Monday, October 31, 2005

Mom and Dad

She likes apple juice on her night stand first thing in the morning. Six ice cubes in her water. Tea is required at each meal. Lunch is her bigger meal – her appetite wanes as the day goes on. She doesn’t like chicken or cookies anymore and wonders why I can’t remember that. Her wastebasket goes between her purse and slippers right beside her bed.

I can hear her snoring as she sleeps. I can hear her breathing when she’s awake. It’s labored and loud. She is bald and rarely wears her wig anymore. Her head hangs down when she is sitting upright to eat. She’s too tired to hold it up. She wears a nightgown and robe all the time, but wants a long sleeved night shirt and pants instead. She doesn’t like how her gown gets all bunched up. I will shop for those tomorrow.

He is naked in a hospital bed with only a backless gown. Tubes drain his wound, a pacemaker keeps his heart regulated and a pillow lies vertically over his chest and pelvis. His mood is pragmatic and calm. He is uncomfortable, but amazed that he feels as good as he does. He’ll probably be in for a few more days.

Each fingertip is black and blue from all the glucose testing. Insulin is needed for awhile as his body recovers from the shock of surgery. He has swollen calves and ankles supported with white hose. I have only seen the top inch of his incision. It’s thick, red and ominous. His biggest concern is for his wife. “Go home, Carol. You know she falls.”

In two or so days, I will have to care for both of them in their home. It scares me to death.

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