I have always liked to write and always said I would love to write a novel if I had the time. In fact I still have a couple manuscripts in the works that have been lying around in binders and boxes collecting dust for many years. You would think that being in the hospital for months on end would have afforded me the time to write something meaningful but inspiration was sorely lacking! I did write letters though. Even though I saw Kirk often sometimes I would write him letters and send them in the mail, handwritten letters were so retro, even back then! I thought it would be fun for him to reach in the mailbox and get something other then a bill. They were ridiculous letters just meant to be funny and I would even address them in unusual ways. I came across one recently in a box of pictures. It was addressed to Mr Craven Moorehead. Some of you won’t get that and some of you will get it and not be amused. Judge if you will but I can assure that if you spent as much time on your back staring at four walls as I did you would do anything for a laugh. Anyways the letter in question was largely about “Nipplegate” otherwise known as Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction. Obviously a cheap publicity stunt because when Janet Jackson stopped flashing her nipples she abruptly disappeared from pop culture. Besides the occasional mention in a rag mag about her weight gain or loss, no nipple…no mention! The letter was dated February of 2004 right after the incident at Superbowl. In the letter I confessed to my own unfortunate wardrobe malfunction where my hospital gown slipped off the shoulder exposing my nipple to a young , wide eyed intern. I then preceded to tell “Craven” that after my initial embarrassment about the incident I decided to use my nipples to my discreet advantage and began flashing the man that delivered my breakfast in hopes to get an extra sausage the next day! This of course is not true…..well maybe it is, you will never know. “Evil laugh”
So as much as I recall I hadn’t completely lost it by Superbowl of 2004 but there was still plenty of time and wall staring to come. I did what I was told which consisted largely of doing nothing. I even tried to spend less time in the washroom when Kirk was around so that he and the doctors would not conspire to put a catheter in me. The nurses desk was outside of my room to the left. It was always a flurry of activity but even with my door open I couldn’t see what was going on. Every Monday I got to go on a big excursion to get weighed. The weigh room was directly across the hall and I was wheeled on a wheel chair, weighed and wheeled back! Do not turn left our right, do not pass anything fun, do not collect any smiles. Back to bed.
The nurses were at times my saviors. I would get pretty attached to the good ones and there were some that would come and sit with me for a couple of minutes at night, as there time would allow and just chat. Nights were the hardest, not tucking Morgan into bed, not curling up with Kirk. The nurses worked on rotation of course so when they were sent to another floor or wing it could be crushing. I guess I got used to the consistency of my hospital routine but I never got used to the people that came and went out of my life on a weekly basis. I have a profound respect for “some” of the doctors that treated me during my stay but I have to say that some of the nurses went way beyond the scope of their work by understanding how hard it was to be cooped up in a little room away from your family and treating me with such kindness and love.
One morning I was so excited because there was a craft program in the family room that I was invited to with the other ladies on my floor. I am not super crafty but I was looking forward to the social aspect (for my sanity) I was all ready to go at the designated time. I think I even put on lip gloss. The doctors came for their morning visit and delicately told me that the nurse had made a mistake and I wasn’t allowed to go to the craft program because I was not allowed to leave my room and sit up for any length of time. I know I tried to hide it but I was thoroughly devastated. It was like being 14 and getting grounded before the big dance that your crush was going to and being certain your best friend was going to dance with him. That kind of angst. My nurse for the week quietly felt my pain and she brought a lady on my floor who was in a less precarious position then me and able to wander the halls periodically to visit me. It was nice to be able to connect with someone else in a similar position. The lady who came to visit me was pregnant with twins. She lived in Cape Breton with her husband and three young girls under the age of seven. They owned a video store in their small town. Because of the distance and the fact that they were trying to keep a small business afloat her family could only visit on weekends. I couldn’t imagine how difficult it must be for her to be away from all her family and then to have the whole crew come visit and be cooped up in her little room. I think we were able to offer each other some comfort and understanding and I thank that wonderful nurse for recognizing my need to have some socialization. I never saw the woman again but I questioned my cleaning lady and found out that she had been put on complete bed rest as well. One morning the doctors only detected one heartbeat and during an ultrasound confirmed that one of her babies did not make it. She had to continue to carry both babies as long as possible and ended up delivering an early but healthy baby boy to the delight of his three big sisters.
