One perk of Vernon being in another hospital is that they have more relaxed rules about visiting children. Although there is a sign at the entrance of the step-down ward that suggests no children under 12 should enter, the staff I spoke to understood that emotional importance overrode the guidelines. So Justine and I took advantage of the situation and visited Daddy this morning, mocking up child-sized safety gear with scissors, rubber bands, and a paperclip. We do things MacGyver style.
Vernon seemed to be feeling better physically than he had earlier in the week. His temporary-tube procedure had gone well and he had received his much-needed dialysis. He seemed pleased enough to see Justine, who hadn’t been allowed to visit for at least a month, but his memory seemed to have gone elsewhere for today.
We asked if he knew where he was or what had happened. He shook his head. He called (or rather, mouthed) me by his ex-wife’s name. No harm done, I hear this is common. Basically the papers of the file cabinets of his memory are still spread out and mixed up all over the proverbial office of his mind since the tornado of the accident. (No wonder they call it storming!)
Justine took the initiative to explain he had “fallen off his Vespa” and that he had been there for a long time. I’m not sure he understood today (he seems to have understood this before.) But once the news was given he was ready for us to leave.
She also found it hilarious that Vernon couldn’t remember anything about recent life today.
“He only remembers who he is,” she giggled.
Because I brought Justine up with me today, it was as if SHE was the main event. Otherwise, I might have been saddened by Vernon’s state of awareness. But instead, after treating her to a hot dog and french fries in the cafeteria, I saw that we’d had special day out. I thought the kids would be a great way for Vernon to find his recovery, but apparently they are helping my perspective too. What a gift.