TBI: September 23, Hope is a Thing That’s Molting

Billings is built in a "bowl". The airport is up on the rim of the bowl and the city, including the school and hospital are in the bowl as seen in this view.

Sep. 23rd, 2006 | 03:49 am
location: HP Lovecraft Memorial Hotel
mood: determined
music: helicopters landing on the ER roof

It’s 3:00 a.m. and I can’t sleep. I don’t know what woke me, my cold perhaps with its associated thick chest and hacking cough. I took four ibuprofen tablets and drank a bottle of water. I’m hoping if I can catch all my churning thoughts here I’ll have them nailed down enough to sleep.

Notes on this week: Terry was moved out of ICU and I like the room he is in, but I loathe the situation and most of the nurses. I got pretty used to having one nurse for two people. Now we have one harried nurse for half a wing. He has a “minder” sitting with him. The first one was an adenoidal brunette who was too stupid to live. A Goth nursing student? Please, spare me.

  The second one was a doll, she is changing to dental hygiene as her “major” so she won’t have to work nights–she has discovered nursing is not at all what she thought it was. I heard about her cheerleading career in high school and how she just couldn’t keep up with cheerleading and going to college. Darn…. the next one I didn’t meet because I  was so exhausted, depressed  and sick that I left before she came on shift.

Today Terry didn’t respond to me or anyone else. He groaned and moaned and thrashed around in bed and I KNOW it’s his back. He groans and moans and thrashes at home–but these spavined hacks won’t listen. I get “Well, we talked to Doctor Moron and he’s the best neurosurgeon around and he didn’t say anything.” Uh…honey, haven’t you made the connection yet? Moron is a HEAD doctor now get your HEAD out of your ASS and call one of the other three doctors treating him. I called in to check on him tonight and after two calls and 20 minutes on hold I got “Chris”, whom I shall be pleased to call “Piss” who called Terry a head case and said that he was fine. He wasn’t up roaming the halls like the serious head cases and she went on to give me a laundry list of hideous behaviors that he MIGHT be exhibiting, attempting to make me feel better because he was just in bed in pain thrashing around. And, she reminded me he had a minder. I think they just drug the folks once out of ICU and warehouse them at night. I want to go HOME.

The topper of my week: These idiots also OPENED, REFUSED and RETURNED the box I had Heather send with all the bills and insurance information. I followed their directions to the letter in addressing it, delivery address etc. but some Montana pin head with horse shit for brains couldn’t turn around and look 20 feet to see if there was someone in the damned room–which there was about 16 hours a day. I want someone’s head on a plate. The nursing staff does too, but that doesn’t mean it will happen. However, I will write an EVIL letter to the administration of this place when I get home. ICU yes, everything else, no.

In order to get out of here we have to have someplace to go. I took an on line tour of the rehab center in Olympia attached to St Peter Hospital and it sounds like Terry will get some intensive rehab care there.

 Today he was just unreachable, grunted and groaned and said “Okay” twice but that was a parrot answering a memorized response. He just looked so puzzled about everything and he was not connecting in anything but the most tenuous fashion. He patted me and the nurse comfortingly and had tears in his eyes. I am beginning to learn the agony of head cases now. One day seemingly bright, the next hopeless and it’s a cycle that repeats again and again as microscopic steps are made forward and backwards.

Things are sinking in now. I see his number on the telephone and remember the last call he made and I almost fall apart just thinking of his voice and the walls of love and protection that were around me. I’m pretty much feeling like I’m alone in the wilderness. I have to figure out things like how would Terry like to replace the limping microwave and can I do it myself? Things he would just take care of are now my responsibility. I hate it more than anything when people tell me, don’t lose hope, it’ll all get better. WTF? Who are they talking to that I’ve missed? I’m sure I’m going to blow and get up in someone’s grill one of these days. Walk in my shoes and then get back to me, K?

Yesterday I saw that moving Terry threw him for a complete loop. He has to make sense of this new environment and it’s so hard for him. I know his whole family wants to descend on him and hug him next week when we get home, but I’m afraid they will have to see him one at a time spaced apart and be quiet. EVERYTHING I read and hear says quiet, relaxed, low stimulation from outside sources is critical. I guess we’ll see.

I felt buoyed up suddenly earlier tonight, the weirdest feeling like everything would be okay. I could almost feel the prayers coming this way and I thought I could fall asleep. I will NOT give up. I used to wake up in the morning as a kid and bounce out of bed looking for the wonderful thing I just knew was around the next corner. Growing up is losing that expectation of wonderfulness. I have opened my mental closet and rummaged about until I found it, a bit wrinkled but serviceable and I have put it back on. It’s a little small and tight, but I can work with it and right now I need my expectation of wonder with me all the time.

I think that writing this down has given it some form and I think I can let it go for awhile, at least long enough to sleep.

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