Saturday, June 13, 2009

eating while sitting up

Mom was visited by a physical therapist this morning. The therapist got Mom not only to sit up (she required some support from Dad), but also to sit in a chair next to the bed. This was great, but in the process of moving Mom off the bed, the dressing covering the back of her stripped thigh began to peel off and hang loose. This was worrisome, but Mom seemed to enjoy being in the chair, and Dad notified the nurses about Mom's dressing situation.

Mom's close friend Cheong Burns came over around 12:20, with Korean food. The fragrance alone was a delight to my senses, so I can imagine how happy Mom was to have something other than bland hospital food to eat. Mrs. Burns has been wanting to visit Mom for a while, so Dad and I helped her set up Mom's lunch so that Mrs. Burns could be the one to feed Mom while talking with her. Mom is lucky to have so many good friends, and I applaud Mrs. Burns for the businesslike way in which she approached the problem of feeding Mom. Some people freak out or otherwise lose their composure in such situations, perhaps overwhelmed by the gravity of a friend's cancer, or by the sight of that friend in such a reduced state, but Mrs. Burns seemed perfectly fine. Good. Mom needs stoicism and cheer, not pity or weeping.

Mom is also much more verbal today, sometimes producing short bursts of complete sentences, but her utterances remain mostly spontaneous, i.e., she's not talking all the time, as if talking were a routine occurrence for her. For example, when the physical therapist would ask Mom simple yes/no or "wh-" questions like "Are you hurting?" or "Where does it hurt?", Mom would reply, "Um..." and then lapse into silence, all while giving us the impression that she actually had something to say. The therapist said she was familiar with such behavior, so this wasn't a problem for her.

The therapist was gone by the time Mrs. Burns arrived, and Dad and I left for lunch soon after. We brought boxed lunches today, though Dad did sneak off to buy a brick of chocolate-covered ice cream-- sort of a low-rent Klondike bar-- that cost an astonishing $3.25. Well, not that astonishing: the cafeteria isn't shy about its pricing, a fact with which we've become painfully familiar.

Mom will eventually have to get back into bed so that her dressings can be tended to. For the moment, the dressings cover her thigh wound, but Mom tends to shift her leg and sometimes tries picking at the dressing itself. I imagine it's very uncomfortable; I'd probably pick at such a dressing, too.

I'm off in a relatively quiet waiting room-- my aerie on the third floor of the cardiac building, where they do cardiac telemetry. David is on his way over here; Sean is very busy today with lessons or gigs or who knows what, but I'm sure he'll be by when he has the time. He was here almost all day yesterday; that much free time is a rarity for him, as it is for most professional musicians.

My troisième frère Mike is thinking about coming by the hospital tomorrow. Things are about as good as they can be.



woodarty said...

It's so good to hear that things are going pretty well!

I'm hoping to get the day off on Wednesday. I should know by Monday night. Would that day be a good time to visit? If so, any particular time?

Love to all, Kay Wood

Kevin said...

Wednesday is good. Visiting hours are 10AM to 8PM. Please don't be surprised if you catch Mom while she's sleeping.