Husband is entering day 12 in the intensive care unit, and I’m futzing around at work this morning until my 1pm conference call is finished so I can go work from his room.
A hospital is a really strange alternate universe where time moves strangely and you’re in a weird microcosm of “we’re all worried together.” I celebrated when a family whose son FINALLY moved to the rehab center after 27 days in the ICU. I cried when the parents of the French foreign exchange student hit by a car the same day Husband was in his accident found out she didn’t make it. I commiserated with another wife of a motorcycle accident victim, when she said bikes are out of their family for good (and privately sighed, knowing the stubborn nature of my husband will likely overrule any attempt I make at banning motorcycles).
The ICU is an excessively depressing place and I can’t sit in the waiting room anymore, but I’ve found amusement in a few things during this stint in the hospital.
- Yesterday I watched Lifetime (television for women, duh) for a couple of hours. I’d finished my book and didn’t want to sit there in the non-silence of beeping machines and nurses/PCAs/docs/etc coming in and out to poke and prod my unconscious husband. So I figured if he’s dreaming I’d give him the most fucked up dreams possible by watching his most hated channel. Because I’m evil. I was told if he wakes up with a sudden desire to learn to knit, I’m in big trouble.
- Nurses are remarkably fascinated and cheered up by the most disgusting things. I overhear a lot of it sitting quietly in the chair by Husband’s bed.
- Being around nurses for the past 12 days has ME cheering about gross things. Sigh. This morning I told Chewy he was SUCH A GOOD BOY…for pooping.
- I got the evil eye, and I mean SERIOUS evil eye, from an older man in the waiting room on Friday. NO IDEA what the hell I’d done to get the death-stare, until he walked past me later with (presumably) family members. The woman walking 3 steps behind him was completely swathed head-to-toe in veils, including one across her face so only her eyes showed, and they were cast down.
- Being perverse and irritated, I stared right back when we passed in the hall and he had the I-just-ate-a-lemon face directed at me for the second time that day. Apparently my jeans and t-shirt didn’t meet his approval. Petty? Oh probably. But it amused the hell out of me to not back down the way he expected I would.
- The day nurse spilled an entire tray of breakfast on me last week (this would’ve been the day before husband was put back on the ventilator and was trying to eat real food, like pudding. And cream-of-chicken soup. Ish). It’s sort of gratifying to know I’m not the totally ungraceful person in the room once in a while.
- ICU psychosis is a real thing dude. Real thing. That, or there are some SERIOUSLY interesting side effects to the drugs. I’m keeping a list of the fucked-up stuff I overhear in there, particularly when the walls are moving or the ceiling is falling…