Time to Exhale: Hospital Update

Hospital-BedThank you, thank you, thank you!  Thank you all for your words of encouragement, support, and compassion. It was super appreciated and really helped to cheer me up when things seemed a little touch and go, if you know what I mean.

Staying in a hospital for more than a few days is UNREAL.

You can’t help but be drawn into the complex interpersonal dramas on the floor  —  with staff AND the rest of the patients.

We have been here 24/7. My DIL and I took turns spending the night with my son so that he’d never be alone. We stayed in a hotel that was close to the hospital, a place to take showers and catch a few hours of sleep.

My son recovered from surgery on the trauma floor. Motorcycle crashes, auto accidents, thyroidectomies, as well as those injured performers from the circus. You prob saw it on TV, right? The human chandelier circus performers who fell forty feet in Providence, Rhode Island? They’re here, being treated for some really horrific injuries.

It was a total media frenzy scene that caused the hospital to go CRAZY. News vans were EVERYWHERE — Fox, CNN, all the big names plus local news.

And then there was the doozy of a roomie — you will NOT believe this is for real, but I swear it’s the truth.

A guy we’ve named “One Tooth Tommy” (for obvious reasons) was the victim of a horrific car crash. He was in the passenger seat, but the driver was running from the police — and ran smack into a telephone pole. The driver escaped unharmed, but his passenger ended up with two smashed legs, two smashed hips, a cracked pelvis, broken arm, broken ribs, and a rod in his back.

It became painfully obvious to us that Tommy’s own long standing personal relationship with drugs made it impossible for a normal amount of morphine to have any effect on his pain. He was only twenty-six years old yet he looked not a day younger than forty.

So…in addition to selling drugs from the hospital room, his girlfriend decided to take matters into her own hands and reduce the pain all by herself by giving him Xanax and probably a cocktail of other things — and almost ended him, too.

I walked by his bed and noticed that he appeared comatose, and not that I wasn’t grateful for the cessation of his swearing and screaming for more drugs, but his “self-medication” seemed to have potentially become PERMANENT, if you know what I mean.

I flew out of the room and flagged down his RN. She rushed in, attempted to rouse him and couldn’t, but she tried asking him all kinds of questions; “what’s your name”, “do you know where you are”…basic stuff that we all need to know, I guess. Right?

When her attempts failed, she flagged down a doctor who was able to rouse him and again attempted to ascertain any lucidity and level of compos mentis. He didn’t know his name or where he was, which caused another level of response to the situation.

The doc immediately shut-off all IV pain medication and he slowly started to become more alert; well, as alert at One Tooth Tommy probably ever is…if ya know where I’m going with THAT.

The nurse had a stern “chat” with the girlfriend about how it wasn’t a good idea to take matters into her own hands because it was unsafe for her boyfriend and it could have killed him.

We’re not sure how much she comprehended, as she had also medicated herself quite liberally, and was slurring her words and weaving up and down the hallway.

You would be absolutely correct if you figured that my son was removed from that room faster than the speed of light.

The room he moved to was shared with an ex-Marine who was a welcome and awesome change — a real gentleman as well as a hero. His reason for being in the hospital? He was stabbed several times in his back and liver because he tried to intervene and break up a fight at a restaurant. A real-life hero.

I’ve got a zillion bizarre stories like this; I should write a screenplay for sure.

But for now, I’m just happy that hell week is drawing to a close and we’ll be going home tomorrow. I can finally breathe. Yay! Pop the bubbly!