Hi ya! Hey ya! Hope all's well with ya. All is well with us. I'm reaching into my archives for a couple more days so I can play catch up around the house. "I'll do it tomorrow." has finally reared itself into today. Such is retirement. :-) Have fun out there.
Today's post (edited) was first published on August 30, 2012. It was originally titled "Quiet. Hospital."
The Mama may be coming home from the hospital today. The ambulance took her there on Monday afternoon. All of a sudden the Mama could not move her legs or arms, no matter how hard she tried. She caught the nasty bug from the Husband who has had it for a few days. On her, it turned into pneumonia. What made it worse was that she was dehydrated. Stay hydrated, folks!
Hydration, however, is not what today's post is about. Nope.
After two nights alone in her hospital room, the Mama got a "roommate" with a loving extended family to visit her. The Mama, in contrast, has just loving me. The husband is sick so cannot visit and Molly the Cat is not allowed in the hospital. The Mama forbade me from telling her friends where she was.
Before I go any further, let me say this: I have nothing against visitors in hospital rooms. But, I expect visitors to act appropriately—talk quietly, be considerate of other patients, and recognize that a hospital is not a place to party hearty.
Back to the story. Yesterday when I left the Mama after lunch, her "roommate" had four relatives visiting her. When I returned just before dinner, the "roommate" had three different relatives around her. The hospital room is small, so without even trying you can overhear each side's conversation. The "roommate" and her relatives were very chatty. Because my mom has poor hearing, I sat on her bed as near as possible to her so I wouldn't TALK LOUDLY or even talk at my normal pitch.
The Mama did not look rested at all. "Did you sleep today?" I asked. She shook her head. "How come?" I asked. "I don't know," she replied. I had a feeling the "roommate" and her visitors were chatty all afternoon.
The Mama is very good about sucking it up. Not me. Hello, we're in a hospital. There's a sign in the hallway that says QUIET. I did my best to not pay attention to nor get annoyed at the now four people talking loudly on the other side of the thin curtain that separated the patients. I did my best for 45 minutes. That's when I heard a fifth voice at the door.
I walked over to the curtain, pulled it aside, and glanced around. They looked at me in surprise. I didn't say a thing. One woman asked, "Are we too loud?"
"Yes. You are."
"Sorry. We'll try to be quiet."
"Thank you," I said, "This is a small room."
The not TALKING LOUDLY lasted about 10 minutes. I was no longer concerned about that anymore. Mama was feeling cold even with 5 blankets on her. The air conditioning was on and seemed to be directed at her head. I pressed the red call button and told the nurse who answered that the Mama was feeling cold and could she please put the heat on her side of the room. Within a few seconds, a nurse stood by the bed. She said, "There's no way to regulate the room so that one side gets heat."
"My mom is cold," I said. "She already has five blankets on her."
The nurse closed the curtain, talked with the other side, and came back. "The other patient feels hot," she said.
"My mom is cold," I repeated.
"Right," said the nurse.
The woman who asked me if they were too loud called from the other side of the curtain, "My aunt is hot."
"My mom is cold," I said.
"You've told us we're too loud. You've got to give us something. You've got to work with us."
"I'm trying," I said when I really wanted to say: You knew you were loud without me even saying so. You weren't even trying to be considerate to my mom just because she is quiet. And, I don't have to give you anything. This is a hospital. My mom is mending from pneumonia. She is cold. Why should she feel miserable? And why was your aunt put in this room anyway. Hers is a physical problem. She could catch whatever my mom has.
Fortunately, the nurse came up with a solution. I heard her ask, "Would you mind moving to another room? We have a few empty rooms."
"Fine," said the woman who asked me if they were too loud.
For the next 10 minutes, a lot of movement took place on the other side of the curtain. They TALKED LOUDLY. They called me names in their language, which obviously they didn't think I understood. I felt like responding, but like the Mama, I can suck it up when it's better to do so.
"Is she going home?" asked the Mama groggily.
"No, she's being moved to another room."
"Because you feel cold and she feels hot."
"I don't have to have the heater."
"Yes, you do. You're cold."
I went over and tapped the shoulder of the woman who asked me if they were too loud. "I'm sorry," I said.
"It's fine," she said, huffily. "Now you can have your privacy."
"As you can, too," I said. Not adding what I felt like saying, Now you can talk as LOUD and as much as you want and have as many people as you want in the room.
The nurse came back. "Do you still want the room warmer?"
"Yes," I said. "My mom is cold."
"I'll put it up."
"Thank you." I had to know, so I asked, "By the way, how many visitors can a patient have?"
"Three," the nurse mumbled. She turned to another nurse who was at the door. "Isn't it?"
"Two," that nurse said, almost under her breath.
It wasn't my intention to get the other patient and her family moved to another room. But, I am glad it happened.
When I left the sleeping Mama an hour later, the hospital room was quiet and warm as it ought to be.