Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Triumph and tragedy

So last night was cool. I thought that my friend Tamara had left the country already and was pretty bummed out about not having been able to say goodbye, but then Monday she e-mailed that she's leaving this week and was having a farewell dinner last night. Needless to say, I made it to that and had a great time... saw so many people too that I haven't seen in a while (Anthony, Carter, Kenny, Becky) and even ended up in a strip club. I don't know what this trend is of girls wanting to go to strip clubs these days, but I'm not complaining either. So endeth triumph.

Today after work I went and saw Tam at the nursing home again. She wanted to go home but it was already 7:30 so I said no, there wasn't much time and the weather was bad (which it was; snowing and getting slippery out tonight). I told her that I'd read to her instead but once again she wasn't into the whole reading plan (Monday night's story that never got told here), so I caved in and grabbed her stuff to get her ready to go out. That brightened her up but then it all went to shit, or rather, piss. Yes, the curse of the overhydration from that fucking feeding tube struck again, and Tam had peed so much that the brief was soaked through, her pants were soaked, the sheets were soaked, and even the mattress was... soaked. I buzzed for the support staff and Tam just really started coming apart. If this pee thing is driving me nuts you can imagine its effect on her, having to live with it 24/7, I've only had to deal with it that one night so far.

After a few minutes one of the girls came by to answer the buzz, but we had to wait another twenty after that for them to be done with the patient they were with and come over to help Tam (it takes two because of Tam's height and awkwardness). I waited in the hall for the time it took to get Tam cleaned up and everything, then went back in. By then it really was too late to take her out, and they had her in her pajamas and all tucked in too. Tam had cried through the whole cleanup and just wouldn't stop after that. Crying for the good pants she thinks she ruined (they'll wash), crying that the stupid tube still aggravates her, crying that it's hooked up to the pump all day, crying that she's peeing all the time, crying that she couldn't make it out.

Most of all though it's the can't make it out part. She's convinced that she's stuck in that bed and that room for the rest of her life. What do I say to that when it's mostly true? Sure I'll have her home fridays overnight and the odd weekday trip to see the kitties, but in a couple of months even that freedom will be gone. I held her hand for a half hour and told her all the reasons it would be okay and wasn't as bad as she thought, but I couldn't break her funk. Finally it just seemed too futile and I took off her glasses, tucked her in, turned out the light and kissed her goodnight.

I left her there still crying, and have no idea what else I could have done. Fuck tragedy.

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