Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Roommate from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

End of day three, I was still in pain at this point, but at least it was being better controlled by the medications.  I had done my lap around the floor as I'd promised, and exhausted, got back into bed.  Mom was there, as she always is by my side when I'm hospitalized, and would help the nursing staff in whatever was needed with me to get me clean and comfortable. 

The nurses always offer to give me a sponge bath of sorts.  Having been through them at other hospitals, I know that they're not always as gentle and understanding as needed.  With Mom, I know that if I say "Stop, it hurts" she knows I'm serious.  She's gotten used to seeing my hairy arm pits and hairy legs after surgery, and I don't feel self conscious about it.  Yeah, I know nurses are used to seeing that sort of thing, and used to bathing patients, but with Mom I know I'll have exactly what I need without worry.  So bathed with clean sheets and exercised  for the day, I'm assisted back into bed.  The dinner tray had been brought. Again, clear liquids on the tray. I drank some juice, but I did not want the rest of what was offered, so I pushed the tray table off to the side, Mom turned off the lights, and I started dozing in and out of sleep.   

Mom had the tv on low so she could keep up with what was going on daily.  If you know me, you know I can sleep with full lights on, tv blaring, on a train in the middle of an accident, and would still not wake up.  Compound that with pain medications that cause drowsiness, and I'm down for the count as long as I can find a comfortable position.  Vitals were done yet again, waking me back out of my slumber, but I passed back out quickly.  Technically speaking, visitors have to be off the floor by 9pm, but since we were quiet and I was young, the nurses were generous in letting Mom stay in my room.  They had one of those chair thingies that pushes back into a sleeping surface of sorts.  I won't call it bed because that would be too nice.  But it was sufficient.  After sleeping in it for 3 nights in a row, I urged Mom to go to the hotel attached to the hospital to actually get a good night's sleep for once and reluctantly, she complied. 

My tv went off, and around 11pm I had one of my last vitals checks of the night and figured I was good for the time being.  I found a comfortable position at last.  Between the pillows provided by the hospital and the thick memory foam pillow thingie Mom brought for me I was able to squash, rearrange, and mash myself a little nest in the bed.  I also prefer sleeping almost vertically, so I put the head of the bed upright.  For some reason, it puts less pressure on my abdomen when needing to get in and out of the bed.  The nurses always urge me to lay down more flat, but I simply can't. So anyway...lights off, tv off, getting a few precious moments of shut eye when...

Am I dreaming?  Am I back in the OR?  Why is it so bright all of the sudden?  I open my eyes, look at the clock which reads 1am, and realize my roommate has turned on all the lights to her half of the room and turned her tv on full blast.  Apparently she couldn't sleep and decided to entertain herself at my sleeping expense.  Had there been a bedpan within reach, so help me, I would have launched it at her.  Even in my weakened state, I'm sure I could have at the very least gotten her attention with it.  But not wanting to make waves, I rolled over, tuned it out, and went back to sleep.  When the nurses came in mid eve to do vitals, they had her turn it all off, so I felt vindicated.  Wham!  Lights on again.  It was the 2am blood draw.  They turned all the lights on in the room to do hers!  But when it came to doing my veins, they shut her lights off so that she could relax.  Really?!?  With the selective and split lighting system in the hospital rooms, there is no reason they couldn't have done that with me too, but apparently she asked that the lights be turned fully on to make sure they could see.  Ugh.  Arm pricked, blood drawn, I pass out again.   That is, until she turned it all back on again. At 330am.  I'm not prone to violence (well, sometimes when drivers don't use their turn signals I yell) but I wanted to take my i.v. over and jab it in her arm so that my pain meds would make HER drowsy.  What gave her the right to ruin my precious moments of sleep?  Again, the nurses turned her set off when they realized it was on. 

Was I really going to have to graciously put up with her for the rest of my duration?  When sleep is a precious enough commodity, and is so instrumental in healing, could I afford to have her blaring the tv during what were normal slumber hours?  Truly, in my 20 years of being in and out of the hospitals, she was the real roommate from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks.  Yes, the roommate from hell.  And if you think that label isn't justified just from turning the tv and lights on, I promise you, she only gets worse. 

No comments:

Post a Comment