize you're so far from where you were when you fell asleep.

you really want a catheter?

get elvira, get celia, she says, i want the catheter.

so i pad out in linda's blue hospital socks to the nurse's station. they're so sick of the sight of me.

she can't pee i tell the lot of them. she's been trying to pee for hours. and she can't.

is that your little assistant one says to Elvira as she gets up and comes over to me.

how long has it been since she peed, Elvira asks.
well we can't call for a doctor unless it's been 10 hours.

it has, it has i tell her. the last time was like 9 o'clock. she glances up at the clock.

okay, okay, i want to say -- so addition isn't one of my strengths -- can you please
drain her bladder. she's gonna blow.

Elvira follows me into the room where Linda lies on her back.

poor linda is rubbing her belly. Elvira puts on a rubber glove and rubs linda's belly. i reach over and rub linda's belly so as not to be left out.

how long has it been, elvira asks linda since you last peed. as soon as i see linda chew on the inside of her lip and look up to the ceiling, calculating the precise number of seconds, minutes, hours since her last piddle, i know she's gonna blow it.

and i am relieved.
unfortunately, linda is still not.

but, it's a day full of progress and now we've got her dangling her legs over the bed then sliding onto a four wheeler toilet with little handles. we fricking love that thing -- no more bed pans.

we may just double it as a walker and really get this show on the road.