Sunday dawned with me jumping out of bed in my skivvies because my grandfather woke me up with these words “Your mother needs you. He’s not responding and the dr. said for you to come back”
Nobody should hear those words twice in 30 hours.
I got there to see people around him, holding his eyes open while dr. jones squirted ice water in his ear to see if there was any pupil responses. There weren’t ANY responses of any kind. Totally breathing by ventilator only. No pain stimuli response. No neurological responses. He was just a shell lying there.
Finally, dr. jones saw a small pupil response. The day would be full of CAT scans and MRI because he suspected a stroke.
The day was edgy and waves of euphoria (no stroke!) and devastation (no response, no reasons given except maybe medication).
Around 2pm, Abby and Scott walk in and just stand there..They have a room for him in ICU and they will give us 20 minutes to stay with him before we are stuck up there with only 5 visiting times a day.
He was so sick and we didn’t know when he would either take his last breath or wake up. We desperately wanted to be there for either one. We could taste the anguish. Abby started tearing up. We were strangers to her but she felt for us. That was a small brief fleeting feeling of comfort.
When we were thrown there Sun. Afternoon, we were given a list of “rules”. Do not bring your own linens. (oops) Do not move the furniture (wtf?) We were sitting there in a crowded room with 4 free chairs. I walked down the hallway of round eating tables to the vending machines and BAM, found another area. One family had the rectangle shaped area with the tv, but there was a bigger U-shaped area of chairs with 2 lamps. Best of all, it was empty. I quickly walked back to the main room, grabbed some stuff and told Mom to follow me. We all 3 were in a state of shock, just seeing dad go by himself to the ICU. They followed me and we sat down to wait for the first visit. A sweet lady from the rectangle area sat with us and gave us the inside info about what to do. You can move furniture so don’t worry about that one. Showers and restrooms, linens at night, lights-out at 10:30, etc.
Glenn and Janice, and John Allen and his wife all showed up right about then, and really, the best time of all. We were overwhelmed and exhausted and needed someone to just listen.
I drove home to get new clothes and try to sleep for once. I was up and back on the road early Monday.
Since this is my food/activity blog, I should mention that I have no earthly clue what we ate. As far as activity, we didn’t walk far from his bedside.