We turn the lights off at nine with hopes to fall asleep early. Within a couple minutes, the door to room 1429 opens. It’s Nate, the PCA. He was checking in to see if you need anything. We answer with request for fresh cups of water. A couple more minutes pass, he returns with water.

Now 9:13 pm, lights back off. She coughs. Quiet. 9:18, more cough. Ring for nurse, but the speaker on the remote works poorly on both ends so the room door opens. 9:19. “What you need?” calls out Nate across the room. “Something for my cough,” she says in her hoarse voice. “What?” he says. “She needs something for her cough,” I repeat. Door closes.

9:25 Stacy the nurse appears with cough syrup. She steps to the computer, stares at it for a short time,  takes her hand scanner,  scans Jen’s arm band and walks back to computer. 9:28 medicine given. 930 nurse leaves.

Things are quiet for an hour. 10:32 Jen needs to use restroom. It was a lasix day.  Restroom is a thing on lasix days. Unplug Ivy (we named the IV pole), readjust the O2 cord to stretch across the room. 10:36. Bring O2 cord back around bed Plug Ivy back in. Cover Jen back up. 

10:45 Jen has a headache. Common at night for some reason. Call the nurse.  Again can’t be understood so someone opens door and ask to be repeated. 10:50 nurse appears again with meds, stands at computer, scans bracelet, meds given. Before she leaves, Nate appears. Vitals time. 11:01. Pulse, O2 levels,  temp, and BP done and recorded in computer. “”You need anything? ” I’m out of water this time. 11:12 Nate returns with water. Door closes.

2:03 Respiratory appears with a breathing treatment.  Computer, scan bracelet, treatment. 2:12 door closes. Awake, must use bathroom. It was a lasix day. Since we are all up, I decide I need to go to. But I need to take off my isolation gown, mask, wash hands. Walk down to bathroom. Return to put on gown, mask, and wash hands again. Cover Jen back up, plug Ivy back in. 2:24.

Cough. Sigh. Nurse call. Rinse and repeat.  2:45 lights off, door closed.

3:16 Vitals with Nate . 

3:52 Labs to check CBC. 

4:10 lights off. 4:22 cough. 4:32 lights off.

7am vitals. 7:30 shift change, new nurse introduced.  8:10 new nurse enters. Meds, scan, cough…I don’t know. I’m too tired to know.

8 :25 respiratory,  9 :10 doctors, 9 :20 breakfast, 9 :45 Nurse Practioner. 

Sometime now between 10am and 11….there will be more coughing, PT, a nurse insisting she walk, more bathroom, and someone delivering towels for a shower. 

35 days. Without more than 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep. How is she to get well like this I wonder. 

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