Last night at about 7 p.m. EJ laid on the couch intending to sleep until 11 p.m., but he couldn’t get to sleep so I took over the couch at 10 p.m. I slept until about 4 a.m., only somewhat drowsily aware of nurses coming into the room during the night to check on JJ and take his “vitals.” At 4 a.m. I traded places with EJ and he slept on the couch while I sat in the chair. I walked down the hall several times to refill my coffee cup at the coffee machine in the “refreshment” room…or whatever it’s called. While my guys slept, I sipped coffee and browsed interesting posts and articles shared on Facebook.
At about 6:30 a.m. the doctor came in to check on JJ. He asked JJ the usual questions: How are you doing? How are you feeling? Any problems? and so on. He asked if the surgeon, Dr. Foster, had told us about the pathology report. I replied “Yes, he said that there was teratoma in the lymph node so it’s a good thing it was taken out.” The doctor nodded and said that the reason teratoma is so dangerous is because it doesn’t respond to Chemo. I think it’s interesting that doctors and nurses mention different facts so we learn different things from all of them.
The doctor said that Jared will be released from the hospital sometime this afternoon. He asked if we were headed right home, but seemed pleased that we were planning to spend the night at the hotel before leaving tomorrow. We can delay leaving until Sunday if JJ feels he needs more time before making the journey home, but I think he will be anxious to get home. I look forward to sleeping in the hotel tonight. It will be nice to not have nurses waking us in the night and to not have to take turns sleeping.
Before the doctor left, he asked us “Where are you from again?” We told him “Michigan” and he said he is also from Michigan, but farther north. His wife is from Michigan also (Ann Arbor) and he just got a job there and will be moving there. If I could remember this doctor’s name (I keep forgetting to ask), I would recommend him highly. He is very, very compassionate.
After the doctor left, JJ planned to go back to sleep so EJ decided to take me out on a breakfast date…to the hospital cafeteria. Before we left I told JJ that if he had any problems to push the button to summon a nurse. He hates to summon the nurses because when he was having Chemo, he saw people nagging the nurses by frequently pushing the call button. On our way to the cafeteria, I stopped at the nurses’ station to let them know we were leaving JJ for a few minutes so they would know he would be alone. Honestly, I feel like a new Mom leaving her baby with a babysitter.
On the elevator, I told EJ that it was amazing how quickly we adapt to “new normals.” When JJ was having Chemo, our world was the Cancer Center and we quickly became familiar with our surroundings and we established routines. Now our world is the sixth floor of the hospital, which is called “Krannert.” More specifically, our world is JJ’s room.
EJ and I selected breakfast from the cafeteria then went to a small table and ate together. We weren’t gone long.
Not long after we returned to the room, the night nurse arrived with her replacement. In this hospital, when shifts change, the departing nurse gives the arriving nurse the information about a patient–doctor’s orders, medications, last dosage, problems the patient is having–at the patient’s bedside so the patient (and his parents) can hear, verify, and question what was said. At the same time, she introduces her replacement and says goodbye to us. It’s kind of cool.
I liked last night’s nurse, whom we’ve had a couple times. She was funny. Last night we had the lights off in JJ’s room so he could sleep. We turned the lights on in the next room (the one-time board room) so his room wasn’t in total darkness because we didn’t want to trip or bump into anything. I asked the nurse if she needed more light so she could take JJ’s vitals, and she said “No. I am a Ninja, Zombie, Vampire and I can see fine in the dark.” LOL. As she left this morning, we told her that we appreciated her care of JJ and she said she enjoyed us. We were the easiest family ever to take care of. That’s good to hear.
My next post will be from our hotel room. 🙂