My bunkmate and I have been sharing a room for the past 6 weeks. We are not allowed to eat in the room, well I’m not allowed to eat in the room. He’s being fed through a tube. I am a bad camper, a rebel, a nonconformist. I have a stash. I smuggled a box of Cheez-its into the room. Oh, and circus peanuts. I like circus peanuts.
There’s a rumor floating around that we may leave our ICU cousins and head back to be with our brethren on the GI floor.
I am absolutely stoked and a little bit sad at the same time.
We are creatures of habit, all of us. We adapt to our surroundings. I have adapted to life in the ICU. Public isolation, as it were. We are alone, Capt Snuggles and I, without loved ones close-by. Yet we are never by ourselves, forming transitory attachments to our caregivers who spend 11 of their 12 hour shift in our room. I wake each morning to my bunkmate being plied from his cozy nest of pillows and blankets for his daily weigh-in at 6am. Thankfully, I am excused from this activity, I brought a note from home.
The bleary-eyed residents arrive shortly thereafter. They ogle his skin, listen to heart, belly, lungs, then proclaim him the cutest baby, ever. Next up, shift change. We lose our caffeine-crazed night owl, for the perky mom of 8 who thinks I’m amazing. I’m sure she says that to all the moms….
Then his fan club arrives, usually around 8am. Spectators to our public isolation. Capt Snuggles is currently being managed by 3 teams of doctors, all of which show up for rounds each morning. A lot of people, all experts in their fields discussing (sometimes very loudly) the best treatment plan for Capt Snuggles. Today the best treatment plan is to leave behind our 24/7 companions and move ahead with the getting better. Not that we won’t see the same team of doctors on the ‘floor’, as it is affectionately called by those in the know. They will stop by to see him throughout the day instead of this early morning chatfest.
Our dedicated Chaperones will stay behind to chaperone other campers. We will be assigned new Chaperones, ones we must share, although they will be old friends to us.
I woke this morning to Capt Snuggles dressed like a tourist. Our caffeine-crazed night owl knew we were destined to travel today. The floor is waiting for us. I am ready to adapt to new old surroundings.