((((((HUGS TO ALL))))))
Jon was moved to Step Down today about 4:00 p.m. His wonderful ICU nurse, who comforted me when we started Synthroid, assured me that everything would be fine.
J, the Step Down NC, whom I've known for 15 years, held the doors open for the 5 of us as we pushed Jon's bed, cart full of his supplies/personal belongs, and other equipment into the Step Down unit. I was lagging behind pushing the "warming blanket" machine, like a little old lady, compared to the young whippersnappers controlling the large equipment. J, who is close to my age, looked at me and jokingly said, "Get in here!"
Jon was placed in Room 18, which is a corner room. On one side of his room is the "ante room," where supplies are kept for his room. On the other side is a private bathroom, with a shower! He doesn't have patients on either side of him, which means it will be QUIET for him. This is also the largest room in the unit, so Jim and I have more space to maneuver. He is in front the the nurse's station, so they can have their eyes on him all of the time.
When J sauntered toward Jon's room, after he was settled, I thanked her profusely for this gift. She said, "Well, I would never put you in 21, and I'm sorry I didn't realize it, before I assigned him that room yesterday. I wanted him to have the quietest and largest room, so I waited for this one to be empty, and I saved it for Jon. Because, you know, we all love Jon and you guys."
Then she asked if Jim was coming in tonight, and I said, "Unless he left me for a younger woman and ran off to Jamaica this afternoon, yes, he'll be here."
She assured me that she would get the big "sleep chair" for Jim, so he could be comfortable. I guess I don't merit the big sleep chair?
One of my favorite nurses came into visit us, and we caught up on each other's news. This gal got me through some pretty rough days in 2009, and she always says the perfect thing to help me cope.
Jon's new day nurse is a darling, young, blonde gal. She fell in love with Jon instantly, and he couldn't take his eyes off of her. She's married with a 9 month old baby, her first, and as always, I said to Jon, "Darn, she's married Jon."
She said to Jon, "It's okay. I can be your 'hospital wife.' No one ever needs to know! It'll be our secret."
The smile on Jon's face lit up the room and lifted my heart.
His night nurse is a gorgeous Asian gal, who told the day nurse that it wasn't fair that she nabbed Jon, before she had a chance at him. So cute. His day nurse said, "As soon as you look into his beautiful blue eyes, you will fall in love. Trust me. But you can't have him!"
As I was leaving this evening, nurse after nurse after nurse and aide after aide greeted me with hugs, wanting to know why Jon was here, commenting that he hadn't been in for over year, and how wonderful that was, asking his room number so that they could visit him and us, and it was like old home week. We are so blessed to be surrounded by so much love and caring.
I did go to the chapel today, as Jon was sleeping. He got in 4 hours today, and he slept for 3 1/2 hours last night after the Ativan. So he is finally getting some shut eye.
Two women were praying in front of the candles, so I went to the other side to pray and intended to light my candles before I left.
I couldn't help over hearing the woman, who was praying out loud for the other woman, ask for a name. The woman replied, "Roslyn."
At that moment, I felt God's hands on me.
When the praying woman left (probably a chaplain, but I never see them on the medical floor any longer), I walked over to the candle area to the grief-stricken woman. I said, softly, "I don't mean to intrude, but I heard the name Roslyn during your prayer, and that's my name. There are no candles here for you to light. I bring my own for such a case, and I have two. I'm going to light one for my son, would you like to light the other one for your loved one?"
She said yes, and I sat down beside her. I put my arm around her, and I said, "I'm so sorry, dear. Would you like to talk?"
She shared that her mother was in ICU (where Jon was), is 92 years old, and is in heart failure. She's been on a vent for 13 days, she's too old for a trache, and the docs have been preparing her for removing the trache and allowing her mom to pass. She said, "I can't kill her."
I shared with her about the passing of my parents, at the ages of 64 and 69, and of course, the loss of Michael.
She said that her brother had died of a heart attack in 2007, and that her mother's health began to deteriorate then. I was able to counsel her about grief, about her mother's broken heart that would never mend after the loss of her boy, no matter his age, he was her boy, and that I know for a fact that our bodies are vessels, and they die, but our spirits live eternally. I told her that her mother had lived a good, long life, filled with joy, and that what awaits her is pure bliss. I assured her that her mother would never leave her, and that she would enjoy a new relationship with her, as she learned to cope with her mother's physical absence and focus on her spiritual presence.
She said that her mother was still cognitively aware, so I suggested that she use pen and paper to communicate with her (as the vent tube prevents her from communicating verbally), and ask her mom, "What do you want?" She liked that idea, and agreed that was the best course to take.
"You don't need to carry the burden of making that decision, if she is able to tell you," I said. "I have a feeling she will tell you that she is ready to be reunited with your brother."
I told her that if her mother chose to pass, that she should find peace in knowing that her mom will be returned to the Arms of God, and she will be surrounded by love and light beyond our imagining.
Then I said, "Is your mother's name Roslyn?"
"No. That's my name. Her name is Nancy."
I told her that I would be praying for them, and that Jon was being moved to Step Down today, but that I would be in the hospital in Room 18 in the SD unit, if she needed me. I will return to ICU tomorrow to find Roslyn, and if she isn't there I will leave her a note with her nurse. Roslyn has no one with her, as she is from Florida, and her husband didn't come with her. Her other brother seems to be distant emotionally and says, "it's her time, let her go." She needs someone to be there for her, and I will be that someone.
In so many ways, this has been a moving day.
Jon is getting better; he looks wonderful. His WBC is normal! But his hemaglobin is still dropping. I pray that it will rise, so he doesn't need another blood transfusion.
Thank you all so much for joining us on this journey. Your love, prayers, support, and friendship mean the world to us.
Love & Light,