Story 24Dec2021: Christmas Eve

Not sure what order would be best for today’s blog, so we will try a bit of non-linear story writing and hope that the reduced amount of pain killer now makes this easier.

It is Christmas morning, and I have slept a broken sleep at the house; as usual, I am a person who wants to be about something constantly, and the house, messy as it is, is my place of doing so many things. But, the house is somewhat emptier and quieter without Susie. The house and I want to do so many things.

Sleep was hard as my back and legs were slightly blistered from the stay at the hospital. Bendrlyn ointment was provided to help, and it lessened the itch, and I changed to a clean white cotton t-shirt, but alas, I finally took a Bendrlyn 1/2 tablet to stop the trouble late at night. Then, finally, sleep came, as did bright dreams.

I woke the previous morning itchy and tired with the nurses rallying me early. I had put myself to bed that night as the nurses had patients that needed help. Some meds helped me forget the pain and events and just sleep the night. It was my second night sleeping at the hospital, and I managed to have no interruptions.

I got my luggage opened by the nurses and got out my robe, and civilian clothing was set out, and I requested a shower as I needed to know how to wash. Also, today, the new nurse and I went over how to give my blood thinner shots. I gave the injection to myself on Christmas Eve, a unique holiday experience. The nurse and I believed I would be getting a prescription for the special pre-filled blood thinner hypodermics, so I needed to learn. She also told me to get a milk container to hold the sharps. These had a process where you press extra-hard on the plugger after pulling the needle out, and a spring-loaded tube shoots out and covers the needed. Nice!

I put on my mask and walked down the halls for a while. I have some energy, the painkillers have not worn off yet, so I take a photo of myself next to the wreath made from urinals in the Cancer Ward; I discovered I am in the cancer ward as a short stay and thus the room to myself and the positive airflow meter on the room.

Because of Covid-19, I stayed in my room, often walking in the room and doing side steps and walking in circles to get moving. Even now, I do not wander far.

Note: No prescription for blood thinner was ordered. I called back the nurse at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital Cancer Ward after getting home, and we checked, and so far, no order for the shots. She sent a message to the surgeon to see if they had just missed it.

We have only rain here and the typical gray clouds. The nurse told me I was being discharged, and the CNA helped me get showered, gave me instructions on how to shower, and provided replacement supplies for my wound care.

I manage to do what is needed and take an extra long shower. I find towers set out, and my robe is not far. I then work with care to dress in my civilian clothing.

I walk down the hallway and wave, now clean, not shaved as I am on a blood thinner (I was told, “no shaving with a razor”), and told the nurses I would be ready to help deliver meds and whatever else they needed. Yes, time to discharge me before I join up. That at least gets a smile. These folks work hard in a Covid world for cancer patients.

The nurse brings my release forms, and they are surprisingly simple. Just some over-the-counter pain relief. Excellent! I did not notice at this time the blood thinner was missing. She helps me pack the suitcase. I am already tired and nod off in the chair.

I call Les Hopkins, Zoriada’s husband, to get me. And soon, he is there, having dropped Zoriada with Susie in Forest Grove. I pick up my credit cards and cash from the security folks at the entrance. I had to have my valuables locked in the hospital safe when I checked in. I still had the pink copy in my coat pocket, which I remembered when I put my hand in my pocket. One of the nurses had chased us down to give us the yellow copy, the nurses’ copy, so we were okay. My RN escorts me out, and I get to say goodbye to her. This hospital does not have a transportation group except for the X-ray Department, and so the RN sees you out.

Zoraida and Anne Weld-Martin saw Susie on Christmas Eve. We faced time a bit and Susie was relieved to see me.

Les has a Volvo XC60 a few years older than mine; it is Zoriada’s car. It is easy for me to get in. We chat about investments and vehicles. He takes me to the local RiteAid, and I pick up over-the-counter painkillers and my prescriptions (they ran out, of course, while all this was going on, and I had refilled them on Monday). I am now drained.

Les brings in the suitcase and bag of used clothing, says goodbye. I am fatigued now. I then notice I have no syringes. As mentioned, I call, and we leave that unresolved.

I discovered how to lie down in the queen-sized bed and find the blanket I folded before the surgery, thinking I would need it and pull over me. I am sure that it was only a second later that Corwin told me soup was here. He ordered from GrubHub lunch for two Vietnamese soups. He steams the veggies for me.

We watch the rest of the series, The Witcher, and this season is more linear than the previous one and has more clear plotting. I like it. I can’t remember for sure, but I think The Witcher’s voice narrated my dreams last night, or at least I heard comments from the voice.

The new Matrix movie was available on HBOMAX, and since I already had that service, why not. I enjoyed the movie and felt this movie had better found the story’s roots than the third movie. In addition, I was fascinated by how they would update the technology and visual effects that were so cutting edge long ago. I was not disappointed and happy to see that the bad guy pointed out some of the special effects just did not work in the New Matrix–that was a gas and excellent writing. And having a bad guy, a new one, was perfect. I will not write any spoilers here, but I liked it, and the casting was fun.

One complaint: The fights seemed a bit hard to follow, and the new characters were a bit simple, but I suspect they will bring forth a new movie or TV show on HBOMAX and be expanded.

Off to bed after 11PM on Christmas. I listened to Christmas Music and missed Susie again and tried to sleep.

I spoke to lots of people on Christmas Eve. I will not recount them there, but to thank everyone here for their prayers and kind words.

An aside: I just heard a firetruck whistle this Christmas Day while I write this, and it reminds me of a tradition never spoken about and a sad story I remember every Christmas Day when I hear the wail of fire and rescue.

When I was a kid, my dad and I delivered a couple bedroom sets to a house in my hometown of Laingsburg, Michigan. It was in the spring. I noticed that the house looked new but old at the same time and that on the ground were burn marks where the roof had melted and boiled off in a fire.  A small boy and his mother met us. The kid’s hands were wrapped in bandages. 

We put it together as it was a bed set and helped organize the rooms a bit. Surprisingly, the gal was chatty, and dad explained how the appliances worked–they were not from our store. 

It was clear to me that the fire had gutted the house, and it was now rebuilt, and these were the last items to let them move back in. 

When in the truck after we were left, my father told me that the kid’s hands were burnt trying to save his younger brother in the fire. All the stuff in the house was new. The fire started in the Christmas tree. We drove home. 

But, the story that is not told is that when there is a fire, the homeowner back then only got a partial amount from insurance. But, at our furniture and appliance store, it was always enough to cover replacement. Nobody wanted to do more than cover their costs for such a tragedy. Same with clothing and food, and other supplies from other stores in Laingsburg. The amount was always enough for new and better. So when I hear a siren on Christmas day, I hope it is not a fire and remember my father’s kindness and the kindness of the other business people long ago in Laingsburg, Michigan.

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