Thursday, January 2, 2014

The ICU isn't an uplifting place.

My mom is still in the ICU. She'll get out tomorrow, but only until she has a procedure that may lead to surgery Monday. Then she's coming to my house to recover because I am the best daughter ever. 

I am spending as much time as possible with Joy Fay in the ICU so I can get information about her condition straight from the doctors because she will downplay it (and lie to the doctors about how she's feeling so she won't be a "burden," so I have to be the voice of truth) and my dad will report back to me she's at death's door because the man loves a good funeral. I'm serious, if you have a cold, he'll tell everyone he knows you have lung cancer and won't make it through the night. Bless his heart. I've been trying really hard not to be nosey about the people outside of our little room, but there are so many things happening around me, I haven't been able to keep myself from taking in my surroundings. 

I blame it on all the visitors wearing surgical masks. I mean, seriously, how can you not see a small Hispanic man in a surgical mask carrying a balloon and not wonder what's going on with his loved one? 

Well, I don't know for sure what's wrong, but she's in what I keep calling an iron lung and they keep moving it around. My cousin finally peer pressured me into asking the nurse yesterday when we just couldn't take the not knowing anymore. Of course, he couldn't tell me because of HIPAA, so I made up a story about Polio and Tuberculosis. 

My daddy actually rolled his eyes at me. He better work a little harder on that attitude if he wants one of my kidneys

Grace and I also got mesmerized by the huge family that was taking turns saying goodbye to a family member. We kept trying not to look, but you know how that goes. I will say this, judging from the number of people who were there and how heartbroken they all seemed, that person was truly loved. It made me tear up a little. When I got there today, a different person was in his room and all I could think was I hope he knew how loved he was before he died last night. 

Tomorrow, someone is getting a tracheotomy.  When I heard the nurses scheduling it, I yelled, "Ohhhh, they do those all the time on Gray's Anatomy," in my head because, you know, that's where I get all my medical information.

In my time in the ICU, I've also figured out that my mom may be the only person who is conscious. Well, her and the guy next door (not the iron lung person, but  on the other side) that I didn't know was there because I thought her's was the last room on that side of the hallway until I heard him singing or chanting or something and I almost peed my pants. 

I told my cousin if there was a contest for who had the best odds of getting out of there alive, Joy Fay was winning hands down. 

And if there's a contest for who has the best odds for getting thrown out for being nosey, it's yours truly. 

But man, there are probably some crazy stories up in there. Sad and depressing, but interesting as hell, and I need to know them. 

All of them.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you should try the medical field as a profession!!

Candance said...

If it weren't for the science, blood and gross shit that comes out of people's sick bodies, I'd be a shue in.

Anonymous said...

August of 2012, my mom had a ruptured brain aneurysm and spent 2 weeks in ICU. When I write my memoirs that experience will be the bulk of of the book. And the family waiting room? Good gosh - that scarred me for life --the things I saw and heard...Crisis times brings out the best AND the worst in families. --sue b.