Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Let Them Know I Lived
Well, I got through to her room, but it rang and rang. Do I keep holding on wondering if she is struggling to reach for it, or calling a nurse to help get it, or is she hearing it at a distance in a deep sleep, wishing it would go away (like a GNAT!)? Maybe she's justs up for the first time in the ladies room and my ring is making her nervous (well, probably not if the drugs are good, lol)... or is she not even in the room? They do make you walk a little in the hall the first day.
After a dozen rings I hung up and talked them into letting me speak to the nurses station on her floor. That was the ticket. Apparently Jackie was not able to reach the phone so the nurse moved it closer. A shot of adrenaline went through me as I waited to be transferred, because that meant she was OK! YAY!!!
Jackie sounded very quiet, and she said she was foggy. She had her dinner there waiting and was a trouper taking time to talk to me when she had to have been hurting. She was waiting for pain meds to come. There was ice cream on the tray, so I suggested that as a fall back. :-)
She said she did have a nerve block and it wasn't pretty. I asked if her leg was all bandaged up or in one of those mechanical rotation devices (it's like a little ferris wheel for your knee to keep it moving at all times). I smiled to myself as she said, "Let's see, let me lift up the sheet here and take a look." I pictured her doing this. She said "Well, there's bandages, Ew. More bandages... and more bandages... Ew, Ew." Mind you, this was not delivered in a girlish squeal, but in full-on deadpan mode. Apparently she remains funny under any circumstances. They may take her knee, but they cannot damage her spirit!
She added "My leg doesn't look humungous. That surprises me." It surprised me too. On the other leg there is one of those blood pressure thingys... it wraps around the leg from ankle to knee and inflates every few minutes to keep everything flowing. With pride (and perhaps a smirk... if only they had TV phones!) she told me, "I still have perfect blood pressure."
I asked if she had a TV. "Yes," she said, brightening. "42 inches!" A flat screen I asked? "Yes, though I couldn't see it before. It took 5 hours for the nurses to bring my bag, and my bag had my glasses in it, so I could not see it all this time." Ug, I just wished one of us lived closer and could be there right now. We would have created a brouhaha if that's what it took to get it!
She accidentally pushed a button while readjusting the covers and I could hear that a nurse immediately appeared. Jackie apologized, saying it was a mistake. We both chuckled after, wondering where that kind of service was during the previous 5 hours.
I knew she needed to go but I made sure to tell her that everyone had written in today and was waiting for the next report with bated breath. That all send their love and good wishes. Zoetawny, I let her know that you had tried to call her earlier as well. Her response to all that and her last words before we hung up was, "Let them know I lived!"
I will call her again tomorrow.