It’s so Very, Very Quiet

As I sit on the bed drafting and deleting, writing and backspacing, laptop on my lap, it’s quiet. Almost strangely quiet. It’s like I’m the only person for miles. At my feet is the blanket that I had pulled up to my neck last night, still shivering a bit and trying to sleep. The hands are moving slowly on the clock on the wall in front of me, except for the second hand which seems to pause for a beat before skipping about four seconds ahead. The whiteboard tells me today is Wednesday, in case I’ve lost track of time, maybe. The TV is off and the dinner tray has been carried away.

No, I do not have a maid, a butler, or someone who is waiting on me hand and foot. I’m in a hospital room, getting ready to spend a second night, hopefully a better one this time, although I know it will be interrupted regularly for vitals checks and I will have to extend my arm for a blood pressure cuff and allow the tech to put a thermometer under my tongue. My road here started about ten days ago with a sore ear. I won’t go into all the gory details, but when I checked in last night I was glad the chances of me running into anyone I knew were close to nil. My body was covered in a red, angry, rash and I could barely stand looking at it myself. Turns out the rash was a reaction to one of my antibiotics (one more to add to my list), but there was still the issue of the original infection and the persistent fever I’ve been fighting for three days.

I know it’s not COVID or the flu, and hopefully the doctors will send me home tomorrow saying the original infection that started this is under control. I hope so. I’m feeling much better than when I got here.

The nurse just came in to take my BP and temperature again (both normal) and I mentioned how quiet it is. She laughed. “Hopefully it will stay that way.” No one’s noticed yet that S put himself down in the Case Manager slot on the whiteboard that shows the current status of things and lists the medical staff on my team. He stopped by a couple times to see me today, taking the morning off so he could see me during visiting hours. Allyson was here with me last night when I checked in, waiting until I got settled so she was here when the first doctor came by to give me his assessment. It’s good to have someone with medical knowledge in the family with my mom so far away.

It’s been a rough few days for me. Not how I planned to spend my time this week. And it’s not how I wanted to spend last Saturday in Fredericksburg. But I was already starting to feel bad then and could only manage a brief walk downtown to pick up some coffee beans, and then a walk along the river, taking in some fresh air. Later that night I was completely out of commission and had to bail on plans with friends. At least I felt fine at the company party Friday night, where I had a willing partner on the dance floor. I feel bad for S because it affected his time off as well and he didn’t get to really explore the area like I wanted us to, and he ended up having to drive us the whole way home instead of splitting it like we did on the way up. But I’m so happy he was there with me, and for me. He’s a pretty good Case Manager.

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