Yes, folks, it’s your long awaited part two of “Tour of Duty: the hospital years”. Although now that I’m thinking it through, it’s really not as much fun or as entertaining as part one. Still, I will endeavor to add some humor to the retelling as is my wont.
Once we got past the blarf-fest that was the morning, things were fairly smooth. The doctor had ordered some Ativan for Duty since he was wigging out only slightly. Apparently, someone vomiting blood took precedence over chill pills and I had to go in search of the nurse to get them. (I know, right?) The pill knocked his ass out so I took the opportunity to go eat lunch in the cafeteria. My half-eaten breakfast bar (abandoned when blarf-fest started) seemed rather unappealing. The procedure was scheduled for 1:30 and it was 11:30 so I figured I had time to spare and Duty was snoring happily on the bed.
After a mediocre lunch of fish sammich and soda, I decided it was time to head back. I mean, what else was I gonna do, right? Now, let me say this- being admitted to the emergency area required something akin to high level government security clearance as well as the ability to navigate large crowds of sick and sometimes unruly people. I had neither. While I was waiting for someone to accompany me back there, I saw Duty’s really nice nurse race by and wondered where she was going. Probably to her 37th blarf-fest of the day.
My chauffeur (aka: the person who takes you right to where your loved one is stashed) showed up and let me tell you – damn, everyone moves fast there which is a good thing in a life-threatening situation but not so good for a fat ass like me! I could barely keep up with the old farty peeps. Anyway, they took me back to Duty’s room and …. no Duty. Is he dead? Did I hit a weird time/space continuum? It’s barely 12:15. Oops! They were taking him off to be prepped for the procedure and his nurse that I saw flying by? She had run her butt all the way down to the cafeteria looking for me. Isn’t that sweet?
I quickly got into the swing of things and *ran* all the way up to the prep room with another nurse just to kiss Duty on the head before he went in. YEY for wonderful nurses! So, I settled myself in for a nice wait in the family room outside the critical care unit. And waited. And waited. …. and then waited some more. (snore) Checking on his status, I was told he was still in the procedure area so I decided I’d make another visit to the cafeteria for a soda and sit outside in the sun because it was hella cold in that hospital. The nice (but a bit high strung) lady at the nurse’s desk gave me one of those beepy things they give you in restaurants when your table is ready and said it will work anywhere in the hospital. The doctor would come chat with me after the procedure.
(Damn this is getting long and I’m not even to the bedpan part of it! Sorry.)
I had just sat my butt down outside when … BEEEEEEEP! So, I go racing back to the area to talk to the (adorable, funny and talented) doctor. Duty looked well, if a bit out of it and things went just fine. They cleared up the 90% blockage and he has to go back in a month for the next round. All well and good and I thank you, Dr. Gorgeous McCuterson.
Duty must lie still for 4-6 hours and not move his right leg AT ALL because if the place where they inserted the catheter (groin-age) starts to bleed, they have to start the 4 hours all over again. Still in a haze, Duty doesn’t overly care. We chat, I rub his head and all is well with the world. That is, until he decides he has to pee. Urinals are offered. He is not happy. He’s never had to pee in a bottle-like thing before. “This is humiliating” he says. And oh, by the way, what does one do when a poo event is on the way? The nice nurse says “need a bedpan?” and he just about has a conniption. “This is humiliating and barbaric” he proclaims.
Yes, yes it is, I agree. Still, what are your options? Nurse brings both bottle and bedpan and Duty says he wants me to stay but not her. (Oh sure, I get all the fun, right?) Guys have no idea how easy they have it with peeing in a bottle. I want to smack him on the head with said (empty) bottle but he is in a delicate state and it’s just not love and light and all that other woo-woo crap I espouse. Panic ensues when the nurse puts the bedpan under him. Seriously, y’all – this is more traumatizing to him than having a heart attack. Nurse reminds him that his situation is just temporary and that lots of people have to live this way and he is brought back to reality.
Finally, after much angst and whatnot, we have pee-age in a bottle (which is not at all like time in a bottle, just sayin) and all is right with the world. I leave to go feed cats and will be back in a couple hours once he’s in a room. I come back later and hang out for a bit and find out that he’s been cleared to use the toilet. AH! Life! She is good again!
After a decent night’s sleep, he’s ousted from the room because peeps need it and he’s halfway to being well so they stick him in some alcove (I’m not kidding) to wait out his remaining time before I can take him home. Fun!
And that’s the end of the story – I don’t think part two was worth waiting a week for, alas.
A week later and he’s doing just fine. We get to go back and do it again in a month (minus the heart attack and attendant drama) and this time, he swears he will do all his bathroom business BEFORE the procedure. We’ll see how that works out!