Mr. Fix-It

I´m home. I cajoled every medical professional I came into contact with in the hospital to let me go home. I even sent Jeff out to the nurses station multiple times with missives to commute my sentence. No such luck. He drew the line a couple of times. I think they got tired of me a bit.

´Necisita agua.´ I would ask when they came over the loud speaker after I pushed the red button on my bed. When they showed up to bring it to me I would hit them with ´Do you think I can go home today?´

It wasn´t a winning strategy. Apparently, these medical people in hospitals actually talk to each other and write stuff down. I´m sure mine had ´Problem Child´ stamped in big bold letters across the cover of my chart. And you have to be careful or you develop a reputation as a trouble maker, trying to constantly break out of medical prison. They had to change my IV a bunch of times because it would stop flowing so I observed the procedure for removing an IV. After a few days I was pretty sure I could perform the manoeuvre. Jeff made me promise I wouldn´t attempt it.

I just wanted to gooo hooome. And then, finally, the Dr. came in and told me since I was ´stable´ – I looked over at Jeff who seemed skeptical as to what the Dr might mean by that – I could go home and continue my recuperation there. I had worn them down. My unrelenting nefarious plan worked. I know I´m not a good patient, and the fact that US medical practices in hospitals are very different than Spanish practices didn´t help. It´s not better, it´s just different and both Jeff and I struggled with some of those differences this time around.

When I got here, Jeff was clearly preparing for my arrival at home. I now have bed wedges in multiple sizes and configurations. They´re not isosolese triangles. Nope. Jeff explained at length why this is important. I just needed something to elevate my legs . He got all my prescriptions and set the 7 different alarms on his phone for administering them in a little ceramic cup I got from the Fiesta de la Ceramica parade in Manises on a summer day a couple of years ago. The one where I´d had to battle old ladies and small children to snag flawed ceramics thrown from a truck into a crowd. It all seems so long ago. Those old ladies and children could beat me up and I´d barely fight back now. I´m too tired.

We can only sleep straight through from midnight to 6 am each morning, as a brief pill popping reprieve. Then we´re back on an every 2 hour schedule for meds until noon. Then, again, at 6 and 8pm and midnight. I´m like an infant Jeff must care for, thankfully, sans the diaper and Binky. I will admit to the crying and the blankie. We all need comfort.

He runs a tight ship with the station he´s got set up for me in the living room complete with aromatherapy humidifier. And then a dehumidifier in the kitchen to dry the laundry he´s doing.

´Yes, it´s a contradiction but I don´t care.´

And speaking of kitchen, it´s stocked with all my favourite healthy foods that he has begun cooking after three attempts to buy zucchini at the grocery store and coming home with cucumbers, twice.

´They all look the same to me.´ he told me, exasperated.

I sleep a lot so I hope I´m not too much trouble. And while he procured my favourite cookies from the local Navarro health food store, I barely eat. I think it´s the meds. But I needed to spring myself from medical prison because I have an immigration appointment Monday and immigration appointments are like diamonds in Spain these days since the system has collapsed – hard to come by. My lawyer finagled it for me. If the hospital didn´t let me out, I would have had to go to the Policia in my jammies connected to my IV. But I was willing to do it. Jeff knew the Dr shouldn´t test my resolve on this matter.

They say I will likely start feeling better in 7-10 days. I hope it´s sooner. In the meantime, I´ll see the cardiologist tomorrow before I go get finger printed by the Policia National, happily without an IV. I´m not sure how they would have reacted to that. Maybe said ´No visa for sick people!´ But today, Jeff says I sound better. My voice is more myself and I ´look better´ too. Less Tina Turner hair in the 80’s. So there is hope on the horizon. With Jeff as my nurse, wellness is just around the corner.

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