First Steps

First of all, welcome to my long-suffering, oft-neglected blog. Longtime readers know that this is not the place for seriousness or clean language so if you’re new to the blog and new to ME, buckle up, kids.

NB: Some of you call him Rick. I call him Freddie. It’s a long story but he also answers to What’s-His-Name and Captain. Hope this clears up any confusion!

Today was a busy day. I am getting used to the drive up to the hospital. The GPS says it will take exactly 30 minutes but I can do it in 20 if I’m careful. ETA is always just a suggestion, and hey – stay out of the left lane.

When I got in to the ICU, Freddie was awake and greeted me by name and sounded almost cheerful! He was shocked to find out that today is Tuesday, but that’s normal for his situation. .I figured they had him jacked up on drugs again, but no – he’s improving quite a bit. Enough so that they decided to move him out of the ICU and into a regular room! Hurrah!

But before that, he had to have his left hand x-rayed. He hasn’t been able to make a fist and at first we thought that was just because they were pumping him full of fluids and he was suffering from Extreme Sausage Hands. Apparently not! So x-rays were taken (I assured the tech that he wasn’t pregnant) and we’ll find out tomorrow, I guess. I’m assuming whatever it is isn’t that bad or they would have added a splint or whatever to his impressive bandage load. But we’ll hear about that tomorrow, I suppose.

The neurologist came in and did the whole thing with the flashlight in the eyes and reflex hammers and most of it is good news. His reflexes are good and all that jazz, but he’s not going to pass a field sobriety test anytime soon. The bump on his head was pretty severe and his eyes are not working together at the moment so he’s seeing double and is very sensitive to light.

I was pleased that he ate some ice cream for breakfast (LUCKY!) but a little annoyed because it’s Haagen-Dasz and that shit is delicious and I was eyeing that for myself. Still, it was good that he ate something because he hasn’t had any food to speak of since Saturday afternoon.

While he was being transported to his new room, I stopped in at Starbucks because WHATEVER SHUT UP I’M NOT AN ADDICT and I needed to be out of the way anyhow. It’s a very nice Starbucks but for whatever reason they had their music turned up pretty loud so I think it might also double as a venue for raves in the late hours of the evening. Visitation ends at 8PM so I can’t know for sure.

The new room is on the neurological floor, which is nice. He has a roommate, which kind of sucks because Roomie had Fox News on allllllll day (thankfully at a volume I couldn’t discern with all the other damn noise in that joint) and was apparently v. popular, because his phone rang off the hook and he answered EVERY CALL.

Now, some of you know that one of Freddie’s internet nicknames is SHOUTY MAN. He’s a beloved character around here because HE SHOUTS INTO THE PHONE ALL THE TIME despite the fact that it is 20-goddamn-20 and technology is so awesome now that you can speak in a normal voice and the person on the other end of the line can hear you. We’ve come a long way from tin cans and string, but TRY TELLING THAT TO SHOUTY MAN. Turns out, there are more of them. Hundreds, maybe. Thousands, probably. So Roomie is HOSPITAL SHOUTY MAN and holy god dude, now we all know that he has psoriasis and blood clots and is taking antibiotics and steroids and heparin and they won’t let him leave even though he feels JUST FINE, MICHAEL, and he doesn’t like the nurse assistant person and oh, he’s not racist but he doesn’t just doesn’t trust Black people. HOSPITAL SHOUTY MAN IS KIND OF A DICK, YOU GUYS.

And he snores like a congested sea lion, so he’s got that going for him, too.

Anyhooooooo, the lunch tray came and went (I took that chocolate pudding, since I haven’t really eaten since Saturday EITHER), and the Jewish chaplain person came in and chatted with us which was nice. The speech therapist came in and did her thing and that was interesting to me because I had considered that as a career before my 2nd nervous breakdown and the discovery that I am actually quite deaf. [Shrug] Whaddaya gonna do? Nowadays I spend my time driving food around to people and judging them SUPER HARD for ordering Taco Bell and doing the Mom thing and facilitating virtual high school and going to the hospital to hang out with our intrepid hero while he gets bits of him stuck back on. It’s not a career and the pay is shit but at least I’m my own boss!

That’s a lie, I am 100% beholden to other people. It’s fine.

At one point the physical therapist came in but Freddie was sleeping and refused to wake up to talk to her. I think he was faking sleep and was just totally over having people do stuff to him, but then again, he did try to get up earlier, thinking he was just going to waltz over to the bathroom all by hisownself. OH NO YOU DON’T, BUDDY. Sit your ass down. That’s tomorrow’s project! Because the sooner we can get him on his feet, the sooner we can maybe bring him home and I can do my whole Kathy Bates routine on him.

Oh wait, I’m not supposed to say that part out loud. IT WILL BE FINE, I DON’T EVEN HAVE AN AXE.

Overall, he is showing great improvement. His short-term memory is still iffy, but he does know where he is and why he’s there. I will answer any of his direct questions about the crash but I’m not going to volunteer any information. There are things he just doesn’t need to know right now. He is understandably very upset and frustrated and sad and mad and angry and annoyed and bewildered and anxious and all of those things you feel when you don’t know what the future is going to hold. This is the longest he’s been separated from his beloved phone since that time I plopped it into a glass of water because he answered a work call while we were having our First Wedding Anniversary Dinner. I am the Keeper of the Phone now and I HAVE ALL THE POWER!! He is fretting a bit about work but I have been in touch with his bosses and they have assured me that all of his TPS reports will be taken care of and he won’t have to meet with The Bobs. His only job is to heal and rest and get better and stop looking like someone attacked his face with a cheese grater.

Like that guy in the Tom Hanks pirate movie, this is me: “Look at me. Look at me. I’m your boss now.”

Tomorrow will be more of the same. Doctors and nurses will come in and ask questions and do stuff. I will continue to tell them that I can’t hear them unless they take off their masks and they will be appalled and I will shrug because HELLO I AM CUTE DEAF LADY and we’ll figure it all out and he will sit there and ask me what happened (again) and I will tell him (again) and maybe I’ll read to him or something if he’s up for it. I will continue to pass along some of the absolutely atrocious jokes some of you have been making and he’ll laugh and then he’ll forget them so I can tell all the jokes again because recycling is good for you.

I have been so overwhelmed with all the love and good wishes and offers to help and good vibes and prayers and hippie voodoo and charged crystals and everything positive that people have been sending and thinking. We really do appreciate all of it, truly. Thank you all so much.

Stay tuned, there’s going to be lots more.

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One Response to First Steps

  1. Jen

    You are crazy talented funny.. even now.