This week has certainly been a break from the monotony of the daily routine. Grandma has been in the hospital, the details of which I will forego posting here, since most of you reading this already know about it anyway.
But Wednesday night, I volunteered to stay at the hospital to keep her company since she doesn’t sleep much at night and the ‘overburdened’ nurses couldn’t dedicate their time to keeping her in bed.
The trouble all started when I pulled into the parking lot. There are about fifty parking spaces in the lot in front of the Main Entrance to the hospital. What genius planned that? So I had to park in this parking lot owned by a church and pay my three dollars so that I could go into the hospital. When I arrived to relieve my exhausted mother, an orderly was just coming to pick up Grandma for some more tests and I took the opportunity to seek out the cafeteria, since I was near the point of dying of thirst. I suppose I would have been in a good place to be on the verge of dying of thirst if I hadn’t spent the rest of the evening developing a severe case of loathing for Riverside Community Hospital. The only hospital I would less like to be stuck in is King/Drew, and they are being shut down for dumping homeless patients on Skid Row, if that tells you anything.
Anyway, the cafeteria was already closed for the night, and liquid refreshment was not to be had. I was informed that there was a vending machine on the floor above mine, but the key card system they give visitors only allows you to get to the floor of the patient you are visiting. So I returned to Grandma’s room and waited for her to be returned by the orderly, who my grandma sure thought was cute. I sat with her for awhile, watched some TV (which was placed in the oh-so-practical position almost directly above our heads…) and tried to keep her from removing her oxygen mask.
Around 11, the RN came in to give Grandma her pills. She asked me, “Is she good about swallowing pills?” I said, “No, she won’t take them, she’ll just spit them out.” So what happened? That’s right. The genius nurse tried to give her the pills anyway. And what was the result? They were spit out. And Grandma was mad. And I laughed. After I was done being mad.
I finally calmed her down and then I got a visit from my dear friend Catherine. She brought me liquid refreshment! Yay! And a delcious, chocolately brownie. It was nice to have a little break from Grandmawatch and I really appreciate her for that. I appreciate her for a lot of things, but that was just one of them.
I spent the rest of the night sleeping in blocks of 10 to 15 minutes in the sub-zero refrigerator that was the hospital room. I kept having to stop Grandma from trying alternately to remover her IV and her catheter, while sitting in an awkward position on an almost-padded, wooden-backed chair with my feet propped up on another one and trying to stay a little bit warm. Maybe I should have just run outside where it was 95 degrees all night!
In the morning, the nurse came and told us that we were moving upstairs to another room. That was at 8. As the morning progressed, a CNA got on my case when the RN had taken off and left off the oxygen mask, apparently my grandpa stopped in for a visit, and a very rough CNA in ugly green scrubs came in to change the bedding, feeling perfectly at ease with throwing an old lady around. Here’s a tip to any of you aspiring nurses: If a patient has a head injury, no matter how minor, try to avoid grabbing them on the head!
I left after the doctor came to give us an update. I thought he was kind of cute, and evidently Grandma did too because she sure perked up when she saw him. All in all, I’m really glad she’s coming home today for many reasons, not the least of which is that I don’t ever want to spend a night in that place again!