Thursday, August 20, 2015

the call


the call came at about 2:00 PM. Knowing it was Mary calling made me hesitate to answer. I didn't want to hear anymore bad news or hear the desperation in her voice. I picked up the phone and steeled myself for the sure-to-be onslaught of tears.
I hesitated for a moment and then issued a quiet, tentative, "Hello."
Without preamble, she calmly uttered the words I've been longing to hear, "They said I can go home today."
I nearly did a back flip off the stoop I was standing on. How could she be so controlled?
"I'll be there in 20 minutes," was my impetuous answer.
"Hold on," she interrupted my running in circles, "There are some things to take care of first before I can leave."
"Well get 'em done, cause I'm on my way. I want to get the hell out of Dodge before they change their minds."
"Slow down and listen to me so you won't screw it up." She knows me too well.
So I stopped jumping up and down, the better to get my instructions and have a fair chance of getting them right.
"First of all, bring some clean clothes to wear on the way home." Why is she worried about clothes? I'd pick her up buck naked if it meant getting out of there faster. Then I realized she meant clean clothes for her to wear. All I heard was "pants, shirt, and underwear." She was, however, going on and on about color and fabric and fit, expecting me to understand what she was talking about.
"Yeah, yeah, ok, I'll bring your whole wardrobe if you want." What a time to worry about making a fashion statement.
"What made them change their mind? You didn't threaten them with the prospect of having to listen to Mary C stories did you?" Actually that prospect would make them want to keep her there longer because her stories are a laugh riot.
" The infectious disease specialist who ran a two
hour test this morning to try to explain what was happening to me said I was doing fine, that there was nothing to keep me here in the hospital as long as I was capable of flushing the drain tube or had someone who could do it for me," she explained.
"Me, me," I waved my hand up high, eager to volunteer for any duty that would speed her return home. The lesson I learned in the army about never volunteering for anything went right out the window. "There doesn't exist a drain tube that I can't flush," I bragged, trying to convince her that I was up to the task.
"Yes, thats what I told them," she lied. She figured that Carrie would handle that task far better than a shaky old man like me. But just to keep me on task, she let me think I was nurse materiel.
"And we have to wait until the doctor signs the discharge papers, and he's in surgery right now, so it might be a couple hours before that gets done." "Why? what's wrong with him that he needs surgery?" I was getting more and more confused as the conversation continued.
"Try to concentrate you idiot" she scolded. I love when she talks all lovey dovey to me like that. Those terms of endearment , like bonehead, moron, fool,worthless, and the aforementioned idiot make me all warm inside.
We finally agreed on how to accomplish this mission--she would take care of the paperwork on her end, and I would speed like runaway rain to get there. Of course I muttered something about obeying the speed limit, but that was an impossible dream meant to assuage her fears and impossible to enforce. I got there in record time--while obeying all speed limits. (and if you believe that I have some real cheap vinyl gloves used only once in Dr Digit the Proctologer's office to sell you.
When I arrived in Mary's room the Physician's Assistant was ready to reveal the secrets of the flushed tube to me. I payed close attention for once and when it cane my turn to do it I performed flawlessly. I was born to be a nurse.

With some other trivial instructions added on to fill the time as we waited in the pharmacy to collect our stash of drugs, we were closer and closer to our long awaited desire to be home and on the normal path of our lives. It has been an ordeal that I never want to repeat. Now maybe we can get on with our lives. Thank you all for your prayers and support during this trying time. 

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