THE Day had come. I was getting psyched about going home. I washed my face and ate a good breakfast. The night before, I’d packed up some of my belongings and set them in the closet. I should’ve known that would wear me out but I was living on nervous energy.
I don’t remember if I’d slept well or not. All I remember is the feeling of relief that I would finally be going HOME. “Be it ever so humble” and humble, it is.
Cuz got there in plenty of time. I was still ensconced in bed with the last of the IV antibiotics going. I’d had my finger stuck the last time before breakfast and my blood sugar was close enough to normal I didn’t have to have an insulin shot. “Diabetes is rough,” one nurse told me. I’m not diabetic. It’s the Solumedrol that wreaks havoc with my “sugar blood” (a la Barney Fife). She just gave me a funny look. REALLY. I’m being truthful.
When the doc had visited earlier (again non-billable), I’d prevailed on him to write an order for my B12 shot. No way in this world or any other would I be able to do it myself and it was due. He did and the nurse brought it after what seemed hours. She’d had to wait for the pharmacist to draw it up. If they use the 1ML vials, I could see the delay. I asked for one last dose of cough medicine but discharge was imminent so it was denied.
A man came from the agency that was supplying the “get home” O2. He showed Cuz and me how to operate the canister and I was hooked up. Cuz was alarmed at the small amount in the tank but I told her it was just to do me until the permanent setup got to the house.
We’d been told to get home quickly. The man from the Chattanooga office would be arriving at my home any minute.
Papers were signed, followup appointments had been made and I was ready to go home. Wheeling me out through the ER entrance (the waiting room was finally getting the automatic doors that had been talked about for years), I bade the hospital and its inhabitants goodbye. I climbed into the van and we were on our way.
Cuz walked me and the O2 to the house. It had been raining but had slacked off just for my arrival. She showed me the concrete pad she is planning to put the storage shed on. It was amazing how much bigger it looked without all the trash that had lived there.
Once inside, we settled down to wait. And wait. And wait. I called the agency. The man had one other stop before he would start up the mountain. Cuz had my prescriptions but she wanted to be here when he came so we waited. And waited. And waited.
The phone rang and it was The Man. He was at the bottom of the mountain and could I give him directions? I could and I did. Including the ruins in front of my house. It wasn’t long until the doorbell rang and Cuz let him in.
I was sitting in Mother’s chair. I introduced myself as the Lady of Leisure. To be sure, I’d rather not be but there I was. He proceeded to bring stuff in. He was amazed at all the things the doctor had ordered. I ‘lowed that he wanted me to get well. I hoped the combo would do the trick.
He set up the nebulizer and showed me how to use it. The concentrator replaced the O2 tank and he showed how to take the filters out to clean them. The backup O2 replaced the almost-empty tank I’d been hooked up to. He demoed putting the valve thingy on and had me do it, too, so he could be sure I knew how to set it up in case of a power outage. Then there were the five little tanks and the case to carry them. Any of the equipment could be replaced with a phone call.
The bed came in, in pieces. Headboard, footboard, side rails, springs. The mechanism was already assembled but the rest had to be put together. Last, he brought in the mattress complete with protector. He tossed that to Cuz to put on.
Once everything was done, he had me sign an agreement that left me owing $37.27. I told him I’d call it in the next day. He took his papers with him leaving me with my copies and the manuals for all the equipment.
Cuz set out for town. She called from Walmart. It was too late to get the prescriptions filled. Could they fill just the Prednisone? She checked and, no, they couldn’t. She went on to Bi-Lo and they wouldn’t do it, either. Oh, well, it couldn’t be helped. I’d have to wait until the next day to start on them.
When she got back, she had a set of sheets to go on the bed. They are stretchy and very soft and made to fit an extra long mattress. She wouldn’t hear of my reimbursing her. She opened the package and set about making the bed. Putting a couple thin blankets on (my choice), she wrestled the case onto the pillow. It was all ready for the Occupant—me.