This morning, when I first saw Frank, he looked terrible. Worse than I left him last night for sure. He had not slept again. Uncomfortable. In pain. And his roommate had a bad night. Apparently the man did not want anyone ‘helping’ him. No doctors, nurses, nothing. And he let everybody know… yelling, belligerent, physical… There were two ‘guards’ sitting in the room when I got there.
Frank wasn’t able to sleep until the man was medicated and taken down for surgery. Then he slept.
He woke. Had a meal. Got a facecloth ‘bath’ – a step below a bird bath – brushed his teeth – which is a whole new adventure with a neck brace. The Physical Therapist guru came in to do all sorts of tests. Frank passed.
He was fitted with a new neck brace. Much better than the other. Padded. Snug. (Even adjustable, should I decide to tighten the choke hold when he morphs into Dennis-the-Menace.)
He has one more PT test to clear. Stairs. If he can navigate those, they will let him go home. This should be interesting.
His Kidneys are up and functioning. (Yay!)
The right side of the neck hurts – which is the side the break is on. His wrist also hurts. But all in all…. by the afternoon, there was huge improvement.
Another happy/sad event in the Lopez household – Alex came home from Germany tonight. We are happy because we missed him! And sad, because he is so heartbroken being apart from his girlfriend. It has been a long time since I’ve seen my son cry. Not any easier either.
He brought me the coolest gift. Some of you may know my obsession with rocks. Well… to clarify the rocks my kids give me. Throughout their lives they have ‘collected’ perfect specimens from here and there. There tiny hands inspected each curve and edge, and now they each sit somewhere around my home… either in a planter, on a counter, or in my rock garden. Many I can still remember the very moment it was handed to me, as the reasons for choosing were pointed out.
Alex handed me a rock tonight. From Germany. Chosen not so much for its beauty, but for significance. The memories of this rock – much of which will never be known – are coupled with the unfathomable knowns. He hand-picked it from the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.
No planter for this ‘chosen one.’ It sits on my desk as I type. A symbol of strength amidst horrors big and small… and the fragility of life.
What a twisted week.