Wednesday, February 5 A serene moment
My IV’s leaking, the skin on the left hand is puffy. Jenni comes in to switch the IV to my right hand. So many IV sticks over these days, starting to get to me a little, drives home that I’m ill (also the bruises on my arms everywhere). Something about Jenni I really like, she’s so cool, black long-john’s under her scrub top, smudge of white (chalk/powder) on the wrists. She gathers her materials for the IV switch, goes to work cleaning and bandaging the left hand, cleaning away the Stat-Lock with an alcohol pad with smooth efficiency, then I watch her silently search for a vein.
“Those are all valves there, huh?” I ask, referring to all the bumpy, knotted veins in my hands.
“This one looks pretty straight and steady, though,” she says.
“This one?” I ask, referring to a little blue one above my wrist. I watch her get it on the first try, celebrate the flash of blood as it shoots into the catheter.
“Is that a butterfly-lock?” I ask, referring to one of the plastic adhesives she smoothes down over my wrist.
“Stat-Lock. Kinda looks like a butterfly, though.” She finishes securing the IV, taping the tube on my forearm. “All right. How’s that?”
Getting close to mom these past few weeks, sharing stories, laughing. She doesn’t show signs of crying very often, just quiet daubs at her eyes every now and then, but I imagine her crying the times when she is all alone, on the drives home from the hospital, on the long drive to Auburn the day she left to collect her mail.
Hanging out with mom during the first hospital admit. We amuse ourselves by making up strange names, names of bands. Stuff like Toxic Megacolon. This time we go in a folksier direction: John Dingleberry and The Brown Eyes, folk-singer superstar. We laugh and laugh.