I have honestly never seen my husband this way before and it is terrifying, After an 11 hour day at the hospital today I was finally able to bring Luke home. His vision will completely recover but for now he cannot see anything. I am told black-and-white will come back before color does.
When I was finally allowed into the recovery area I almost didn’t recognize him. I’ve been with this man for over a decade, through more than one surgery, and I have never seen him like this. He was huddled in the hospital bed, shaking. Normally I find this guy joking with the hospital staff and giving nurses advice on finding a good vein in someone’s hand.
The scenario today was nothing like that. One eye was bandaged up and he was silently crying with tears streaming down his cheeks. “I just really need you,” he said. “I’m scared.”
My heart seized up and skipped a beat. I can tell you that Luke has cried maybe three times in span of eleven years. It’s just not his way. He doesn’t scare easily. He’s not an anxious person and he is most certainly not rattled by medical procedures. He’s fascinated by them. He wants all the gory medical details because he’s a paramedic and they go nuts over that stuff.
He’s my strength, my steadfast place to land. Luke is my rock. Today I needed to return the favor.
The nurse at the station was complaining loudly about protocols, the wrong IV bags, and the crazy day she was having. She quite clearly would not answer the patients trying to get her attention. After a few minutes of me cradling my whimpering husband she came over and scolded me, “Well you snuck over here! I didn’t see you come in!!”
The rest of the conversation did not go so well. If I can give any advice to people dealing with me it would be DO NOT MESS WITH MY FAMILY!!!! And if you’ve ever seen a family member in pain you may understand the instant flood of rage that filled me with, “I-will-hurt-whoever-caused-this!!!!”
Me: Hi. Umm..he is not doing well. What’s going on?
Inside my head I said: Why the hell did you make my husband cry? He NEVER cries. He is the strong one!
Nurse: He’s fine! His vitals are OK.
Me: (looking dubiously at Luke’s shaking form) No, he’s not looking so great. I think you need to give him some pain medicine.
Nurse: Well he just had surgery. He’s fine. I don’t know what you expect. We already gave him medicine. He has to go home.
Me: Yes he needs to come home. What medication has he had?
Nurse: (rolls eyes) A lot. (Walks away)
Needless to say I did some shaking myself but more of the rage variety. Eventually I realized that he couldn’t see out of either eye and it was scary. He was also in a great deal of pain.
After a few deep breathes I re-approached Nurse Ratchet again and said in my assertive teacher voice, “I have questions. You will answer them like a nurse in your profession should do. I am asking what medications my husband has been given. Go ahead and get a chart if you need to but you will tell me specifically what he has been given.” Then I turned on my heal and went back to Luke where I sat pointedly looking at her with one eyebrow cocked.
She was able to manage her job after that. I got the information I needed. Apparently she was angry with Luke because he had been nauseous for hours. She said that his dry heaving was, “too loud,” and it “disturbed the other patients!”
While I was taking care of Luke, my parents were taking care of Carl. My mom got him to football practice and back again. The great thing about having my parents is that they were able to put together Luke’s special “face down” chair and help with Carl. They also make me feel calm and happy. The bad part would be that Carl was reading my mom’s text messages to her while she drive. He just so happened to the text I sent saying, “This nurse is a raging b**ch!”
I’ve never been happier to get out of a hospital, including after my own back surgeries.
**Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.