How can you be tired when all you do is sit? It's funny, because that's a question I ask myself all the time. I forget the emotional exhaustion, which, unfortunately, has turned into physical illness. The day was rather uneventful , my head felt as if it were going to explode from the coughing. A couple of times the nurses would come in and say YOU need an x-ray. Knowing that I get this every year is my only comfort at this point. The change in the weather 60 in the morning 24 at night, always contributes to this. I settled in with my computer and though checking my Facebook page every now and then, just sat and watched my new "addiction" 24! Zack had downloaded another book and some music and we would take turns on who wore the headphones. Snow would fall and land on the roof, melting the instant it touched, but it was beautiful just the same.
Considering I didn't leave the Pediatric floor, the day went fairly fast. Zack had wanted Chinese, so we ordered from the local restaurant where all the nurses get their food. They deliver right to the front desk of our floor so why not? We finish our dinner and Zack's mood starts to change. He is getting angry with all the chords and threatens to punch the tower. I encourage him to take a shower, maybe he will feel a bit better. We call Chris in and he returns shortly with a new cover they are using at the other hospital. He announces that Zack will be the first in Mission to "test drive" it!! PHOTO OP!!! I shout, so without hesitation Zack and Chris pose for the camera!!! To understand what a big deal this is, I must explain the procedure. The port access is not allowed to get wet, this would allow bacteria to grow in the area with serious repercussions Zack is not even allowed to breath on the area when they are inserting the needle. Usually when he wants to take a shower, they de access the port (meaning they remove all the tubes that are connected to it (they must then place everything in a plastic bag and tape around his chest in order to protect the area from water. It doesn't seem to be that complicated, but you think twice before taking a shower when you must go through all of this. They new cover, has four sides of tape and is simply placed over the entire area, thus keeping moisture out. Within five minutes it was done and he was ready for the shower. Though his mood didn't get much better, he is more than entitled and I simply let him know I'm there for him and to call on me!!
Frank calls just before bed. Now I'M in a bad mood. He had gone with his buddies skeet shooting and had a great time. I was jealous and told him so. "Must be nice to hang out with your friends all day and not think about your family." He is surprised and confused! Just this morning I was telling him to have a great time! When all of this happened we had already agreed to "tag team". But with this being the first time we are here so long, I didn't realize how much I missed him. My way of coping is to be 100% hands on, his way is to keep as busy as possible so you don't have to think of the possibilities. Each has worked for us, but today, I was pissed.... and he knew it!! He offered to come early tomorrow (when we change over) and the three of us have a nice shrimp lunch (one of his friends gave him two pounds of fresh shrimp from the coast). I agree and tell him, I simply miss him and feel like shit!!! He knows me too well to even offer to come and stay with Zack. I want to be here as much as possible. Work is the only reason not to be with him. I am a mother and a control freak!!!
Zack and I both had a a pretty rough night. You would think with percocet and Benedryl in his system he would be out like a light, but no, he sat up most of the night, hot, miserable and understandably grumpy. With three nurse changes and one trying to get blood at 4 am from a not so accommodating port, I finally asked if she really needed to do that now? We aren't going anywhere! It's for his counts and he will be here in the morning when the next shift arrives, THEY know what to do, THEY know that he more than likely must has TPA put in the port. Just as I was saying that, she was able to get the samples. Within seconds Zack laid back down to try and sleep and I was out cold.
I, settled into my triple mattress corner bed, could not stop coughing. My oh so perfect pillows are at home, keeping my side of the bed company, while I sleep on plastic covered air cushions that deflate the minute I lay on them. There is nothing in this room to sit up with, I try and lay my head on the wall, but it is too hard and soon I find myself slouching back down under the down filled comforter my sister so graciously loaned me. At home, I am known to sleep with three pillows, my legs crossed as if to meditate and that is how I fall asleep! You would think I would remember to bring my pillows!! NOT!!!
So it is now morning. I take a shower to help clear out my head and lungs. Zack is sound asleep and the day nurse, Brian walks in. He steps lightly and says "I'm going to just let him sleep and get all his vitals in awhile" he kindly offers to get me coffee, tea... anything to make me more comfortable, but I decline. I don't want to leave him today, I have such mixed emotions. I know I need to rest, I need to work, but I just want to stay with Zack and watch his every breath. Tomorrow starts his chemo. THIS we are used to. THIS we know what to expect, so I promise myself to relax as I know he is in great hands, with our without me.
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