"Time to check your vitals," is my reliable, bi-hourly, wake-up call. Sleep deprivation has to be an issue by now. The human body, and mind are not synched for random levels of consciousness. It seems like a cruel joke when they tell me to get some rest in this hospital.
The young man from the kitchen is here with my food. I hear the tearing Velcro of the blood pressure cuff as my bed begins to bring me upright. The humming motor that is lifting me sounds like a trash compactor. Man, my head hurts. The mystery L.E.D. number on my finger clip reads 92. I am still not getting enough oxygen. I am still dumbfounded because I cannot figure out how the little contraption knows that.
There is another beep, and my body temperature is a balmy 97.4. I usually hover around 98.2 anyway, so there is not much to worry about there. However, my blood pressure is high, again. When they drained the fluid from my abdomen, my blood became slightly thicker. My intravenous medicine will now include Albumin. The nurse tells me its sort of like a lubricant, that will help the blood cells flow more easily as "they kind-of slide off one another". Whatever. "Am I due for pain medicine, yet", I ask? To my relief, the answer is yes.
While the saline and medicine bags are replaced, and increased, I notice the friendly nurse is here. She is readying my pills of twelve different varieties. Her appearance makes me sit up a bit more, and I scan my table for The Rum Diary. Its the Hunter Thompson book she let me borrow that I am not capable of reading. I will bring it up anyway, just to get her talking. Later, when everyone has left, is when the hospital is winding down, and there isn't a lot going on. She will have time to chat.
With a smile of recognition she smiles and says, "Hi. Here are your meds, but you have to take all of these before I can give you the Oxycodone, and the Attivan."
I agree because I have to, and another nurse comes in while I am trying to choke down all of the pills.
He approaches the end of my bed, and exposes my feet. "Hey, bud. Just gonna take a look to see how the swelling is doing." He pulls off my red socks, and my feet look extra large compared to my weightless legs. I haven't worn shoes since the emergency, and I'm thinking that my shoes wouldn't fit anyway.
The foot man pulls out a collapsible pointer likes he's about to show me a presentation, but starts to poke the bottom of my feet, instead. I don't even flinch, yet there was a time that I was ticklish to the thought of being tickled.
"Hmm. Nothing", he asks?
He places the heel of his hand on the ball of my foot, and presses my toes toward me. When the music composer brushes his baton from heel to toe on my left foot, he looks through his eyebrows at me and says, "Still nothing"?
"Not a thing, man. I can feel my pulse in my feet, if that means anything", I say.
The pseudo podiatrist reaches down, and produces the calf massaging socks. These are the ones that they tried before. They look like I'm ready to play a soccer match. I couldn't even play soccer if they let me lie on the pitch. My sock boy wraps the shin guards around my calves, and starts the motor. The massaging does not help me sleep, either. They fill and deflate air bladders intermittently to try to get the fluid moving out of my lower extremities.
After I get my new pair of red socks, he walks into and down the hall with The Rum Diary nurse. I can hear their voices as they travel down the hall, and I start to feel like I'm in a different room, again. I think there is a kitchen and a dining area just out of view.
I am getting the feeling that this new place is some sort of student residence hall. That seems a little relaxed. I must be getting better.