This is part 2 of my wife’s two-and-a-half month ordeal with end-of-life trauma.
My wife’s two-week hospital stay was in May, so the pandemic was beginning to ease up. Most businesses in my area had dropped the mask requirement for vaccinated people. We were vaccinated in early March, so most of our paranoid fears were moot by this time. But, it seems the hospital was far more cautious. After being in the hospital that first day for 20 hours of not knowing whether she would live or die, I finally had to go home and get a few hours rest. It was only after I came back that I found out about the “visitation rules”.
I was told that I could only visit once and if I left I could not return until the next day. This proclamation caused meltdown number 2, it would by no means be the last. Being an Aspie there is a direct path from my brain to my mouth, so I let them know what I was feeling.
“You mean to tell me that if I leave and later that day my wife nears death, I can’t be by her bedside!!”
The receptionist was shocked by my words and likely the level of volume. I guess I need to stop here and explain a little about post lingual deaf people. I was forty-years-old when I lost the last thread of hearing, so I had a strong hold on speaking. But, when you are deaf, the level of speech is pretty much unknown. I have learned over the years that I speak rather loudly, because the vibrations from my voice are about the only way I know I have said anything. When I get emotional, even that level goes up! Another thing is that I am speaking from memory, as I can’t really hear my own voice. Over the years, I have been slurring more and more so the silent syllables, for instance those with a “t” or a “k” become the same sound. Even Siri has a hard time telling which is which for me.
Ok, now on to the story.
The totally shocked receptionist blurted out, “I don’t make the rules, all I do is enforce them.” So, as a result of this inane rules, I spent many hours a day in the hospital prison, so to speak. It was only after my dearly beloved was finally taken off the critical list that I managed to get more than a handful of hours of sleep in a given day.
I want to finish off this post on a little lighter mode. Some of you who have visited my “About Me” page know that I have a goatee, I have had it for about fifteen-years now. But, after so many hours masked up, my goatee looked like Medusa’s hair. After I had had about 4 hours sleep in a two-day period, I decided to shave it off, but started on a new one the next day. It has been about three months now and my beard is almost back to normal.
Next week, I will be talking about all the doctors I talked with during her two-week stay in the hospital before going to a nursing/recuperative care facility. I don’t know if you will believe me, but I promised I will give you only the facts. 😎
One thought on “End Of Life Trauma – Part 2 Pandemic Rules…”
It never would have occurred to me about the difficulty in communicating properly in such a situation. Thank you for sharing this story. Hopefully, it will make me more sensitive if I ever encounter something similar.
The Covid requirements that kept loved ones apart, especially leading up to a loved one’s death, were heartbreaking to read. While I understand the hospital’s position, there could have been provisions made for end of life situations.