I sit on this bench, looking across at my husband. He’s bound to a fluid IV, pumped up with insulin and morphine. He’s moody – delivering a mixture of frustration, panic and self pity in random sequences.
If he sleeps, the monitor beeps; it flashes its red APNEA warning and the oxygen levels countdown to… I don’t know.
It took forever to get a room, and yet we passed a dozen empty ones en route to his assigned quarter. In the cold little space, he lays covered in blankets, staring at the tiny television and listening to the foreign sounds of hospital workers.
Tests were ordered, but not completed. An ultrasound for kidneys has yet to happen, but could be a determining factor to his going home. Blood pressure and heart monitors tick away the seconds.
They fill him with medication (the ones he should have been taking, anyway). We wait for answers and release.
Perhaps if he’d heeded the warnings his body gave him – the lethargy, the irritability, the aches – he’d have sought help sooner. But the drop in clinic said “viral infection,” let it run its course. And the medication he was prescribed for his diabetes makes him feel awful before he feels great again (so he won’t take it). Now, it’s too late to prevent illness. We are here in the hospital… waiting.