March 9, 2000

Day 8

[For background please see the previous few entries.]

When I got to the hospital today, Dad was sitting up in a chair and eating ice cream! He's graduated from clear fluids to "full fluids". This would be great if he'd already had the surgery but now I suppose it indicates that's still a few days off. He's happier although he still doesn't have much of an appetite. They also took off the intravenous, which makes it infinitely easier for him to go to the bathroom and otherwise move around.

Dad's roommate, who had surgery two days ago, was up and about and taking his IV pole for walks around the ward. They get you out of bed as fast as possible nowadays. His adult son and daughter have been milling around too. I wonder what happened to the concept of "visiting hours"? Do they even pretend to have them anymore? I think it assists the nurses enormously if the family is available to help the patient eat, get around, etc. I've made numerous trips to the linen closet, unchallenged. There's a shortage of chairs too, and yesterday I found one (a comfortable one!) just sitting in the hall doing nothing. I alternately dragged and carried it around the floor, right past the nurses' station and into Dad's room. Nobody said a thing and it's still there.

When I gave birth (19 and 16 years ago, almost) the maternity wards had strict hours for anyone but husbands and children. I was appreciative of that. Two hours in the evening was enough time to tolerate ecstatic grandparents, aunts, cousins, and long lost friends. Childbirth is not an illness, though, and I might want to have more company if I were in the hospital for other reasons. I doubt however if the current practice is born of anything but necessity.. the number of nurses and assistants simply cannot handle the load.

It's all starting to catch up to me too.. I went home early and slept for three hours this afternoon. I'll take advantage of the opportunity while I can.

Linque Du Jour: Life as a Student: 100 Years Ago; Violet's Diary

This woman was just slightly ahead of her time with regard to online diaries. On this page and its links are excerpts from the diary and memoirs of Violet, a Canadian woman who grew up in New Brunswick and later "homesteaded" in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The diary entries begin around 1900 when she was 20, and continue for about five years. In 1955 she wrote "The Homesteading Years" about her journey out west and life there. Fascinating look into another life AND time.

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