Weekend Update

Only thing is, I’m not Dennis Miller!

Because Heartland is so far, and because I had a few things to do this weekend (a couple of which were kinda of unexpected), I didn’t get to spend that much time with Robert. But both times, I came bearing takeout supper treats. And the day’s newspaper.

The room is small, and in a way, this is nice, because I can move my chair very close to his bed, parallel to it. At one point, I was kind of laying (keeled over, if you will) on the bed. at least my head was. It’s nice to be close enough to put your head down next to someone. Rather than having to talk to them from a chair, a distance away.

The man in the next bed seems fairly quiet. Robert said that there was an issue with the telephone right away. On Friday, the man’s son was visiting. He apparently saw that the phone was in the middle, but on Robert’s tray table. He then (without saying anything to Robert) moved the phone from between the two men to a place across the room, where basically neither of them could get to it.

A line from the movie, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” immediately came to mind:
What a little a$$hole.

That’s when we decided that it was time that I took Robert’s cell phone to him so we could communicate that way. I also brought him his 13-inch RCA so he could have it right by his bed and not have to share with the man (or his evil son). Some people’s children, is all I can say. There’s one phone, so it seems obvious it needs to be shared, not hoarded. But at least that problem’s solved. Ironically, the man didn’t receive one single call on that phone until today (Sunday).

Also, while Robert and I were visiting, we heard a bit of a ruckus when the man came back into the room from wherever it was he had been. I could have sworn at one point that I heard him fall. But then I heard regular movement again (or so I thought). Robert and I exchanged puzzled looks.

Then I heard the man say, “Ring the emergency bell!” I jumped up and pulled our curtain back to see the man on the floor, with his wheelchair basically on top of him. I pulled it up, and hollered out the door (bellowed, actually), “Nurse, Nurse! Room 2207, stat!!” I had to holler this several times before someone finally appeared.

When I saw the staff had things under control, I went back and sat down. They got the man settled back into bed, chastising him for attempting such a daring feat as trying to reach something on a shelf from his wheelchair, and then left. At least the man wasn’t hurt. (The reason he’s there at all is because he had a stroke and a heart attack.) He was trying to reach something on a shelf and that’s when he lost his balance and fell forward out of the chair.

Something kind of amusing happened today with the cell phone. Robert called me early this morning. I was dead asleep and my cell phone was in my purse. It took me a minute to shake the sleep off, stumble into the dining room, locate my purse and dig the phone out. By that time, he’d hung up. I tried calling back right away, but the phone went immediately to voice mail. I knew that meant Robert pressed the wrong button and instead of just hanging up, he turned the phone off.

I tried calling back a few times to see if he’d realized what he’d done. At one point, I misdialed the exchange and got some woman’s voice mail. I went ahead and left her a message that I had misdialed. If she’s like me, she’d wonder about the strange number. I thought my message would ease her mind.

Later that day, while I was at the computer, my cell phone rang. I glanced down and noticed the last four digits of the phone number. I recognized them as Robert’s. I picked up the phone and answered the way I usually would if Robert were on the phone:

Hi, Pretty!

(I’m sure he hates this nickname!) A confused woman responded and I explained to her who I thought it was, not noticing the exchange. She laughed and said “What a great way to be greeted!” We exchanged a few pleasantries and hung up. Robert and I laughed about it later. I bet the woman was confused when I answered the phone, “Hi, Pretty!” And Robert said, “Yeah, especially if she’s really ugly!”

I probably won’t get back to see him until Tuesday or Wednesday. We are lobbying for a private room. Let’s see what happens.

Medically, he’s doing okay. Nothing happens on the weekends there. No PT, no OT, no doctor visit. Tomorrow, the doctor will make her rounds and do her assessment. She hopefully will also be able to make a projection as to exactly how long he’ll have to stay there. He does need some practice again on the transfer board as he hasn’t gotten himself in or out of bed in over a month now due to his illnesses. He also needs to practice catheterizing himself with the reusable cath kits, not the disposable (and very expensive) ones they provided him at TIRR. (The insurance company won’t pay for those for home use.) He also needs to get up to speed with his bowel program. Hopefully all this can be accomplished in the next several weeks.

I’ll update again later this week.