My Unexplained Absence
The short story is that Sunday June 11th, Lisa's grandfather who we take care of came home from his morning cup of coffee at McDonalds* shaking and demanding "one of those pills that will wake me up". So I gave him Tylenol which he thinks will give him the vigor of a lion. He then decided to take a nap and like old men do, took off his pants in the livingroom. When I saw that his leggs were purple I immediately knew something was terribly wrong. I thought "Shaking and Purple Legs" = "Stroke" and we brought him to the emergency room. They promptly made us wait in the waiting room. After 20 minutes of watching him shake uncontrollably I started to bitch out the staff. "If he's having a stroke shouldn't we get him out of the lobby and into critical care or do you want him to die in front of everyone else and by the way, we're stinking rich and can afford the kind of lawyers that don't have to advertise on 'Springer'." That was the end of our wait.
Trust me when I say the ER was no fun and after Xrays and tests and a very embarassing urine sample they decided it wasn't a stroke but Pneumonia or possibly an infection in his heart. We caught the problem so early that they weren't sure which but either way the treatment was the same and it meant a 5 day stay in the hospital. I take that back, one fun thing did happen in the ER. The doctor ordered rectal thermometry and when the poor Tech came into the room Nuno's reaction to the news was to look the kid straight in the eyes and without any hint of irony ask "That's your job?"
Most of my lost time that week was spent running back and forth from the hospital and home to take care of things here but also keep him from feeling alone and isolated in the hospital room. The room was bleak but had an ocean view off in the distance. The TV was broadcast only. I have no idea why hospitals don't offer free HBO. All the commercials on broadcast TV during the day, when the patients have nothing to do but watch TV, are for lawyers. "Did your doctor fuck up? Sue the bastards! I'm James Sokolov." If I ran a hospital I'd make damn sure my patients never saw those ads.
Tom came home after 5 days and needed a lot of care but he's beginning to get better. We can leave him alone for a while now and he's even gone out for a couple hours on his own. He sleeps a lot and I've had to cook 3 meals a day for him. For those who don't know, I cook. Lisa can't. Before he got sick He'd eat at home one night a week and never at lunch time. I would cook for just me and Lisa but now I have to cook for him and he's a pickier eater then I am. We had a very close call and it really took a lot out of him. He needs a lot more care and attention now then before but that's why we're here.
The worse of it was that while he was in the hospital, Barney really missed him. It was kind of like when the fish died a week before. Barney would sit in front of Nuno's bedroom door and cry wondering why he wasn't home at night. The day Tom came home, Barney ignored him for 2 hours then resumed his usual game of kicking Tom out of whatever chair he sat in. Tom's a big softie and lets the cat get away with it. He missed Barney too.
*Yes, he's one of those old guys that goes to McDonalds and just gets a cup of coffee then sits there all morning with the news paper. Hell, it gets him out of the house.