Once in awhile, life does you a favor, and you are never sure why.
Today they moved Tom to a new hospital room. He’s off all the monitors, and they needed the bed with monitors for someone with more urgent needs. The new room is in the non-acute part of the neuro floor.
When I saw it, I was a bit shocked. It’s huge and it looks like a hotel room. A desk with a lamp, a mini-frig with a sink, a long window seat and heavy curtains, an actual entrance hallway into the room lined with stock shelves. Even a framed piece of artwork on the wall.
And a view. The room looks out over the main entrance to the hospital, and there is a lovely old church across the street. The fab art museum is a bit beyond. We can see clouds in the vast expanse of sky, and the sunset in the distance which seems to reflect Lake Erie.
Our previous room was over the dumpsters that serve the entire four-block hospital complex. The collection time is 6 a.m. – so, if I’m not already lying awake, I’m jolted by the crashing of trash, recycling and industrial-waste disposal trucks.
The room transfer is a symbolic change of perspective.
Transferring Tom himself was not a big deal. They wheeled his bed down the hall and plugged it in at the new room.
The rest of our life is not as simple to move. We have three suitcases that we brought on vacation, which were packed by my sister Ann and my friend Dan, so I don’t exactly know where everything is.
We also have Tom’s briefcase with his laptop and all the peripherals, my glass jewelry which has to be carefully wrapped, all our electronics (camera and peripherals, phones and peripherals, two iPads and peripherals, three Kindles and peripherals, an iPod Nano and speaker), all our toiletries, the little hospital collection that I’ve already hoarded (salt and pepper, ketchup and mayo packets, Splenda, straws, margarine, creamer, because you never know when they’ll forget to bring one of those with the room service tray), and a huge stack of genealogy paperwork that I just got from my cousin Kay. Plus all the new paperwork from the hospital – drug education, stroke education, information about the hospital and rehab, business cards of doctors.
I tried to keep it all organized, necessary in the limited space we had, and so it only took about half an hour to repack and move it to the new room.
The worst part was the mere idea of more change, more commotion, more hassle, more possibility of losing track of something. These are the things that stress me out on a daily basis even before this stroke happened.
And it’s all made much more complicated by too much STUFF.
If Tom is to prevent another stroke, he’ll have to move his whole life into a new space. He’ll have to quit smoking. Exercise every day. Lower his carb and cholesterol intake. Reduce his stress levels. Take a lot of pills on a disciplined schedule.
Moving his body and limbs again will be the easy part.
Today’s penny is a 2015. That’s when University Hospitals did their most recent remodel of the main building.