John was discharged from the hospital yesterday afternoon. I waited at home to get the word from him, and while I was there, I admit I had a bit of a panic attack. He’s not ready. Hell, I’m not ready. So all I could do as I waited was text/email friends and try to find my strength. I would have gone to the hospital to wait, but John had warned me that one of his sisters finally showed up (nice; he goes into the hospital on Tuesday and she doesn’t contact him or visit him until Sunday?), and I didn’t want to see her, so I waited at home.
When I got the call, I just moved into action mode.
Drove to the hospital. Picked up his medications at the pharmacy and spent several minutes with the doc going over them all. Naturally, they all had different instructions — different times of day, some need food, some don’t need food, one needs to be taken with the other, blah blah blah. Went up to his room and packed his stuff, talked to the nurse about the mobile unit that will be coming to his house to draw blood every other day and check his vitals. She took out the final IV and we were good to go.
Took him home, got him settled, took all his towels to go launder them. The nurse said he needed a clean towel every time he showered, no reusing. His washer/dryer are downstairs, and he’s not supposed to go up or down stairs, so I will be doing his laundry for a while. Of course, when I got in there, I could not figure out for the life of me how to work his old and very un-user-friendly washer. I know I sound like an idiot, but I absolutely could not get that damn thing to work. It turned out he’d shut off the water, and he had to call directions to me over the balcony how to turn it back on, but I kept turning spigots and nothing was happening. Meltdown #2.
Finally got that working. Tried to organize his meds, but there were so many, it was hopeless, and we ended up snapping at each other. He needed pill organizers, which I’d need to get at the pharmacy. So I went out to the pharmacy and two different markets to get him groceries, and then back to the pharmacy because I’d forgotten to buy the anti-bacterial soap. Back to his house, unpacked everything, put the towels in the dryer, gave him some food. Then I spent about an hour (I’m not kidding) organizing all the meds. This isn’t even all of them:
And this is what I ended up with:
Four separate organizers, each labeled with a post-it about when to take them. This is for one week. Each Sunday when I’m there, I will do this. It will be easier next time, I’m thinking.
John is supposed to hug a pillow to his chest whenever he coughs, to keep everything in there from getting too jarred. I kept catching him without the pillow and coughing. It made me nuts. I tried to give him his meds and he questioned everything. Had to show him the bottles so he could see I was giving him the right things. I had to coax him to take Imodium, even though he’d been in the bathroom countless times for the past couple of days. He’s not the best of patients, and I’m a crap nurse. So there were tense moments.
It was nearly 11:00 PM when I left. John was fed, had taken his meds (even a pain pill, which he’s been resisting as well), had clean towels, had everything he needed. This morning, the mobile hospital unit would visit him. His neighbors, who work at home, will be checking on him.
I still needed to get my own groceries, so I was in the market at 11:30. I then realized I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything since 11:00 that morning. Not good. I got home, drank water, ate. Caught up with emails and texts. Crashed.
Today, I am a zombie. I think John is actually doing better than I am. Again, not good. I need to get my shit together.
John was sweet. He said I did great, that everything got done, he’s home, he’s in one piece, he has everything he needs. He claims I was “a little nervous.” I said no, I was hysterical. I yelled. I cried. I was awful, and I’m so ashamed.
No gym today. I have work to do, and I need to decompress and be quiet. I will probably go see him tomorrow.
Thanks to everyone for the continued concern. Please continue to hold good thoughts.