The family meeting

April 16, 2016

Den had asked me earlier this week to set up a meeting with his family to fill them in on what was going to happen. Today is that day, and I am dreading it. I don’t have a lot of contact with his family, other than his sister and one of his daughters at this time, so I don’t know how it will go, but I promised him I would do it so here we are.

I was at work in the morning, so I checked in with Den and the nurses on and off as time allowed. I called him one last time at noon, before I left. He had eaten breakfast, some cereal, milk, banana and juice. The nurse told me the CT yesterday was clear. Den napped on and off all morning, since he didn’t sleep well last of the effects of losing his Prozac. I also called Den’s PCP to update her about the plan for surgery.  The last time I talked to Den he said he was feeling good today, even a little bored.  He had talked to the family and they were planning to be at the hospital around 2. So off I went to the hospital. Den ordered his lunch, but did not eat anything.

When the family arrived, I met them in the lobby. We all went to the waiting room just outside the unit. I filled them in on the hand washing protocols for the unit and they took turns going in to see him. Luckily, he was in the first room off the hall, so no one had to worry about getting lost on the ward. After everyone had had a chance to see Den, we all sat down to go over what had happened so far and what what about to happen. I told them I would keep in touch via calls and texts on how he was doing, but he had asked for everyone to wait until he was out of ICU to come see him. He knew it was going to be a hard road and he wanted to concentrate on getting back on his feet as quickly as possible.

After the family meeting, I spent a little time with Den before heading home for the night. I headed to my friend’s house, Em and Harry had gone to their house early this morning. I ate dinner with Ya-ya and Fuzzy, caught them up on what was happening and headed for home around 5PM. I checked in with Den when we got home. He had had his usual cereal, banana and juice for dinner…at least he ate something!

I called my sister, Marg. She knew that Den was scheduled for surgery on Monday, so we made a plan for her to pick up Em at the hospital tomorrow. This way I could stay with Den overnight to help keep him calm and his mind off the impending surgery.

After the “plan” was made, I called to check in on Den. He sounded very cheerful and affectionate on the phone, but I had a feeling it was a facade…I knew he was scared and worried. He told me that physical therapy had been in and did his baseline 6 minute walk. He would repeat this after surgery and in rehab.

Em and I tried to have as normal an evening as we could. We watched a movie and she helped me gather together what I would need for a week at the hospital, since I was not planning to come home until Den was out of ICU. You see…it was cold/flu season, I didn’t want to come home, be exposed to anything and then take it back to Den in his fragile state following surgery. So, I packed clothes, the laptop, some movies, my MP3 player and my busy bag (books, sewing, crochet, cards, phone charger, etc).

I really tried to sleep that night, but I have always found it hard to sleep when Den is away. It is even harder when he is in the hospital. It is like we are mentally linked, if one of us can’t sleep…the other finds it hard to sleep, too.

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