Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dan & Van

Day 3, August 13.  

Ahhhh....   family sleep accommodations in hospitals.  A chair that folds out in 3 sections with cracks in between each section.  Scrounged up sheets and thin white blankets.  Sleeping next to the a/c with a fleece and socks and the blankets over my head.  Nurses coming in all night checking on Dan and our room-mate.  Yes - that's right. A room-mate and his daughter.   4 of us in this little space with lights going on all night long and noise and talking.

We are sharing a room with an older gentleman from Montana named Van.  He and his daughter who is older than I and has 25 grandchildren of her own (!) are very nice and we are making it work as best we can, giving each other privacy with curtains and averted eyes.  Dan was not too alert as a result of some fairly strong pain med the night before.  When he came to, every time Van's nurse said "Van," Dan answered and every time our nurse said, "Dan," Van answered.  I kept expecting Jack Nicholson to walk in...

I'm writing this late at night on the 14th (Sunday).  First chance I've had.  Yesterday was tough.  He was really sleepy and I wasn't getting good answers from the nurses or docs.  We got him up in a chair but he kept dozing off.  I finally channeled my NY and started demanding a doctor come talk to me, asking for results of the CT scan from the night before, and got the staff hopping a bit.  They are all great - each and every one of the nurses on this unit.  But they are busy, overworked and dealing with cramped conditions.  So, being an advocate for Dan is really important now.  That's what I learned yesterday.

By evening he was waking up a bit and we were seeing glimmers of his old self.  When Sarah & Julia are here he really comes to.  Responds to them in a way that gives me a heart burst (Sarah's phrase).


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