Mr. Capote is long gone. An old guy with pneumonia came and went. Yesterday, a new roommate arrived, connected to some sort of oxygen machine whose decibel level is akin to a loud blow dryer up against your ear.
The entire room is filled with a shrill hissing sound that immediately rattles ones brain. When Max’s attending doctor made her rounds today, she confessed that the noise was driving her nuts.
Max doesn’t want to switch to a new room, now that he has the window. But what about the noise?!? It is constant, 24 hours a day, and it is bound to ruin his hearing.
The poor man attached to the machine is unable to speak, but his family came today and gave him some paper to write on. I then realized that he is a person and not just a nuisance devised to torture my son and me. I told the family that I would try to look out for their father, even though it’s hard enough getting sub-adequate care for Max.
So far, since my last update, there has been a blood clot, an infection, and the discovery that Max’s right arm is broken. No wonder it hurts! No one will reposition him unless you ask, and even then there may be a wait. The patients are supposed to be washed every day; every 4 days is the norm, and sometimes longer. They have never once offered up a toothbrush. Not once.
The nurses like to move the bedside tray around two feet out of reach. They also like to come in and talk about Jesus. If you happen to be an atheist, you will need to keep your mouth shut, since they have so much power over your basic comfort, not to mention your actual life.
It has been nearly nine weeks now. It’s hard to know what to do to make life in this “hospital” more tolerable. My patient has no appetite and is resigned to the fact that no one will come when he pushes the call-button. If only I could trade places with him.