“YPO” by SSK Chapter 21
or: “Is He Supposed To Be That Colour?”
(We now return you to our previously interrupted sick man, terrified wife, programming.)
All right: picture this- a two week post Sroke patient, on a gurney, strapped comfortably onto said gurney, tucked in with with comfy blankets and his head at a neutral position because some goombah didn't shove three more pillows under his neck.
And surrounded by a pretty fearsome looking cadre of professional health care specialists.
The Gay-Not-Gay (but doesn't know it) Man was telling me, the terrified wife, how wonderful they would treat Kimit, they had all sorts of PT and occupational therapy (OT) people, and he will be seen to 24/7 and to not have a single worry and motherfuck the more he talked the more terrified I became.
It ramped up another notch when the PT's and RN's turned to me, to say goodbye, and good luck, and trooped, casting angry snarky looks at the Brillo lady and the Gay-Not-Gay man. The last woman to leave my side, to leave Kimit's side (and my darling boy looked like a very confused baby duck, wondering how and why gravity had become part of his world), was his day shift nurse. She hugged me tight and said, (and yes, really, she said) “I wish with all my heart that we could have sent him anywhere else..
(At these words? My hair began to hurt.)
"...but,” she went on, “My advice to you is to go there, frequently, and in the middle of the night. Make them KNOW that you could be there at any moment. MAKE them know that!” She pulled away slightly, one hand on my shoulder, the other dabbing my tears with a clean hankie, and finished her advice: “Know everything. The law, the phone numbers to elder care groups, patient rights groups, Hipaa, JCAH, everything. Know it, and know it well.
(The hair hurt had now spread, and was now in my spine.)
“I don't mean to scare you with this advice,” she went on.” I mean to scare the HELL out of you with this advice. Because you are going to have to use any and all of it. Keep us informed. Please, take care.” She hugged me once more, and then she walked off.
I know for a fact that she used the hankie on her own face, even though her back was to me. And then, she was gone, back inside the hospital.
Which was when Brillo woman hopped out of the Ambubus and she and The Gay-But-Not man went over to K's gurney, the 5-driver sized guy shoved a wheel chair that had been made, by hand, in the 1400's. He pushed this recalcitrant anyique to K's side.
And now picture this: Brillo woman and Gay-Not-Gay man stripping off the blankets, undoing the strapping, and tipping my terrified duckling into this wheelchair that I know for a fact that King Henry VIII had had commissioned to cart around his gouty legs.
I watched, in, as “they” say, horror as these rejects from a “Three Stooges” audition shoved and bumped and wobbled my husband onto this Ambubus. And then, the closer I got, I saw it wasn't Ambu
at all: it was just a bus. No O2 tanks, no IV stands, no IV's, no medical boxes. I couldn't even see a First Aid kit. It was just a bus.
And a short one.
The driver climbed back into the seat, which I swear to Goddess I heard squeal with agony. Gay-But-Not and Brillo head were now plonking Kimit from the antedeluvian wheelchair (man, this chair gets older every time I mention it, ain't that a hoot) into a seat on the bus.
A seat with no belts. No blankets. No comfy pillow. Just him, and his criminally thin hospital johnny. I wanted to come in, to give him a kiss, but no: the doors closed in my face, and the Creature from the Goo Lagoon hollered, “Just follow me.”
And he took off. I ran, as fast as a short, petrified woman who couldn't run fast when she was 16, anorectic and 82 pounds, could run, into the car park, up the stairs, to the car, all the while desperately groping through my purse for the keys (and finding them, Goddess bless), which I jammed into the ignition, and Steve McQueened my way out of the place onto the street.
There was no bus. No ambubus, no bus bus, no note with the words “Drive to this address”. So, I hit the pedal. Hard.
I don't know how I did it, perhaps because of the size of the town, or it could have been that Cambrian Hawk Killer Lady instinct rose in me again, but I steered that car as if I knew where I was going.
Seems that I did. I went down ten blocks and looked to my left, and there was the bus. It was turning right, onto the biggest, most hideously maintained street in tiny town. There were potholes in this street that had dinosaur skeletons in them. But, I followed, and I caught up with the bus.
I do not think I killed and/or maimed anyone, but I will not swear to that on Jim Morrison's grave.
I followed the bus, to west tiny town. We had to go over the Wabash River (and for anyone who doesn't know what the Indian word “wabash” means [and that's all of you, admit it], it means “pure”; this river had become about as pure as a wash tub full of the bus driver's underwear.
They drove; I caught up enough to see that my husband was sitting, alone, utterly confused, and petrified. He was trying to hold himself up with his good left hand, but he wasn't getting any help from Brillo woman and Gay-But-Not Man. They were busy sitting five seat rows back, chatting about who the fuck knows what.
When the bus stopped, I fully intended to kill them.
We crossed the river. We got off on some turny dealy and then left, and up a street that went right past Martha's street. About ½ mile on this road, we turned into a parking lot, with a sign, written in friendly yellow letters, “DON'T PANIC!!” (And thanks, for all the fish, Doug Adams.) No, the sign actually said “We Are Going to Torture Your Loved Ones AND You So Come On In!” The bus stopped at the side entrance of this place that looked like Torquemada would have been right in his element, and opened the door.
I slammed my car into a slot, and jumped out and ran, RAN, at the Brillo Lady and the Gay-But-Not Man as they climbed from the bus. I had my Cambrian Hawk face on again, as they stepped away from me in horror, and I screamed, “Professional? Care?? You drag him to this... this...” I gestured at the building which was made of brick and sperm. “....... place, and you left my husband alone, unbuckled in a that fucking bus that should have been condemned when the Rough Riders were riding roughly, and he looks scared to hell and back ...”
Two nurses had appeared and, with the help of a nursing aid, got K out of the bus and into a wheelchair, a real one.
But I was not through ranting. I pointed at K. “Is he supposed to be that colour??” I demanded. Brillo woman answered, in an itty bitty southern gal twang, “Why, whatever do you...”
And Kimit, ever the professional, so right on cue, projectile vomited all over Brillo Woman and Gay-But-Not man.
And this is just the start of the fun fun fun part of being ensconced at Heritage Hellcare.
Anon, you patient people.