You’ve been warned. My mental mice are currently running very slow on the conveyor belt.
Paul left yesterday and arrived home last night in Atlanta. I cannot imagine how excited the kids were to see him… probably the polar opposite of how I felt when he left.
between our synced up phone alarms Karen did an exemplary job keeping me dosed up last night and kept my meds annoted as the exemplary mom she is. Got to give her credit as she’s taken me on like her fifth child. MOM Goals!
For those of you who welcomed the sun this morning after deciding it was shameful to leave that remaining wine in the bottle to sit alone in the fridge all night… or that Titos that just had to make friends again with the lime La Croix one more time… I feel your pain too. My screaming headache sends your hump day headache a fist-pump from Jersey.
In the face of my commitment to maintain perspective, a solid sense of humor, find and share the funny in what as a whole is entirely not funny; I vow to continue to do my level best to share aspects of this journey that are frankly too funny not to share.
Being a patient in the ICU is exhausting. There are monitors, cords, alarms and constant oversight by highly skilled and trained medical staff… I have always done my level best even in a mentally diminished capacity to recall names and make a personal connection with each and every pair of skilled hands that cares for me. I aim to never fail to say thank you or express my appreciation. Not because I believe my treatment would be different, but simply because I so deeply value and appreciate the care, skills and knowledge my care was dependent on.
It only seemed normal after the ICU attending physician came in on Friday afternoon to introduce herself that our conversation devolved into a hysterical conversation of how we’d probably be friends outside of the hospital based on my sense of humor and affection for four letter words. I shared some funny stories about the antics and late nights spent with friends over the past week in the city and we laughed. I made her promise she had to share and return with a story of her own. Nothing like a little Quid Pro Quo in the ICU.
It should not surprise anyone that as she and her team made rounds Saturday morning and rolled up with their computers outside my room… I called out “Alex! I see you and know y’all are rounding on my case… you still owe me a funny story! and you’re not getting a free pass!”
It is entirely possible that in addition to elevating her professional street cred at work, I’ve landed on a list you don’t want to be on. Oh well… I blame the hole in my head.
At some point on Friday night, after my CT scan, they removed my catheter. A small step forward toward personal independence. You know… when you can pee on your own! However don’t be fooled, this is the ICU, not the Ritz Carlton. Independence and progress is measured in small steps; aint nobody gonna let you walk to a bathroom. So, when my nurse walked in with a stack of various bed pans in her hands and asked with an Emmy award winning game face… ‘do you have a preference?”… I laughed, shook my head and quite simply just said no (as politely and firmly as I could).
While my ability to care for myself closely resembles that of an infant/toddler, I assured her that my ability to pee myself in my bed – even in any of her assortment of bedpans, was pretty much a no go. “Please”, I begged, “Can’t you roll in one of the potty chairs and let me just let me sit? I promise I will behave and always ask to get out of bed. Pretty please?” Whether it was pity or luck, in rolled in my chair potty. Folks, this is what ICU dreams are made of when you can get your nurse to check her pile of assorted bed pans at the door.
So laugh, roll around in this and if ever faced with a nurse caring a stack of bed pans asking about your preferences, have confidence my friends to ask for the roller potty chair. You can thank me later.