Friday, May 26, 2006


Dear Jan, this second day you spent at SB was nondescript. I went to visit you at lunch time. We took a walk around the ward and everyone greeted you: the physiotherapist, the nurses, the social worker, the support staff. Everyone remembered you. All commented happily on your great progress. You seem to attract love and care so effortlessly.

The head nurse came with the social worker when you were asking WHY you could not go to the rehab hospital at once. No explanations seemed to be sufficient, your mind was set to go back. After a while, you accepted reluctantly the need to stay for the weekend. You will go back to the rehab hospital on Monday.

I got a few calls for information about your status. Here is a brief description of what I saw:
  • You are tired and with some pain because of the operation.
  • Yesterday you had a seizure and they took immediately a CT scan. The resident later said that everything seemed normal and they put you back on the anti-seizure medication you were taking for a few weeks while at SB.
  • Since that incident you have been very stable in your vitals and irritable.
  • I noticed that you struggled more with your speech. It could be just the tiredness.

I loved seeing you with your head round again. The patch covers the stitches but one can see the smoothness of the shape. You look so beautiful!

You have an eager neighbour who volunteers help every five minutes. Sometimes, you take the offers, and other times, you just ignore them without any consideration for anybody's feelings. Life at the hospital is very strange; many of the social rules are suspended or plainly ignored for sake of comfort and less pain. There is no such a thing as privacy, which I learned, is a very recent invention. You seem to fit in this rule-breaking environment very comfortably. So you can choose to keep to yourself or to engage with the neighbour whenever you feel like it. You can also argue with the nurses or social workers and tell them exactly what's in your mind without any reservations. The beauty is that they don't take anything personal, so there is this wonderful environment of free expression of needs and thoughts in which the answers are more factual than emotional. How I would love to see this operating outside the hospital. But, I realize that the outside world operates on more illogical and dysfunctional rules than the ones at play in a neurology patient ward. What a paradox!

And so, I left with a bit of envy, back to the "real world", where I have to be careful with what I say and observe protocols which I don't believe. So is life. I am glad you will be coming home soon to enhance my reality.



Paul from Oregon said...

Dearest Jan,
These posts of Fede's reminds me of your uniqueness that drew me to you all those many years ago. I'm so glad to know that none of that has been dimished by your cerebral accident. I knew this was where you'd be a few months after the illness, so I can't say I'm surprised at your recovery. Pleased, certainly, but hardly surprised. Thats just you!

Best wishes,

FC said...

Thanks Paul for your encouraging words. I wonder if you have some old photos of Jan. She is recovering memories and pictures help. Cheers,