Everything is Relative

By Saturday, March 30, 2013 0 No tags Permalink 0

This is a holiday weekend and we do feel the reduction in staff levels. That said those who are here are doing an amazing job, and it’s obvious they really love what they do. I’ve been looking after Judy over this past week, and found that trying to understand the business of the hospital was a good distraction so staff reduction in non peak times (peak times are: scheduled visits, follow up visits, consultations etc.) makes sense. Similarities to banking are interesting; productivity, efficiency, first time right, customer / patient care, personal connections – wait times and stay times are really just a proxy for volumes and revenue.

All that to say Mamood (a young man from Algeria) who has been bathing Judy all week – in bed; is not in day. Judy decides she’d like a shower. I pack up what we might need for a shower – towels, wash clothes, soap, shampoo, conditioner, creme and a clean green (vintage 1930 again) Hospital gown. Oh yea, Judy’s coming too – walker , IV pole, catheter bag. I just have a feeling there is going to be a story.

We head out of the room and down to the shower room. We open the door and I immediately get a flashback to those high school shower rooms off the locker rooms when I was playing football and basketball – the smell is somewhere between clinical and personal hygiene gone bad, the look is a faded retro of terrazzo and tile that has been freshened up with a ‘hospital blue’ shower curtain – Judy always said you had to be very careful when introducing the 3rd colour into a decorating scheme – they weren’t! The feel was a set from the shower scene out of American Pie except the ‘peep’ holes are in the back of the gowns not in the wall. I have a nagging urge to practice my towel snapping skills, I was good at that back in my high school days (somethings never change).

We enter and I notice a generic pair of rubber boots – wellys. I’m thinking I’m not needing these, we’ll get Judy set up, get the water adjusted and I’ll stay clear. Well sitting on a geriatric inspired plastic chair in the shower, managing around the IV that must remain dry, Judy sets down the hand held shower wand, unintentionally but perfectly aimed to shoot a steady steam of water over the top of the curtain to exactly the spot I was standing. I take a 2nd look at those Wellys, understanding their purpose, but without a slicker and a sou’wester I’d still be soaked. Oh well this is not about me, Judy loved her 1st shower in over a week, in fact her comment was she felt like she was at the spa. Everything is relative.

The current status is:

Walking about the same distances before getting too tired. Still with the use of a walker, but more now for confidence than as a crutch. Vision is still blurry and double vision is still a bother. Headaches are still there, less intense and the frequency of very intense ones is reducing a good visit and conversation with the doctor today. He identified the location of the aneurysm by placing his finger on his forehead centered between the eyes and the the other finger on his temple. Where those 2 lines would intersect would be the location of the aneurysm.

We are at day 8 today. The higher risk days for potential consequential repercussions are days 7-10. So far everything is looking really good.

A visit to Opthamology on Tuesday and a scheduled Angiogram on Thursday to inspect their work will put them in a position to make a decision about transfer (to Ottawa) or discharge.

The tough part will be to manage the expectations of the time following. The doctors caution that regaining 100% full mojo will take at least 3 months and as long as 6 months. Judy is more the 0 to 60 type.

Thanks again for all the good vibes, thoughts and prayers coming this way – it’s making a difference.

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