Every once in awhile, since Vernon has been upstairs in the Stroke unit (PCSU), I notice little additions to the wall that seem to have shown up overnight.
This Ska (music) logo has been stuck to the frame above Vernon’s bed for a few weeks.
At first I thought one of his visiting buddies might have stuck it up there when I wasn’t around.
Then I started to hear about his sometimes-night-nurse, Mike, who was into Ska music, and had apparently been plugging his playlist into Vernon’s speakers, hoping to get a rise out of him.
This was about the time I noticed little embellishments showing up on the TV as well…
I always go to the hospital in the day, never nights, as I am home with Justine. Last night, however, I was driving back from a photo job and was finally able to drop by after hours.
It was so quiet up there, and Vernon was fast asleep. (I couldn’t resist waking him to get a little more interaction, there had been so much earlier in the day. This time I even got the workings of a blown-kiss out of him—that alone was worth the visit.)
Anyway, several of the night nurses came over to introduce themselves, as they had been caring for him for three weeks without meeting “the wife.” They obviously don’t get as many visitors in the evening hours and it was probably nice to put another face to Vernon’s story. I was touched that they cared enough to go out of their way to say hello…as if he was someone special. (Which he is, of course.)
And then I met the notorious Mike.
Somehow he had realized that he and Vernon were about the same age and might be more-or-less into the same kind of music—since Vernon is British and into old Italian scooters (or maybe just from talking to Chris Adams, who visits in the evenings from time to time?) He admitted he was the one who put the Ska and Mod logos around the room. And he when there isn’t much to do in the ward, around 2 am, he goes in and hangs out with Vernon, if he is awake. He puts on his Specials (Ska music) Pandora Station for a few songs…then he will play a few songs on “The Jam” (Mod) station. He banters with him the whole time, trying to get an expression or a smile out of him.
He told me he got a clear grin out of him the other evening, when he said: “Ok, Vern, how about we close the night with some Joy Division?” (This is one of Vernon’s earliest favorite bands.)
Mike also told me he thought Vernon was ready to be moved to a place where he can get some real physical therapy. But of course, there is the rub. We haven’t been placed anywhere due to his complications. So if you pray, I ask you to remember this situation. I don’t know where we will go. I don’t want to go far away, especially as I need t to be home for the children in the afternoons. But he still has his trach and dialysis, which limits the nearer options. I also recognize he will soon need more aggressive therapy than what he can get in the hospital. It’s an awkward situation. But we have seen miracle after miracle happen in Vernon’s case. Why not a couple more in a row? 🙂