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2004-06-05 - 8:49 a.m.

Hiccups

by Joan Callaway

Went in last night to see Ed. He's still pretty groggy from the morphine...in and out of sleep as we talk, smiles and thanks us for coming...ĒIím sorry Iím not better company.Ē The nurse came in and helped me get him up once while we were there to walk down the hall. He's so different than I was ---cares not at all how he looks, whether his gown is adequately covering his parts, etc...he just walks down the hall, nonchalantly...although he got hiccups, which are I'm sure miserable...the second attack of the day; apparently the worst thing he has experienced in the way of pain. They seem to come on when he moves around much.

He reported as soon as we got there that the doctor says he has four things he must be able to do before he can come home: 1) walk; 2) pass gas; 3) control pain with Vicodan; and 4) I think eat. So far, he's walking!

I haven't talked with the doctor yet, so not sure of the above. And Ed seems so confused about what everyone tells him that Iím not confident in what heís telling me. He was sitting absolutely straight up when we arrived and when I wondered if he might not be more comfortable lying back a bit, he informed me he was confused...some people had told him to sit up, others to lie back, etc. And then the nurse came in and told him he could press the morphine button as often as he wanted, but that it was only going to add more every six minutes for a maximum predetermined amount. She didnít want him to worry about over-dosing. And then just minutes later, she asked him if he'd been using the "puffer thing"? And, of course, he hadn't been remembering to do that -- he can hardly remember his name! So she told him he should do that ten puffs at least once every hour...so of course he confused the two things...should he do 10 puffs every six minutes? And then he'd puff a couple of times, fall asleep...so I eventually counted 1 - 2 - 3...and would wake him with a count, if necessary. He'd smile and be surprised he'd fallen asleep mid-puff!

As visiting hours ended, Laurie and Connor came to pick me up, so that we could head to the airport to meet Ed's sister, Florence, who was flying in from Orange County. By this time, I had traversed the halls of the 8th floor twice (as far from the elevators as one could possibly get), so was tired. We volunteered Connor to go in to Southwest to meet Florence. He hadn't seen her in several years, but we thought maybe he'd recognize her. Of course, I hadnít known our plan to tell Florence in advance to look for tall 15 year-old Connor, either, so there was a real question as to whether they would really rendezvous. He checked the arrival board - the plane was "within range." It was "within range" for another thirty minutes past ETA. The plane eventually landed and the passengers deplaned, but Connor didn't recognize anyone. Using his teen-age ingenuity, he found a sheet of paper, wrote her name on it and wandered around, hoping someone would notice this newly haircutted young man in white tee shirt, black shorts, and flip-flops. Alas! At the same time, Florence was calling our house, wondering if someone was going to pick her up, and what she should do if they didn't. A hiccup in our plans!

Meanwhile, Laurie was circling the airport, using up that valuable high-priced gasoline and polluting the air. Finally, just as she had decided to find a parking lot (thank heavens for cell phones!) we think to call Connor and tell him to go to the nearest white phone and ask to have her paged. Duh! They immediately find each other and meet us outside at the street at the far corner near the end of the Baggage Area.

Home at last! Florence and I prepared sandwiches, sat and talked until after midnight. Tomorrow is another day! Will Ed or will he not come home from the hospital tomorrow? That is the question.

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