Over the past nine days I have spent a lot of time at the hospital. I’ve gotten to know everyone’s name. I think I’m known as “The Crazy Bald Guy With A Sister in ICU”. I talk with the ladies working in the cafeteria every time I’m down there. I wave a friendly wave to anyone with a stethescope around their neck. As a “Visitor’s Lounge Regular”, I show the old ladies where the bathrooms are and the young guys where the ONE Pepsi machine is located in the hospital (my uncle let me in on the secret a couple of days ago).
It’s amazing the routine one can develop when you’re visiting a loved one in the hospital for several days in a row. At precisely 10:10 a.m., a designated member of the family will go to the cafeteria to scope out the day’s menu. This includes a la carte items and what is available in the ‘Speedline’. (Barbara works the speedline, Kareema works the a la carte and Yvonne runs the register). We go to lunch in two shifts – I opt to eat alone on the second shift when Earl’s out of town.
After two days of elevator rides, I began running the stairs. I like to think that I’m staying a little more healthy by using the stairs, even though I fear my leg muscles are turning to mush from a lack of cycling. I fear I’m scaring the old ladies I’ve directed to the bathroom because I come into the lounge panting.
My sister is doing much, much better today. She’s been conscious since Friday a.m., after they took her off the sedation stuff Thursday morning. Whatever she was on was pretty nasty, as it caused her to have all sorts of horrific hallucinations. She was very relieved to see her family alive and well, despite what her drugged brain was telling her. Today she was strong enough to write notes and gesture as to what she wanted (or didn’t want), including a few flips of the bird. It’s nice to have her back. Tomorrow they plan on taking her off the ventilator and then seeing how she does for a couple of days breathing on her own before she gets shipped down the one of the “regular” hospital rooms.
I have to admit that as she got better, Earl and I have been noticing a little more of the eye candy around the hospital. Nothing too randy or seedy, but enough to be appreciable. There are a few cute male nurses and assistants on the floor.
Spending time in the waiting room with my cousins has struck up some interesting conversations. My cousin Theresa knows how Earl and I met and had our commitment ceremony and all that stuff now. I don’t think the topic ever came up before, and I don’t know that it would ever have. Plus Earl announced my affinity for bear type guys as when my female cousins were ga-ga over one of my Mom’s friends I didn’t even give him a second glance.
Tomorrow we’re back at the hospital for a visit and then on Monday it’s back to my normal routine – with hospital visits in the evening. I wonder if Kareema, Barbara or Yvonne will miss me at lunch time.