Why Can’t I Have Any Drugs?

How hard would it be to leave a bowl of these in the room?

(Update: 3:30 p.m. PST, 11/25/09. Cat won’t be going home tonight; we’ll be staying another night here at Club Med. She’s fine; she’s just not recovered enough to leave. So tomorrow’s a Thanksgiving we won’t forget!)

(This post is a continuation of my last four or five posts.)

Why won’t the nurses who are taking care of my wife give me drugs, too? For her they’re concocting Morphine Delight milkshakes, and filling her with Percocets like she’s Nummo, the Pain-Killing Pez dispenser. Meanwhile, I’m stuck popping Skittles from a vending machine in the parking garage. How is that fair?

“This cot you gave me is not that soft,” I said. “Lying on it has made my shoulder pretty sore. Ow.” But the nurse only turned her back on me, and continued screwing into Cat’s I.V. tube the kind of drugs Houdini probably used for his own private disappearing act.

“Oh, come on,” I said. “Just squirt a little into my broth here.”

“And will you please stop eating your wife’s food?” snapped Nurse Attitude.

You know, for a group afflicted with such tragic fashion sense, you’d think nurses would develop better people skills. I hope there’s something in Obama’s health care plan that addresses this serious problem, which I’m sure every day affects tens of thousands of spouses of patients.

In the meantime, I’ll just have to wait. And, of course, take the opportunity of my wife napping just now to find out what all those buttons do on the wall panel next to her bed.

(Ha, ha; is drug humor ever not funny? Oh. Well, good time to get serious, then: Cat’s fine. Actually, she’s having a bit of a rough go of it. She may not get to go home today as originally planned. The amount of blood she lost yesterday has left her pretty anemic today—which has left her unable to walk, and to do some of the breathing exercises and other such things she needs to in order to avoid developing pneumonia and a whole assortment of other post-operative maladies lurking for a chance to take hold. So she may have to get a transfusion, and then stay another night for monitoring. It’ll depend on how the next four or five hours go. But basically she’s good; it’ll work out. Poor thing. This has been a rough ride. She’s napping right now. And she’s been asleep now for at least ten minutes—which means it’s absolutely certain that within moments someone will burst in here to do anything from taking her blood to taking away the linens. I’m deeply awed by the number and range of miracles that I know are happening every moment throughout this hospital—not to mention the ones happening right now in this room—but dang, I wish they could let a girl sleep for more than five minutes straight. It’s weird: out in the real world, everyone knows that one of the best ways to heal is to sleep. But trying to sleep in a hospital is like trying to play badminton in a sandstorm. Oh, well. Once I get her home, I’ll let her sleep like the angel she is.

Hey, thank you all for the love, prayers, and wonderful thoughts you’ve been sending our way. I’ve read and re-read everything you’ve written us. Bless you guys for taking the time to send us your love. We sure do appreciate it.)


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I so know, huh? Leaving the hospital exhausted shouldn't have to happen. I'm really grateful, Cat has come through in good shape so far, and I'm praying the remaining recovery will be swift and restful. Praying. Yep.

  • Aww, glad to hear it went well, dude. Hope she's home soon where she can get plenty of sleep, and have one of those tinkly bells you only ever see in sitcoms, in order to summon you for things…

  • Hi, Dale. Thank you for prayers! Yeah, I don't know what the deal is with sleep and hospitals. It's almost like some alarm goes off in administrative when any patient dozes off for more than four minutes, and then whatever employee first barges into the room of that patient and asks, "How are you feeling?" gets a bonus.

    And Derek O'Brien! Thank you, too, for the kind thoughts. A tinkly bell! I love it!

    Wait. No I don't.

  • My Mum had surgery recently and now she has a tinkly bell to summon her household. I completely approve of this (as I don't live there). I totally recommend the tinkly bell. Remember that's for Cat though, John.

    Glad to hear they're taking such good care of her, although poo you won;t be at home for the holidays.

  • Stuart

    Sorry for being a bit slow in catching up with your hospital stuff. It's good to hear things are moving in the right direction.

    I'll pray for sleep, that's always a blessing and it's biblical becuase God gives sleep to those he loves, it says so in Psalms somewhere.

    It's pretty cool how the two of you have each other. That is really neat.

    Be blessed


  • Richard Lubbers

    No drugs for the bonkers spouse! Where's their humanity? Maybe you can hold up the prescription cart, or at least get some ice from the dude in the next room suffering from swollen throbosis.

    Morpheous calls. Maybe Cat can hitch a ride. Prayers for your girl.

  • Judy

    I wish I could think of something witty and biblical to say, but it's late and I am dimwitted at this hour! So, my heartfelt hugs to you and Cat and and continued prayers. Sleep well and dream sweet.

  • Judy

    ..and this..

    'For I will restore you to health

    And I will heal you of your wounds,'

    declares the LORD. Jer. 30:17

  • jennie

    Our daughter had brain surgery earlier this year — and I remember sitting by her bed, praying and trying to make sense of it all. She's doing well… I know God answers prayer and He will take care of Cat and you. Thank you for letting us share the journey! Will continue praying.

  • Oh, boy, this last strain of comments are from some readers who are particularly dear to me. Stuart! Solnushka (whose writing voice reminds me of my deceased Brit mother-in-law; Cat herself was born in Harrow, a town outside of London. And Richard: Good to hear from you! And my old friend Judy!

    Okay, so Jennie. Seriously? Your daughter had brain surgery? That's just … I can't even imagine it. That's just unbelievable. I don't know how you survived that. And she's now okay, you say? What was WRONG? Man. That's …. serious business. (Everyone: Jennie is the president of the San Diego Christian Writer's Guild, one of the largest and most productive Christian writers groups in the country. She and her husband Bob do a fantastic job of co-presiding over that wonderful collective of writers.)

  • (Oh: Cat's doing … well, fine. I mean, I think she'll be able to go home tomorrow. Probably for sure. Yes, she will. Right now she's still not exactly ready to go jogging or anything, but … it's not like she's had BRAIN SURGERY. Yowzer, man. Talk about putting things in perspective.)

  • Would love to be able to say 'Oh! Harrow! I'm from…' but sadly that wouldn't be true. Close enough though that I am doing precisely the accent you are thinking of, though.

    Yay! Cat's going home.