My family and friends were fantastic and Kirk and Morgan still stayed with me as much as possible. Kirk tried his very best but I was grumpy and irritable when he was around. Looking back I had no control over anything and truthfully he probably felt much of the same thing. It drove me crazy that Morgan would come to the hospital with a big bag of candy from the Candy Bowl bulk store. She thought Daddy was the best and I thought that was complete idiocy. Lets take a four year old child, hop her up on sugar and stick her in a tiny room with a mother who cannot leave the room. There was a definite rift between us but I believed that when things went back to normal we would get better.
One night I was going crazy and Kirk tried to convince the nurse to allow him and Morgan to take me for a walk in a wheelchair around the hospital. I was only a couple of days away from self care so I didn’t think it would be an issue. Self care was in another wing of the hospital and it allowed for a lot more freedom. Moving to self care meant I had reached a point in my pregnancy that if I delivered the baby was not in any significant danger. I believe it was 36 weeks. It was still too early for me to go back to Truro because they were not equip to deal with a pregnancy that early. Anyways the nurse said “No way” and Kirk felt really bad. I asked him to take Morgan out for a bit, they had been cooped up in my stupid room all weekend and we all needed a breather. The minute they left I called my Mom and lost it. I cried my eyes out and told her I was going crazy. She assured me I wasn’t and I assured her I was. Mom calmed me down and even had me laughing and in a much better frame of mind by the time Morgan and Kirk returned.
I moved to Self care right before Easter and was allowed a certain amount of freedom which to my Mothers dismay I immediately took advantage of. Kirk allowed me to come to Walmart with him to help pick up some Easter stuff for Morgan. It was supposed to be a quick trip but I begged him to take me home. There was no reasoning with me, I wanted to see my house so Kirk made the hour long trip to take me home. He was pretty pissed when he found me in the bathroom with my big pregnant belly hunched over the tub scrubbing the dripping hard water stain under the spout with an SOS pad. I had already cleaned the toilet with bleach and was about to put in a load of laundry when he discovered me. He convinced me to halt the housecleaning and come lay down for a minute. He held me in our bed while I cried because I didn’t want to go back to the hospital. I had been away from home for over 3 months and all I wanted to do was tidy up and prepare for Haley coming home. Kirk comforted me and it was probably the warmest most honest interaction we had had in months. Somehow he convinced me to go back to the hospital, I recall a phone call from my Mom so it is possible that he enlisted help. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel though and that was positive. Self care was not as exciting as I anticipated. All those exciting interactions I had heard from my bedroom on the other wing of the seventh floor were certainly not happening over here. There must have been a lot of vacancy because when I was out wandering the halls it was about as exciting as a non alcoholic beer on a hot July day! Blah!
At 38 weeks pregnant they allowed me to go back to Truro but I wasn’t allowed to go to our house in North River because it was too far from the hospital. We stayed at my Moms but it was short lived. I think I had four days of freedom before Kirk dragged me into the Truro hospital. I was having headaches and swelling and according to the Doctor my blood pressure was on the rise. I tried to insist that my rising blood pressure was due to being in another hospital but as if I didn’t exist Kirk and the doctor discussed my immediate admission to the Truro hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy. I was admitted and put into a ward with two laboring mothers. I had been told to take it easy and get some rest and then I was put in a ward?? I assume Kirk spoke with the doctor who exchanged heated words with the nurse and in a flash I was moved to a private room.
Prior to my stay in the Truro Hospital whenever there was talk about the “NEW” Hospital being built I would question why one was needed. It only took me a short time to understand. The Grace Hospital was like The Four Seasons in Comparison. My blinds were broken, my bathroom door didn’t close properly, cream of wheat for breakfast almost sent me over the edge and the nurse seemed to only make a visit just as I drifted off to sleep.
On Thursday April 29, 2004 Morgan and Kirk were in and out of my hospital room. He had bought her new sneakers and a soccer ball and they had played a bit on the hospital lawn. Played out, she gave me a big kiss goodbye and Kirk took her to the sitters because he had a doctors appointment. I hadn’t seen the doctor all day and he popped in the door at 4:45 and said five magical words “Wanna have a baby today?
To be continued……