Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday December 16 - A New Room - 428

Quinn has always been hard to wake up in the mornings. Except weekend mornings. It’s not because it’s a school day - He loves school. It’s just because it’s a morning and he has a certain degree of inertia – his wakes up slowly and falls asleep slowly. Every morning at 7am, I turn on the radio loudly, tell him it’s time to get up and pull the covers off him. Sometimes I even give him a vigorous back rub to wake him up. None of these tactics really work.

Lately I have been using the Christmas button. “Hey Quinn, how many more days to Christmas?” I’d ask. Initially this worked. Within a few minutes he would shake away the layer of sleep that settled on him and answer me … correctly. Today, I asked “Hey Quinn, how many more days until Daddy is home?” The response was great. He bolted straight up in bed and shouted “Two more days!” Then he jumped out of bed and ran to start the day. You are more important then the big guy, Santa.

Last night I was on call. I have started doing on-call occasionally when I can to help my colleagues who have been courageously ‘carrying the torch’ and I think, they deserve a well-earned break. Today, I learned a lesson. I can not multitask the journal writing with other things. Until now the only time I write is when the children are in bed and asleep or when you were ‘asleep’ in the early days.
Today, it was brought to my attention that I made a mistake – a typo on the entry from last night. I actually quoted your OT to say that you can do stairs in the chair. I clearly didn’t proofread it.

I had started writing the entry, last night, then I got called in to help a cute little chihuahua who thought that she could eat stuff that shouldn’t be eaten … that least not eaten by a 5 pound chihuahua. I examined her and did xrays and sent her home. It was almost eleven when I got home. I thought I’d just finish off the day and go to bed early in case I had more calls over the night. (That is early for me) I finished the writing and proofread … at least I thought I proofread. I forgot to proofread what I had written before the chihuahua call!

As a result, I grossly misrepresented what the OT had said. I have already corrected that on yesterday’s entry. If anyone had read it before 6pm today – you might have guessed that something was off – because a lot of it didn’t make sense. I know my grammar and spelling has been bad in the past – but it only reflects on me, not someone else, so I don’t mind as much. I feel very badly about this mistake.

My deepest apologies go out to her and I will grovel to her tomorrow. In the future, if I’m on call, I either won’t write or at least not post it until the next day when I can be more focused and actually proofread it thoroughly.

We had talked about what we can do to help out my fellow veterinarians at the hospital with the on-call schedule. The past six months or so before your stroke, I did most of the night on-call. Being a bit of a night owl, living close to the hospital and having the children involved with so many things, made this a good solution for me and Julia. I did all the nights and Julia and Melissa shared the weekend days.

The problem with this system is that it requires another grownup in the house to be present incase I’m called away in the middle of the night. Weekends are OK because Tara and Quinn would love to sleep over at Juanita’s. School nights are the problem nights. I had thought about the three of us and Annie camping out at the hospital in the staff room upstairs. We did this before when we had no power, hence, no heat for 4 days, when white Juan had hit. It was fun and we could do this and then I could drive them to school in the morning.

It seems, there are always lots of little logistics that have to be planned for to make anything simple happen these days. The effort to plan and execute our family’s and my work’s needs must be similar to you trying to make new pathways to do the things you used to do without thought before. For both of us, the simple tasks are much more mental then they used to be.

At work I got a call from your social worker. She said that you are moving to anophter bed today. I managed to finish work early and Annie and I walked home. Fran had already visited you today and helped take down the wall of cards we had up in your room.

When I got there the room seemed strangely empty. Janet was visiting you. You had volunteered in her grade primary class every year since Tara had started school. She is the type of teacher who makes school fun. She has a gift of making learning fun. It is fun to watch the little ones soak up the school experience while under her wing. Her enthusiasm spread to you. As a result you loved volunteering for her.

Dr Padmore (?), the urologist, came to visit. He is pleased with your urological control. He wants to do some functional tests to assess your urine capabilities just to be sure things are OK. Next week, you get to pee in a ‘magic’ toilet. It tests your flow dynamics of urine. This may help sort out why you are so prone to bladder infections. The physiotherapist is going to make sure that you can access the ‘magic’ toilet

Your favorite LPN and hospital maintenance lady arrive to help move you to your new room. You are being moved to the east wing. Room 428, bed 2. As I understand it, this floor is for people who are waiting to go somewhere. I feel good about this move. I was feeling a little selfish of wanting you home on passes and yet have the hospital hold a bed space for you. It seemed wrong, like double dipping. An act you can not abide. I imagine that are people in other hospitals who would love to be closer to their home and their loved ones. But they are stuck where they are, waiting for a space to open up.

We pack your things. In four months, you have managed to accumulate a lot of things. As we pack up, the physio and OT team arrives. They look at you with things piled high on top of you on your bed and realize that physio won’t happen today. We talk about your progress because I missed see them yesterday. She were going to try doing a assisted standing without the lift today because she had noticed that you are relying more on the machine to stand you up then to assist you in standing on your own. The difference is subtle but I can appreciate the importance.

We get you settled in the new room. You have a room-mate. I think you will enjoy the company. I look at the bags of things that have been left for you to inspire your spirit and feed your soul. I select some things to leave with you and the rest I will take home. I had thought that I would hang the pictures and inspirational things in a corner of your man room.

Thankfully, your room is big. It already has many themes decorating it. Currently, in one corner, you have a shrine of sorts to the Boston Marathon. Two other corners are taken up with your fish and your TV and you have a wall for your Rod Carew treasures. That leaves only one other corner which I will make into the “Head’ Quarters for Chris’ Addiction to Life Marathon. The children and I will make this space special for you next week. This can be our Christmas present to you.

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