Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I managed to sleep most of the night, even with what seemed like too frequent interruptions from my nurse. In the morning my back was hurting, but whether from the accident or sleeping on it I’ll never know.
They came in at 6:00 a.m. to check my vitals and all that. There was a new nurse now, and she was young and perky. At 6:00 a.m. in the morning I am not. I thought briefly about killing her, but frankly I wasn’t convinced that I could sleep any later in prison, so I wisely determined it just wasn’t worth it.
Her name was Tammy, and she was as bouncy as Tigger, but she was very kind and helpful too. Okay, I admitted that once and I won’t do it again. She asked me if I was ready to try to sit on the edge of the bed.
I couldn’t help myself; I was feeling very grouchy this morning. She was just so damn happy it irritated the hell out of me. “And what is the purpose of that Tammy? Do you think my brain was injured so much that I’ve forgotten how to do that?” I snipped facetiously at her.
“Well, in some ways that’s kind of what could have happened,” she told me earnestly and sincerely. “Even though it’s only been a few days, your muscles do forget and your brain controls your muscles and it’s got to be lazy for the past 4 days now!”
“How on earth do you expect me to sit up with this catheter in?” I snapped.
“The good news is that if you can sit for a few minutes, then we can try to stand you up and have you take a few steps AND if you can do that, we can take that pesky catheter right out!”
I digested this information for a moment. “Okay, then lets get me up!” I said, trying to swing myself up and that’s when I decided that maybe laying like this for the rest of my life was okay, really. OUCH!!!
“Yes ma’am, we have to take it slow.” Miss Perky said to me.
“Ma’am,? Do I look like a Ma’am to you?” Stupid question. I probably looked old enough to be her grandmother. Obviously she had been brought up well and told to respect her elders and all that crap.
“Yes ma’am, I mean NO ma’am. I, uh, what would you like me to call you ma...”
“Just call me Sarah, okay? Now, how do we do this?” I asked, as sweetly as I possibly could. That is my dangerous, I’ve had enough shit tone of voice, and Tammy obviously didn’t recognize it.
Derek had been watching this whole exchange between Tammy and I and decided that perhaps he had better get involved. He later said that he did recognized the dangerous and desperate tone in my voice. He came over to the bed and introduced himself to Tammy and gave me a quick kiss on the check.
“Good morning Mom,” to me and then to Tammy, “Okay, how do we do this?”
Tammy was a smart cookie, I’ll give her that and she grabbed onto Derek like a starving dog grabs onto a bone. She immediately instructed him to help swing my legs around to the side of the bed as she helped me from behind, to make sure my back was supported properly.
My first instinct was to reach out to the bed rails for leverage, but they were swinging me to the right and when I reached out with my right arm, I felt like my chest was going to explode. Great, I thought, how much fun is this going to be? I can’t even pull myself up!
I’ll give Tammy this, she is a lot stronger than she looks, and okay, I was sort of starting to like her. She was a determined little thing which I appreciated a lot. She placed a pillow the long way down my back and pushed me carefully forward to a sitting position at the same time that Derek moved my legs over the edge.
Ah, it felt wonderful, for about 5 seconds and then pain ripped through my aching and protesting body. But it started to settle down gradually and sitting there wasn’t so bad.
“How are you feeling Sarah?” Tammy asked cautiously. I’m sure she thought I was going to complain, but I kept my mouth shut, other than one little ‘Ooh’ when I first sat up.
“Not bad actually,” and I don’t know which of the 3 of us was the most surprised. “I’m not feeling dizzy or anything. My chest hurts, but I’ll get used to that. This is actually feeling okay Tammy, thank you!”
Her smile was radiant and I could tell then that she loves her job. I smiled back at her then, a genuine smile and she was obviously pleased.
She went and grabbed another hospital gown and wrapped it around my back since no matter how those things are tied, they always gape open. I really appreciated her thoughtfulness and I told her so and she sort of giggled, but I could tell that my compliment had made her happy. While I was sitting there, she took my blood pressure and temperature and otherwise checked me out.
I had been sitting upright for about 5 minutes by then and she asked if I thought I could stand and I told her I thought so. With Derek on one side and Tammy on the other, I cautiously stood up. I felt a bit wobbly for a moment, but it was okay really and I slowly took a couple of steps.
I felt like Rocky Balboa after he ran up the steps in Philadelphia and I expected Gonna Fly Now to start playing at any moment. Derek looked at me, a silly grin on his face and it made me laugh.
I was laughing AND standing! Hooray!!!
Tammy was smiling too, but said, “Okay, time to sit down now. How do you feel about getting the catheter out? Do you think you can handle going to the bathroom now?”
“Oh yeah,” I told her, “Yank away!”
Derek laughed and said he thought he would pass on this one and that he was going downstairs to find some coffee and breakfast. As I thought about it for a minute, I realized that he and Adam had something in common—their appetite!
Tammy got me through getting it out and I felt wonderfully free. Oh yes, it was wonderful. Now I wanted to soak in a tub full of bubbles and she told me I wasn’t ready for that yet, but I could take a shower if I thought I was up to it—with help that is. “But first I need to get this IV line out, so let’s do that now,” she told me. That came out easily and I held the piece of gauze over the spot until she got the band aid on it.
I wondered what the possibilities of Adam being the one to help me with the shower were and I sort of privately smirked at the idea. Well, maybe not this first time, and besides I wanted my hair washed and all that, although, he DOES wash hair very, very nicely! But even though I was starting to like Tammy, I wasn’t really comfortable with her or some nurse’s aid helping me. And then I had another idea.
“When my daughter gets here, can she help? She’s a second year med student,” I offered hopefully.
“Tell you what, the doctor should be in soon and we’ll ask her. In the meantime, you will be getting some breakfast soon, and you can call your daughter and have her bring some personal clothes for you if you like, okay?” she asked as she got ready to leave. “Do you need anything else right now? Do you need some pain meds?”
At the emphatic shaking of my head, she said okay and headed out the door. I pushed the button to set my bed more upright and it didn’t hurt much at all. I then twisted around and pulled the phone closer and managed to punch in my number. I waited as patiently as I could for someone to answer and then realized it was only 6:45. They might not even be up now, I realized with a frown.
Finally someone picked up the phone and mumbled “Hello” into it and I realized happily that it was Adam.
“Good Morning,” I said in my sexist voice, speaking low. “This is your obscene morning wake up call!”
“What the. . . what?” he mumbled, then cleared his throat.
I couldn’t help it, I started laughing merrily then. “You’re a little slow in the mornings, ya know?” I told him.
“Mm, Bella,” he said, a little clearer this time. “I miss you.”
“Me too. I really didn’t realize how early it was, they got me up awhile ago. Did you sleep well?”
“That’s a double edged sword you know,” he told me, chuckling really low in this throat.
My heart almost stopped for a moment because he sounded so sexy. I had this mental picture of him, lying there in MY bed, in MY room and in MY house and it was almost more than I could stand.
“How are you this morning?” he asked me, suddenly serious.
“I’m feeling pretty good. Still achy, but considering everything, not too bad. That’s one of the reasons I called, I want Lissa to bring me some comfortable clothes to put on. I’ve had enough of hospital attire! These peek-a-boo gowns are really not my style!”
He paused for a moment and I knew he was thinking about the peek-a-boo thing and it made me smile, a huge and wicked smile if he only could have seen it.
“Um, yes. Shall I get her for you?”
“Don’t wake her up, can I just tell you what I want? Then you can help her get it?”
“Sure. What do you want?”
"Just some comfortable lounging clothes and a nightgown to sleep in. Oh, and shampoo and toiletry items. I want to take a shower,” I told him, already thinking about how great that shower would feel.” As I said that, there was a knock on the door and my doctor came in. “My doctor is here. I’ll see you later, okay?”
“Yes love, as soon as possible. Goodbye.”
This was my personal doctor, Dr. Crandal and she thought I was doing wonderfully. Providing I don’t have any problems develop today, she said I can probably go home by today or tomorrow at the latest, but I’ll have a strict regimen to follow which will include physical therapy to help strengthen my chest muscles. She wants me off of work for a couple more weeks and NO driving at all until we know for sure that I won’t have any seizures, which can sometimes develop with a fractured skull. I’ll be seeing her twice a week until she determines I am ready to head back to work.
It’s not exactly what I wanted to hear, but it was better than I expected so I promised her I would follow her instructions to the letter. She told me they would do the CT scan this afternoon, but she felt it was only a formality. Since the fracture did not splinter and they had no bone fragments to account for I was truly lucky. I told her I felt that way, very lucky indeed. She said it was okay to take my shower and I told her Lissa was going to help me when she gets here.
She liked that, she had known Lissa for many years since she has been our family doctor for 17 years. “She going to be a great doctor, do you know that Sarah?” she asked.
“Yes, I agree. But then, she always had a good example growing up.” I smiled at her, remembering her through the years.
She got ready to leave and looked at me sternly and said, “Don’t try to over do it, you hear me Sarah? If you do, you’re body will regret it!”
I looked at her as innocently as I could, in a ‘what me?’ look and she laughed and pointed her pen at me. “Yes, YOU!” and then she was gone.
I was trying to find out how to turn the TV on when Derek came back. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was looking for a remote or something to turn the TV on.
“Mom,” he laughed, “it’s all in the buttons here on the bed rails!” he told me and pushed one and the TV popped on, and I settled back to watch the morning news. I felt really out of things since I had been gone for 10 days to Italy and then was unconscious for the past 4.
They brought in my breakfast then, what they called nourishing liquids. I eyed the tray suspiciously, thinking back to the wonderful breakfasts Adam and I had shared in Italy. This seemed criminal somehow, expecting me to eat, ugh, pudding and hot tea and really, really thin, hm, cream of wheat maybe, but who could tell for sure? I didn’t like this stuff on a good day, but to have to eat it now seemed criminal.
But I did, I was determined to get the hell out of Dodge, in other words, the hospital. I enjoyed the pudding and applesauce actually, but getting that cream of wheat down was a challenge. I had never liked hot cereals, other than those little flavored oatmeal packets, even as a kid. I also skipped the hot tea, but they brought me some apple juice and that wasn’t too bad. I just had finished by the time the Adam and Lissa arrived.
They both kissed me hello and I eagerly grabbed the bag that Lissa carried, looking through it and nodding approval at what she had brought. All the liquid was already starting to work through me and I told her I needed to pee.
“Good mom, that’s really good,” she told me. “C’mon, I’ll help you up, okay?”
Gee, my own little cheerleader!
Sitting up wasn’t nearly as bad this time as it had been earlier, or maybe I was just more prepared, but soon I was up and walking (with assistance) to the bathroom. Lissa insisted in coming in with me. I rolled my eyes and closed the door—with her in the bathroom. I had to pee into a container that Lissa said was to measure my output, but frankly I didn’t give a damn, I was doing it and that’s all I cared about.
She asked me if I felt up to the shower and I told her yes. Lissa went out and grabbed the bag that had my clothes and stuff in it. There was a stool to sit on in it and I didn’t think I would need it, but was then glad it was there when I did. We got me washed and shampooed and I felt a hundred times better as I came out of the bathroom.
Adam and Derek were chatting and seemed to be getting along well and that pleased me. It didn’t seem stiff or uncomfortable for them and that made me feel better than the shower even. They were discussing ‘football’ British style and ‘football’ American style. We call the British version soccer, which according to Adam alternately irritates and amuses them. Go figure.
I walked slowly back to the bed and then decided to sit in one of the chairs for awhile. Derek got up to give me the recliner he had been sitting in, but I chose a straight-backed chair that was by the windows. I figured it would be easier to get up from since it didn’t lean back. Adams’ chair was near it and he reached over to hold my hand and rub it soothingly.
I had dressed in a pair of turquoise and green plaid flannel pants and a bright turquoise t-shirt. I felt so much better now that I was clean! My hair was drying on its own, which means it will be a curly mess, but that’s alright. Compared to the dirty mess it was, I’ll adore it.
Tammy came back into the room then and was surprised to see me clean and dressed, not to mention sitting in a chair. And then she spotted Adam. I watched her face go from wondering to recognition to shock. Which was better than gushing actually. But she hit that one next.
“Oh my gosh! You look just like Adam Richland, the actor, you know?” she said to him, an excited flush spreading across her face.
I watched Adam the movie star take over and I wondered curiously if Lissa or Derek noticed the difference. He sat up a little straighter and he suddenly oozed charm, smiling brightly and holding out his hand.
“Yes, that’s because I am. And you would be...?”
“T—Tammy,” she finally managed to spit out. She took his proffered hand and shook it for a moment, then quickly withdrew it and stared at it. “What are you doing HERE?”
“Well Tammy, I’m here with Sarah. I hear you have been taking wonderful care of her, so I wish to thank you for that. It’s important to us that she feels better quickly,” he finished, smiling that Adam the movie star smile. It didn’t quite light up his face the way his real smile did. It was charming certainly, but I knew the difference.
Tammy was looking back and forth, from Adam to me and I had a wild urge to giggle. She looked at us, holding hands and I was sure she couldn’t imagine what on earth he saw in me, or how in the world we knew each other. To give her a bit of credit, I looked pretty bad earlier this morning, and I still really wasn’t at my best.
She turned her focus on to me and said, “So you got your shower then?” At my nod of agreement she continued, “Are you feeling nauseous? Breakfast didn’t upset your stomach?”
I struggled to keep from rolling my eyes and prayed she wouldn’t ask anymore personal questions. “Apart from feeling hungry, I’m fine. When can I have some real food?”
“Oh, are you hungry? I could bring you some Jello,” she offered, little miss perky again.
Okay, it’s time for you to go Tammy!
“No, that’s okay, hold the Jello. How about some ice cream?” I bargained.
“That would be okay, if you really want it.” She was looking at me like I didn’t need the damn ice cream and she was starting to piss me off again. She really needs to leave.
Lissa saw that look in my eyes and told Tammy, “Why don’t I walk down to the station with you and grab that for my mom. That way you won’t have to make another trip down here for awhile,” she said, at the same time taking Tammy by the arm and gently leading her out the door.
As soon as the door closed behind them, all three of us started laughing, hard and it made my ribs hurt like hell, but that was okay.
“Goodbye Little Miss Perky!” I said, shaking my head in amusement.
A moment later, Lissa was back with some ice cream, chocolate of course. She handed it to me and looked at Adam and said, “Nice one there Adam. Who was that masked man who snatched you away for a couple of minutes?’
I snorted and almost spit my ice cream out—almost! “Yeah Adam, who was that?” I laughed.
By then Derek had caught on to what we were teasing Adam about and his reply was what made me realize that things really would be okay between those two.
“Give a guy a break, huh?” Derek said, laughing loudly. “She was acting all silly and stuff!”
There was a knock on the door then and we all looked at each other. I shrugged and said, “Come in.”
The door opened slowly and it took me a moment to recognize Jason. He stood there for a minute, staring at us and I wondered what in the world to say.
He didn’t though.