One can get a little nonchalant by medical stuff after awhile. Even to the point of not even noticing things happening. I guess this is the result of trying to ‘pace myself.’ Hmmm….
Today, Vernon was pretty good. He didn’t squirm too much at first. And he recognized me by name when I arrived at his dialysis station. “Hi Ali!” He may have smiled behind his paper mask. Then to the attendants: “That’s my girlfriend and I love her.”
After that, he forgot my name again, and when asked, would start a list of hopefuls: “Julie? Juice?”
He sat pretty still as we chatted off and on for a bit. Then I noticed his g- tube was missing. It was the strangest thing: I was with him the whole time, but I hadn’t noticed him pulling it out. He must have just yanked it when I was reading to him or something. He didn’t seem bothered, nor did he remember it coming out. (He’s pulled it out many times before, but I always assumed it was intentional because it irritated him.)
I knew he’d have to be sent back to the ER to have a new one placed, so I went to phone Mesa Verde for further instructions. “Should I have the pick-up ambulance drivers change their route and take him straight to Hoag?”
But as I went to dial, I saw a missed call and voice mail from the care home from 1.30am last night. I had totally missed it (thankfully.) The message informed me that Vernon had been sent to ER just LAST NIGHT because his g-tube had to be replaced. This was a brand new tube! Another thing I’d missed.
I noticed numbers on his crisp white wristband: Hoag Hospital Newport, April 12, 2016. So this would be his second visit in 12 hours, that has to be a record…for him, anyway.
And that was it. They took him off to get fixed up. I know for sure this is one procedure nobody needs me around for, so I went home.
I got a call from Mesa Verde about 5;00, saying he’d returned, and that whilst at the ER, he had fallen out of the bed. There was no broken skin, I was assured. I guess if you are going to fall some distance, best to do it in the ER. I did momentarily second guess my nonchalance about attending every ER visit with him. Perhaps he does need someone there with him each time.
But then I shrug it away. “Pace yourself,” I say.