…cont’d from last week:
Besides the face-pain scale sign posted on the wall in Tom’s hospital room, there was the “Risk for Fall” sign–which served as a constant reminder of what started his descent into Titaniumville in the first place. Except the warning notice looked like the guy fell over in his chair and his head rolled off while his boss was looking over the desk. My question is: “How can a guy fall out of bed in a chair?”
On the second day at the Huntington, Tom had done three laps around the nurses’ station, the EKG machines and the bladder scanners in the hall and had returned to his room’s Barcalounger chair for his 30-minute sit session. Next thing I knew, he complained of being light-headed and then looked startled and said, “I hear music.” I replied that I didn’t really hear anything and he said with a worried look, “No, I hear a harp!” I thought to myself that this was not good and that he might be hallucinating. As I stepped into the hallway, lo and behold and Hallelujah!…there, right outside his room, was a harpist playing a lovely, soft melody which was fortunately not “Nearer My God to Thee.” Because I was not wearing my hearing aids, I had not heard the harp tone. A hospital that provides live chamber-type music taking requests at the door…how cool is that?
And speaking of requests, that’s the name of their incredible food service menu: “At Your Request.” Besides the normal American fare, Tom could choose from such specialties as Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Salad and Artizan Vegetable Wrap with Jasmine Rice, along with a glass of wine. I could join him as well. He would just pick up the phone and order and food service would deliver in 15 minutes. But for me, the saving tonic was their Starbucks coffee shop. The fact that I could go down to the first floor and grab a Café Latte made my day.
With all this first class attention, you can imagine how he hated to leave and head to the rehab facility where PT (physical therapy and/or personal torture) awaited. Doctors’ releases were signed, valet parking brought the car around and we were on our way to The Californian. If you picture Great Grandma’s cottage…this is it: roses in the garden, flowers painted around room numbers, birds tweeting in cages…happiness at rehab! Except the first admission questions they ask (besides your birth date again) is which mortuary you have selected and if you pop your clogs, is your instruction: “do not resuscitate?” Then, if so, be sure to check “no CPR” on line 3 and “no extraordinary measures” on line 4. How’s that for warm fuzziness at Grandma’s?
Get-well cards do a good job of sending cheer:— “May your recovery be as speedy as flying pigs and Dumbo…or at least until your meds wear off and everything goes to Hell.” So things are lookin’ up. Tom is now walking with a cane and climbing stairs; his leg bend is at 90 degrees and his stitches come out today. He got a free 4-hour pass to go out with the family to celebrate my 75th birthday dinner. It was lots of fun, but that milestone made be feel more like smiley face #6 on the pain scale.
A FEW THANK-YOU CREDITS TO THOSE WHO PROVIDED ME WITH THE WONDERFUL COMFORTS OF HOME: