I guess when you’ve had part of your stomach removed, then eating falls down the list of priorities in the healing process. Oh, Hook receives basic nutrients from one of the half dozen tubes going into his body so no worries that they’re starving him to death, but those tubes tangle with the other half dozen tubes that are pulling things out of his body. With all these innie-outies, Hook can have all the ice chips his teeth can crunch at once but he’s not to drink gulps of water although he tries to sneak in sips. He’s very tricky. He’s gotten me to leave the ice cup on the bed with him where he’ll let it melt so he can drink actual water from time to time. When the surgeon stopped by yesterday evening, I told on Hook. I TOLD ON HIM and the surgeon backed me up and explained to Hook that even a gulp of water could disrupt the healing process going on inside him.
“I did some major reconstruction in there and you don’t want to ask your insides to do anything they don’t need to right now,” said the surgeon.
The surgeon stopped by twice yesterday. Each time he does, he makes sure he hears from Hook directly on how he’s feeling, and then usually, he’ll check his dressings. I can’t even be in the room when the dressings need to be changed. It’s too M*A*S*H for me. I almost expect a green drape of a tent to descend over the bed and for bombs to start going off outside the window with someone yelling, “I need more suction!”
I wish I were one of those people who say without thought, ‘I’d take his pain if I could!’ But that would be too much of a big, fat lie. I’d take Hook’s smaller stomach though and his ice chip diet because if there is one thing Hook loves, it is sitting down to a robust meal. The man loves to eat which I attribute to his healthy French genes that he got from his mother. Everyone knows the French eat whatever they want and that their insides are lubed with butter – real butter – and Hook, for all his German blood, inherited from his French mother, the love of rich food.
Returning to the Hospital
Kelly gave me last night off and stayed with Hook until around 3am when Hook kicked him out and said he (Hook) needed rest. Kelly’s heart is as big as Texas but his attention span is the size of Rhode Island. I’m sure every time the nurses came in to check on Hook, Kelly probably started up a conversation. He’s very social that way.
After being kicked out by the patient, Kelly returned to the house but only for a few short hours, and headed right back to sit with Hook in ICU. I woke up at 10am (egads!), texted Kelly, and got a quick update: He’s sleeping then 10 minutes later, He needs his glasses so he can watch the game this afternoon, then 10 more minutes later, He has 175 channels! Time for me to return to the ICU but not before publicly thanking Dr. Scott: Anyone who has had someone in ICU understands that yes, it would be better to sleep in your own bed, but no, you’re not going to leave them alone. What if they need you? Many times in the last 48 hours, Hook has woken up and couldn’t find his finger clicker or needed ice chips or I’ve tracked down our nurse to come shut off the beeping sound that keeps going off from the monitors. For all the fun I poke at Kelly, it has been a gift to have him be my stand-in and to have him show up and say, “get up, get out, go home.”
Comments & Visiting Hours
I read every comment you all post and I read them to Hook, too. He smiles when I read them and chuckles at the funny ones so I’ve learned to ask him to click his pain med in before I read him something that I think will make him laugh.
Regarding those visiting hours: figure next Friday at the earliest. The doctor has let us know that Hook will remain in ICU until at least Monday. But remember, Hook really, really, really doesn’t want visitors so only come if you feel like you won’t live unless you see him. Then when you do show up be sure to say, ‘I didn’t feel like I could live if I didn’t see you,’ or something like that.
And Get Well Cards — probably hold on those, too, or feel free to mail them to Allan Hook, P. O. Box 151240, Austin, TX 78715-1240. I’ll be stopping by the P.O. Box today and Tuesday. I only suggest the P.O. Box because there’s really not a lot of space in his ICU room. There’s one tiny shelf behind a chair but Hook can’t see it and that’s where I store my overnight bag so it stays out of the way of the nurses and techs. If you send cards to the P.O Box, I can bring them to the hospital once Hook is finally moved to a regular room and is able to read them.
I’m going to take a break from blogging the rest of today. It has helped a great deal to be able to keep everyone updated this way and I thank you for letting me get away with not calling or emailing or texting. It eliminates a layer of constantly repeating the same information over and over again but still lets you all get the information you want because you care which is nothing small to me — that you care.
Mucho mucho gratitude from the Hooks on ice. And now, I’m going to order pizza for the nurses in ICU at St. David’s so as to keep them on ice, too.
p.s. Jehovah Witnesses just came to the door and I said, “My husband’s in ICU so I can’t talk right now.” Finally, a great excuse. Hook’s going to LOVE that. But I’ll still take the little brochures to him because I said I would. Hook won’t love that, but that’s the downside of ICU– you don’t get to choose your own reading material. 😉