Nursing Our Fears

I met Robert’s nurse tonight. Her name is Pam. She bears somewhat of a resemblance to the late Shirley Hemphill. The same no-nonsense style combined with the right touch of sass and “you better do what I say, you don’t wanna mess wit me!” aplomb. She’s gonna need every bit of it. Robert is a handful. I can tell his predicament bothers him. And I think he’s mostly mad at himself. For not taking better care of himself when he had the chance. I think he knew going in there this morning that it just wasn’t good. You don’t have to be a doctor to take a look at that foot and know something just ain’t right. But he really hasn’t voiced any of his concerns to me directly.

When I got back there tonight after he had gotten settled into the room and had dinner, his foot had apparently been debrided and bandaged. He was given a shot of antibiotic (penicillin, I presume), and some pain medication. The doctor had told him that he was going to keep him in the hospital for a few days to “wait and see” what happens with this infection. I imagine their goal is to try to save the foot if possible. So there is hope that he will walk out of there (excuse the bad pun) with his feet intact.

Pam came in twice while I was there to check his VI and see if he needed anything. She is really very sweet, though I think it’s her “schtick” to act tough. Still, I don’t think I’d want to cross her.

The hospital is one of the best in Houston. Visiting hours are 24/7, but it seems pretty quiet there most of the time. I can tell you this: Their cafeteria is excellent. While we were in triage, I ran down and fetched us some steak, potatoes, fresh steamed veggies and iced tea. (The total bill for all this was almost $18, but well worth it!) Robert ended up with a private room even though he was on the list for a semi-private room. So that was one bright point in the whole proceedings.

I’m going back in the morning with the Sunday paper and some “real” coffee (read: coffee heavily laced with Hazelnut creamer) and will stay just a little while. He needs to take advantage of the quiet and sterile surroundings while he can.

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