Monday, October 17, 2016

Hospital Sleepover

Towards the end of the gut-wrenching day we had what with Jimmy being on life support; Calvin suggested his mom, Maggie go home. She had been at the hospital since the previous night and Calvin thought that she would be able to get a lot done from the house, like contacting people etc. And the woman needed some sleep!
Calvin was going to spend the night at the hospital. He asked me to accompany his mom, which she refused. He then asked me to follow her in my car, to make sure she made it home safely. The house is  minutes or less from the hospital. She refused that offer too, so I told Calvin I would stay in the hospital with him. The number of visitors died down. Calvin had only informed his closest friends about Jim and they all came by to pay him a visit. At the end of the day, we had to get some shut eye. I insisted we do so. The nurses were quick to tell us no sleeping in the wards. That bothered me. Maybe because I am used to working in Nursing homes and rehab centres where loved ones are allowed to stay the night especially, during the final hours of the patients. To kick people out who are spending the night at the hospital for the mere purpose of being with their loved one is strange. Where do you want us to sleep? In the toilet? Because, we're not leaving! The plan is to stay here with Jim!

        [The only other time I had spent the night in the hospital was when an old friend of mine's mom was        hospitalised. My friend was traumatised; I decided to keep her company. We slept on the floor. Nobody    kicked us out! This was back in my hometown, Uitenhage, South Africa. My friend's mom has since passed  on.]

We grabbed blankets and went to the waiting are downstairs. There was an empty room, adjacent to the waiting room. Calv took the bigger couch, I took the love seat. We curled up and tried to sleep. No sleep was had really! The sofas were meant to sit not sleep. I felt like I could roll over and land on the floor. Have you ever tried to sleep with one hand holding on for dear life so you don't fall? That was me. Calvin would wake up every hour or so and go check on Jim. That, to me, was the worst part of the night. Seeing the man I love in such deep pain. He wanted to be right there with his dad, hell, he wanted to take his dad to eat! He had planned for a double date between his parents, he(Calvin) and I. That wasn't to happen, sadly, because life did. Or death.

Maggie was going to return to the hospital first thing the following morning. Around 05:00 or even earlier, we were done with our 40 winks. We headed up to the room. I would check the machines, read the drips they had on Jim. I don't know all the terms, bus some are familiar, like Morphine. Also, reading his ECG, his heartbeat was all over the place. I thought to myself, these are not the readings of someone who is still alive. Jim has definitely left us. That's what killed me about Calvin keeping waking up to check on him throughout the night.

Calvin's mom and his brother arrived. We all congregated in Jim's room. Calvin's brother starting yelling at Jim! He was in his face, telling him how disappointed he was in him, etc. I won't go into detail because it was pain that caused him to do that; not disrespect. Cal's brother was hurt and I guess that's how he handled it.

Apparently, Jim's brother was on his way. He was 9 hours away. We were going to wait for his arrival before letting the doctor turn off the machine. I was secretly happy that Jim was going to be with us a little longer. I never thought that someone's passing who wasn't really my family could affect me that much but Jim was the closest thing to family I had in The US. He welcomed me with open arms and made me feel as much a part of his family as anyone else as I wrote in this blog entry.

To be continued, while I go clear the lump in my throat....