We got home about 4 this afternoon, and after putting away a few things, I promptly collapsed on the couch where I have been every since, exhausted, stiff, sore, and my brain mostly numb. I have been trying to figure out how I can be so very, very tired, when I did nothing but sit at the hospital for the last 11 days.
While Cherub was in the hospital, I ended up with the kids School Kindle rather than mine. That was okay, because our son spent most of the 11 days she was hospitalized working on the Rattery (which is looking SPIFFY). The FYG spent most of her waking moments doing her PT because she was determined not to need her crutches as a bridesmaid.
I thought about reading something fairly ambitious, after all, in the hospital with the Cherub 24 and 7, ‘sleeping’ on the couch in the room or the recliner next to her, that should give me plenty of ‘free’ time for reading, right?
I did not get any significant reading done. I tried to watch a K-drama, but it typically took an entire day, from 5 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. to get through a single one hour long program.
One day, just out of morbid curiosity, I timed the interruptions- every 30 minutes, all day long, beginning at 5 a.m. We got a brief reprieve at about 4 in the afternoon. Nobody came to bother us for a full hour because the floor got three new patients all at once. When the nurse trotted in, she apologized for not checking on us for such a long time.
Sometimes it was time for a breathing treatment, a doctor consult, vitals checks, attach antibiotics to the IV, take an x-ray, remove the IV connection when the antibiotic was complete, sometimes it was to deliver or remove a meal, to clean the room, the empty the trash, to replenish linens. The interruptions were not always of a life saving or sustaining nature. Four to six times per meal somebody would pop their head in to ask how she was eating, if she was eating okay, and if they could get me anything. The Cherub was eating very slowly and is easily distracted. So I’d have to regain her attention and interest and coax her back to her food and about then, somebody else would come in to ask if I had brushed her teeth yet. It was also strange because several times when they poked their heads in the door and offered to go get me something and I did have something they could get me (water or coffee), they forgot it. I would see them again in 30 minutes, asking something else, never noticing I’d never gotten the coffee they’d offered half an hour ago.
Often they wanted to chat while changing antibiotics, check vitals, emptying the trash, etc. So I would politely put my Kindle down or close my computer screen, smile politely and try to chat. They meant well, and probably extroverts appreciate it and thrive on it. I was ready to hide in the bathroom with the water running and a towel over my head.
When they left, I’d offer a change of toy or book or snack to the Cherub, adjust her in the bed, and then, if the Cherub didn’t need me, I would take a few moments to recalibrate my head, try to resume my place. I’d be interrupted again five minutes later.
Also, nobody ever shut the door all the way on their way out. We spent the first few days on a floor just one step below ICU in regard to serious care needed, and most of the other patients there were older. I could hear some of the elderly and senile patient screaming and yelling, and that was distracting and upsetting. Then they moved us to pediatrics, even though The Cherub is 26 (and we are glad they did, it was a good move for all of us), and if the door was open, the sound of the crying babies was even more distressing.
The recliners in the PCU floor were actually pretty decent. We reached the conclusion in the pediatric wing that the recliners were designed by mad scientists interesting in seeing just how far they could go torturing the human frame on one of these chairs. Everything about them was just far enough ‘off’ to be miserable, and the ‘reclining’ part was a sad jest at our expense. The chairs didn’t exactly recline- they sort of opened up like a flat board, and if you shifted at all, then slowly and almost imperceptibly they would begin to fold back in again, sitting you bolt upright before you knew it.
No wonder I am so wiped out.