Monday, May 7, 2018

Extenuating Circumstances

Well for once I have a legitimate excuse for missing posts and getting zero writing in last week.

A week ago Thursday I had to take my husband to the emergency department of the hospital where he was admitted and then four days later had a hemicolectomy. My time was pretty much divided between babysitting the grandbaby and going to the hospital.

It was one of those times when it doesn’t pay to have a writer’s imagination. I’d go home to an empty house and my mind would start working overtime. Sitting waiting for the surgery, which took seven hours, all I could do was try not to think of why it was taking so long.

It was pretty exhausting, but the hubby is home now and doing much better.

But as we sat waiting yesterday for the doctor to get around to discharging him, I couldn’t help but think of all the story possibilities that had presented themselves over the last week.

Like…the conversation I overheard while the hubby was out of the room. His roommate from the first room he was in was an older gentleman with some kind of respiratory ailment. A well dressed man came in to talk to him about his options – there were only a few treatments available, and only a couple would make him more comfortable, none would really help in the long run. He was dying and there was nothing they could do.

And then the man offered something that took me completely by surprise. Euthanasia. He explained it was fairly new in Canada, but it was a viable option. The patient could end his suffering and choose the day and time to do it. I left my husband a note and left the room.

Then there was the woman in the room across the hall after my husband had his surgery and was moved to a different room. At first I thought she was in the final stages of cancer – she was thin and frail seeming, and she had a large room to herself. She had a great deal of family that came, mostly in groups.

But on the hubby’s last morning in there I couldn’t help but notice she had a nurse and I think the man was a physiotherapist. They were asking her questions and helping her sit up, moving her limbs and checking for feeling. Then the man went out and came back wheeling a large mirror. They positioned it in front of her and asked if she could recognize herself.

I didn’t hear the answer but my mind was filled with infinite possibilities of what put her in the hospital in such a state.

And then there was the screaming man…

I never did find out what room the screaming man was in, it sounded like he was out in the courtyard that all the rooms overlooked. But he kept up an almost constant barrage of screaming – not so much screaming in pain as just angry words. The daughter swears he was yelling: “Land ho!”

I kind of felt sorry for him and I was dying to know his story. I did find out from a nurse that he wasn’t going through detox, but that’s the only thing I was able to find out. What was he so angry about? Why was he there? Why didn’t they just sedate him so the other patients could sleep?

So as trying as the last week was, it’s nice to know that despite the fact I wasn’t writing I was still thinking like a writer. :-D

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