“YOU PICKED ORANGE” Chapter 14
or: “Get Ready for the Third Circle of Hell!!”
Day four. Or ninety two, whatever. I came into the ICU on Friday, when K had been in the “Desperation Ward” for … Monday.... right five days. Since Monday, April 17, 2006.
Guess what they were doing to him when I arrived at the cubicle? I'll wait....
Okay, I won't: they were doing NOTHING because HE WASN'T THERE!!!
After they picked me up off the floor from my first dead faint in all of my 46 years, a voice said in my ear, “Oh, dear, didn't they tell you yesterday that we were moving him upstairs, to the 'step-down' unit?”
NO. NO, THEY DIDN'T. Now ponder this: who do you think whispered that extremely welcome news in my ear, and yet managed to piss me off so royally I am stunned she stayed out of my reach so I could tear her a new orifice, preferably the the throat region.
The PTB's. With NO permission from me or Goddess or that guy who always wears too much Patchooli oil, the PTB's decided K was stable enough to hoist him out of ICU and into what they call the “Step Down” unit. I don't know why they call it that.
It should be called the “Horrifically Filthy, Understaffed, Uncompassionate, Unprofessional, Nasty Nasty Nasty Unit We've Got” but it probably didn't fit on the unit door.
I found Kimit, in this new place where the view of the air conditioners on the next building were just FABulous, and the nurses said not one word of welcome or “Who are you looking for?” or “How can I help you?”
Nope. The nurses were all clustered around their station, glaring at me as if I was Mengele strolling through the twins department at Bergen Belson. I had no time for German maniacs, so I found him myself.
He was now in a room, in a bed. The rest of the room could comfortably fit a marshmallow. And only if the marshmallow was on a strict water diet.
I realized, at that moment, that we were in deep, treacherous, shit-filled water: they'd taken their first motion toward Warehousing.
In other words, they didn't give a flying fart what happened to him.
Tragically for them, I did. also realized that the tough times in ICU were about to be upped to the power of a really whole lot.
I stayed with him all that day, watching him being put on a bedside pot, screaming in pain, and the nurse call him a “big baby”.
I watched them, rolling him around like a white chocolate donut hole; they called it therapy. After this “therapy”, he puked for half an hour. They bitched about it, and I fled the room. Which was a good thing. A Martha Stewart VERY good thing.
While I was out of the room, I listened (I'm a born writer, and rarely miss a fact that I did not put to our good use later, and this was a doozy of a listen): the majority of the nurses, flocked around their station like chatty bovines, and they were all talking about Kimit. The bitched and whined because “he's so big, why'd he come to their unit?” and “We're understaffed, we can't handle someone his size” aaaaaaaaaaaand here's the information they blurted, like a golden eggs from a goose, a piece of information that I didn't realize I needed THEN, but I sure as hell did later..This info was vital and the rat brain in me stored it in the little Stroke brain box, so that I could use it to astonishing usefulness. (Later.) What was this fantastically perfect information that every single person in the entire hospital system was probably praying that I never heard? Here:
While the nurses were bitching and moaning about K's weight and moaning about their being understaffed, THEY ALSO SAID HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SENT TO HOME HOSPITAL WHERE THEY HAVE GREAT FANTASTIC INCREDIBLE PHYSICAL THERAPISTS.
So after three days in this 3rd circle of hell, in which the care was sloppy, incompetent, downright mean and nearly cost one nurse her arm because I was just about to rip it off and beat her to death with it (okay, here the story: this nurse, even though she was told three times, twice by me, once by the actual nurse assigned to Kimit, tried to get Kimit into a wheel chair, BY HERSELF, so she could weigh him. Kimit (you're ahead of me now, aren't ya?) did not care for this, and let it be known in a voice that could have shattered the Hope Diamond. He screamed, he hollered, he was in abject misery.
That's when the nurse looked at me and said, “He sure like to yell, doesn't he?” and smiled.
Yep. If that second and third nurse hadn't have come in at that very moment, the first one would have been found in, at the very least, quite a few pieces.
I'd have thrown them out the window, to decorate those oh-so-cheery air condioners.