Hospital Time, Part 4
So, on March 4th we entered this place to get some bloodwork done and hydration. After the odyssey of a diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia, intubation, an accidental extubation during a seizure and another intubation, Sophie has now received a tracheostomy and a g-tube, both of which are permanent. She’s also got a PICC line to deliver antibiotics and is still in the ICU. However, she is now on what’s called a trach collar with an oxygen assist and no longer needs the ventilator. The nurse says that she’s “doing it herself now,” and that is fucking miraculous. Breathing close to room air. Breathing. She’s also been very alert and has even smiled a few times. As you can see, her penetrating gaze is intact. I dislike the “fighter” trope, so I’ll just say that Sophie has a will to LIVE. She’s kicking our asses, basically.
I’ve got a lot of stories to tell — one of these days — but in lieu of that I’ll copy an ode to hospital workers that I wrote and posted on my Instagram:
Ode to hospital workers, otherwise known as Essential. Day 19 in the ICU, and I’ve talked to many of these wonderful humans, particularly about the Covid days — the relentlessness of death. And outside, the relentlessness of those bickering about masks and whether or not they “worked.” Or how those who died had “underlying issues” —as if the lives these Essential workers were trying to save were less worthy. This country is a cesspool — of idiocy and greed — but there is light and beauty and grit that is not American but humanity at its best. The man who just finished mopping Sophie’s room spoke to her this morning directly, telling her how happy he was to see her alert and awake. “God is in the room,” he said.
Thanks again to all those who’ve sent us notes and lit candles, who’ve brought us food and sat by Sophie’s bedside, who’ve dropped off food at my house and held me when I cried, who’ve been literally with me when a doctor brought in more bad news and put their hand on my shoulder to steady me, who’ve made me coffee every morning, who’ve sent me money and checked in with me daily by phone, by text, in person. Thank you thank you thank you thank you.