Sunday, November 13, 2005


That would be the word that best describes me for the rest of the weekend. After a round of sleep that was more tossing and turning than sleep, I'm awoken (so I guess I was sleeping) around 10:30 a.m. by a call from the hospital, asking if I can bring a few items of Tam's from the nursing home. No problem I tell them; then fall back asleep. About twenty minutes later I get a call from some friends looking to make weekend plans, and quickly commit to meeting them at 6:00 p.m. Why? I have no idea -- I'm basically just stumbling through life at this point. I also took a call from my parents wondering how Tam was doing, so I filled them in and gave them her room number when they offered to visit.

I think mentally that let me off the hook. I recall having had some breakfast and some lunch, and being unable to drag my ass off the couch, but I must have done so because I woke up from bed at around 4:00 p.m. Hmm. Now I have to shower, get ready, swing by the nursing home, eat, and make it to Hamilton in just two hours. Greaaat. About 5:15 on my way from the nursing home to the hospital, I call my friends to give them the heads up that I'll be late, totally feeling like crap because I think I've been late every damned time I've ever gone to see them. (It's not you, it's me...)

I get to the hospital and Tammy's actually in pretty good spirits. They've had her on tube feed all day and she's no longer ravenously hungry, but she hasn't had anything to eat or drink by mouth for at least a day and her teeth are looking pretty funky. Fortunately one of the items I've brought is her toothbrush and we quickly get that and some hair brushing out of the way, and she's a normal human again. I also clean her glasses and set them on her, they were sitting on the back corner of the night stand exactly where they were set down the night before when they took her to the OR. Tam's got the thickest prescription imaginable and is totally blind without her glasses, and she was left without them all day. Argh.

They bring in dinner and I'm thinking, "Hey, this works out well, I can feed her before running off and abondoning her." Except, I can't. They've brought in a regular dinner, apparently not having been told about Tam's need for pureed foods and thickened fluids. I make an inquiry and find out that it's too late to get another dinner, but they manage to scare up some jello, pudding, and thickened drinks; which Tam was only too happy to get. They also never sent anyone in to help feed her -- as near as I can figure, if I hadn't been there, Tam just simply wouldn't have eaten. Once again I'm getting really cheesed at this whole system, but politely let them know that Tam needs to be hand fed. Oh well, at least I got a free dinner out of it, because I have no idea when I'd have gotten around to getting dinner on my own.

After Tam's eaten she's tired enough to go straight to sleep, and I extract myself early with only a little guilt. I call my friends as I pull out of my parking spot and explain to them, sorry, I'll be a little later yet, but should be there at ten to eight. Magically, the stars align and I get to their place at exactly 7:50, though why I committed to going there last night I have no idea. In some ways it's what I needed most and in others I'm just not into it and wrap up the visit around 2:00 a.m. This is actually rather late for me since Tam's due to transfer back at 9:00 a.m., but I hadn't seem them in a while and they were really hoping I'd stay the night. Sigh.

When I get home I do something I haven't done in over a month -- I go straight to bed without turning on the tv or computer and wham! I'm asleep. I've got the alarm set for seven but death wish takes over when it rings and I shut it off and go back to sleep. Tam has transferred out of many a hospital, and they're always hours behind schedule. At 8:00 a.m. the phone gets me up again though and it's my mother in law, Linda. Tam's brother and sister are out of town on a working vacation and she's been taking care of their kids. She'd only just got home and received all the messages I'd left her, and was so apologetic for not being there for Tam. Apparently she'd told Tam over and over again that she'd be with her through the whole procedure and felt really bad, which made me feel awful for her because it's not our fault that we were blindsided with this on a day we only expected a consult! Oh well, given Tam's crisis of not having been able to eat in the preceding days, getting it done immediately was exactly the right thing for her. Anyways, her mom committed to visiting her this afternoon and bringing the kids along, which I know Tam will absolutely love.

I stay up after the call and get ready to head in to see Tam. It's 9:00 a.m. when I pull out from home so I call the hospital just in case, on the very outside chance that for the first time ever in life, a transfer out was happening on time. But of course not, they were there 5 minutes early!!! (Tam must really hate me.) I go there anyway to pick up the wheelchair and thank the nurses, but I notice that Tam's breakfast (pureed stuff this time, yay!) is untouched. Despite my telling them the night before that she needs to be fed, it appears that nobody had bothered (boo!). I snag the chair and withold the thanks (je suis prick).

At the home I wait while the nurses check her out and get her settled, then I give her some applesauce and juice; but she's so wiped out that she can't finish either. Damn. I know she's got the tube feed now so it's not a big deal, but inside I come apart and just quietly hold her hand for the next hour. (Why did that feel like such a chore while we were waiting for her to go into surgery just days before?) I don't want her to see me cry so I keep it in. As she drifts off to sleep I kiss her goodbye and tell her I'm letting her rest so she can be up and around when the kids get there, but really it's so I can slink off and come apart in private.

How did I spend the rest of the day? Doing absolutely nothing, and wishing I had Tamara or Leanne or Shannon to curl up with. Useless, completely useless. Is this dealing with it, or hiding from it?

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