OK. Been at the hospital for the last twelve hours with my friend the Coppertop in the emergency room. Well, he emergency room for most of the day and then she was moved around five o’clock into a real room. Hospitals are grim places where everyone practices ignoring pain. My friend Copper has health problems. She has been diagnosed at various times with Lyme disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, fibromyalgia, pancreatitis and migraines. She can’t keep food down and she is in intense and unpredictable pain. Today she had a few intensely scary pain spikes, which make her whimper and writhe and scream, and we had to ask repeatedly for the medication to control them. And yet the admitting doctor looked her right in the face and said there was “no need” for her to stay in the hospital; and she wanted to send Copper home with a bottle of something. She already has a bottle of something and that ain’t working. This is the fourth time she has been admitted to a hospital and the third different hospital within the past six weeks. We have got her to a competent Lyme specialist, which we think is the root cause of all this, but that isn’t going to address the symptoms fast enough, and there is fear that damage is being done that is irreversible. Copper is contemplating a surgery that will cut the nerves from the pancreas just to get out of the searing pain, but then what? Will she be able to eat? She has lost so much weight…
I came home, which I feel a bit guilty about, BUT they told me that if I stayed overnight I couldn’t use any of the three empty beds in her room (she has no roommates right now) and would have to stay in a chair. And I was hungover from Thanksgiving and snapped at the unbelievably patient and wonderful Copper. So I realized it was time to get out of there before I turned into queen bitch and made my best friend cry. When I left they were taking her for a CT scan (why? when that has radiation drawbacks and an MRI doesn’t? Why?). We think it might be possible that the whole damn shebang is being complicated by another problem, like maybe a kidney stone. Her back on her left side is swollen. Larry E, whom I love like a brother, was organizing help for tomorrow but we are going to have to step it up even further in terms of offering support. A friend has been staying with her and walking the dog who today proved unreliable at best, and she needs someone with her at all time in case the pain becomes unmanageable. We need help. We are learning to organize and roster and work together but we are still on a learning curve here and over T-day we slipped up a little. The Christmas holidays are going to be rough: I know many of her helpers are all taking New Year’s trips including me. We are going to have to really organize like fiends to make sure she is covered before we take off.
I can’t get back there this weekend. Not sure when I can take another shift. Monday night maybe, but then would have to be at work early Tuesday.
It’s ten o’clock and I am officially exhausted. Going to pack it in and get up early tomorrow and try again to tackle the never ending task of being a good person. I really wish I could try “not giving a fuck.”