When someone is in the hospital for any length of time you cannot just leave them and know they are being taken care of well. I don’t mean the nurses and staff are not great but there is a different level of care and only so much they can do everyday. You are the one doing all the little things and always watching what is happening how your loved one is reacting and preparing to ask and answer questions.
When my husband was in ICU it was fantastic care, but still they are not allowed to do things like trim toenails, bathing is not more important or as important as the meds., the moving him so bed sores don’t occur.
I found some amount of solace in taking care of his feet, and skin. Trying to brush his teeth when I could and keeping him clean as possible.
The most challenging was shaving his face around the vent. It turned out to be one of the worst things. I forgot his razor and the hospital razors are the worst in the world I think I used 3 for each section of his face. I got it done and then hours later his face turned red and was hot and terrible looking. His poor skin did not like the razor or cheap shaving cream.
He was paralyzed completely on his right side this included his face and tongue. I also massaged his right arm and leg per the Therapists instructions. There are a lot of hours in the day staring at machines, staring at your loved one, staring at the walls, you get the picture.
The machines become so common that when you first leave the hospital which I did after 14 days to shower, sleep and come back again before 6 am to make sure I did not miss the doctors. You cannot sleep without them it is like having to have a fan on all night for the noise.
I also was blessed enough to be able to work, my boss questioned are you working? Yes it is better than just staring!
The days were a constant routine, leaving the room at 5 am while they did a daily chest x-ray, trying to make it to the cafe when the grill was still open or the salad bar fresh. Hoping that my Twizzlers would hold out until I could get more. Waiting for the next round of breathing, treatments, test results, movement from the paralyzed limbs. Doctor visits. Everything else fell into the background.
The main consistent thing was God, his assurance was with me everyday and especially in the emergency room when we first arrived, his assurance that Scott would not die. It was my strength and my energy. It was how I could eat, work and sleep.