The Tough Love Parade

Today was SUCH a good day. After the phone call (addressed in my previous post), I got another call from Morristown Medical Center. I immediately went into “oh shit” mode but it was just my goofy husband calling me from the 1987-era phone on his bedside table.

“Bring my clothes today, please,” he said.
Oh, are you getting out today?
“Maybe! And don’t forget they moved me across the hall! See you later!”

I’ve had a change of clothes for him with me every single day, because I am a Professional. You can tell who the pros are – they are wearing Comfy Pants and are carrying backpacks. They’re going to be there for awhile. The amateurs are the ones who maybe dressed up a bit or are wearing uncomfortable shoes. The gift shop makes $$ on these folks because they aren’t prepared. I’m prepared. I have my phone and a backup battery, and my Kindle with 12 new books on it. I can easily be there for the full 10 hours of visiting (which is exactly what I did on Sunday and that was a LONG DAY, y’all).

So, yeah – I had his clothes with me. When I got to his room, he’d acquired a new roommate (not nearly as loud as the last guy) and he was sitting up in the chair again, happy to see me. He had a lot of news to report! He ate food! He went for a walk! He went up and down a flight of stairs! He wants to go home! Today! His whole demeanor was an exclamation point! Which is awesome!

All the reports from doctors and nurses were good. They changed their mind about inpatient rehab and said he was probably okay to do it outpatient or we could have someone come to the house for physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. It’s going to be a lot of work to get him back up to speed but compared to what he was like on Sunday (or even Monday), this is amazing progress.

He thinks he’s sneaky, though. He made friends with one of his nurses who happened to mention that she loved Rush so we had a good 15 conversation about the band and their albums and a good time was had by all. He thinks she’s on his side and will help him get out sooner but MWAH HAHAHAHAHA NOPE! She’s firmly on the side of “when you’re ready and WE SAY YOU’RE READY, not before.” I love her. He’s like “but I have a bed! And a full bathroom! And a chair! Upstairs! I’ll be fine! My super-excellent awesome wife will be there! To take care of me! All the time!”
Which… yeah, I will but SHUT UP, man. Stop volunteering me for shit. Also, we do NOT have a chair upstairs because I made him drag it downstairs. So if he wants it upstairs again, guess which dummy gets to huck it up the stairs again? ME. I’m awesome.

At one point, he said to me “I’m not coming here tomorrow.”
I said “of course you are, because YOU ARE NOT LEAVING.”
Him: “I’ll just walk out! I can walk now you know.”
Me: “Oh? Wearing your cute little dress you got on there?”
Him: “Well, you have my clothes, right?”
Me: “Indeed I do, and if you think I’m going to give them to you, you must be back on the fentanyl again, my dude.”

To retaliate, he made me watch Rachael Ray’s talk show, knowing how much I absolutely dislike everything about her, from her voice to the fact that she spells her name incorrectly. I suppose we’re even. Side note, and I know this is rude, but: has anyone noticed how chonky Emeril has gotten? Homey needs to come out with a cookbook of salads or something.

You know, it just struck me that I am impressed he was able to remember my phone number. That’s a good indication of progress, for sure.

The rest of the day was spent with him asking me things like “can you call the eye doctor” (later) and “did you get tires on the truck yet” (no, I’m waiting for Costco to call me and tell me they’ve arrived) and “did you talk to anyone from work” (yes and shut up about work) and “wait, what about XYZ work thing” (I said SHUT UP ABOUT IT, and I won’t tell you again) and “okay, so I want to go home today” (not today, buddy) and “was I in a helicopter?” (yes, you were).

We had some variation of those conversations about 4 times. He’s a lot of fun right now. When the dietitian came in to discuss the kinds of things he can and cannot eat right now, she talked to him about the Ensure drinks they’ve been providing with his meals. She said “do you want to stick with chocolate? We also have vanilla and strawberry” and he was SO JAZZED about the idea of strawberry Ensure, it made me laugh. I suppose we have to take our pleasures where we can find them these days but it was so cute because he was SO EXCITED about it. So go on with your bad strawberry Ensure self! Get them vitamins!

He really did look better today. The swelling in his head has gone way down, his scrapes are healing nicely, he can talk (HE TALKS A LOT) but his voice is all raspy from the ventilator. He sounds a bit like Edward Burns which isn’t a bad thing but also not what you’d choose, you know? His vision is improving, which is excellent but he’s still sensitive to light and has a bit of blurriness in the one eye. Some of that could also be due to the fact that he hasn’t had his glasses since Saturday so there’s a bit of strain happening while his brain is trying to see and his eyes are all “lol, no we aren’t doing that.” His memory is pretty good – I told him some stories and stuff this morning and he was able to re-tell them to the nurse in the afternoon with no difficulty. So all signs are pointing forward, which is just totally amazing, considering the fact that his head looked like meatloaf on Saturday night.

With luck, we’ll have him home this weekend, perhaps as early as tomorrow. I cannot express how truly grateful we are for everyone who has reached out and kept us in their thoughts and prayers and for all of you who took the pins out of the voodoo dolls of us (even if that’s just temporary). This has been a wild and strange couple of days and it’s not going to ease up anytime soon, so knowing we have a huge army behind us is so incredibly helpful. Y’all are so good-looking and smart!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One Response to The Tough Love Parade


    Oh my, i just found out about this. I manage the project management team and have been enjoying collaborating with Rick on new business opportunities. We missed him on a call on Wednesday, which was unusual for Rick, so this explains it.
    Happy to hear that he is progressing nicely.
    Stay strong. It sounds from your creative narratives that you managing pretty well but having been in a similar situation as a caregiver, it can be a drain emotionally and physically, so take care of your self.
    I am happy to help with anything you need, even if you need a shoulder.

    Let Rick know we miss him and are thinking about him.
    A big virtual hug for you both.