My private room in ICU in Red Deer was wonderful. It was huge, at least the size of my living room. It had a good-sized closet, at least two chairs that looked fairly comfortable, and laminate flooring. A bar fridge would have fit right in.
It also had a bed with a mind of its own. It was a pressure bed. Wonderful things. Great inventions. But it would raise and lower assorted parts of my body whenever it decided they needed shifting.
I could have unplugged it, but then I wouldn’t have been able to raise the head of the bed. Rather than fight I simply accepted these random launchings.
I was still hooked up to a cardio monitor and it was just as sensitive as all the others. However, this one had a long lead line and it gave me a significant amount of freedom within my own room.
I’d been in a hospital since Friday and I hadn’t been able to clean myself all that well. A quick wipe with a wet washcloth was about it. On Tuesday I was offered the chance to take a shower and I was all for it. Cleanliness aside, it meant I could get out of bed, stand up for awhile, walk a bit, and be untethered.
It also meant I was stable enough that it was okay for me to do this.
The shower room was about 100 feet away and around a corner. I was accompanied there, given towels and a new gown, and then left to my own devices.
Oh, bliss. The long hot shower of the soul. I hated to get out and go back to bed, but I knew if I stayed too long someone would be along to make sure I was okay.
When I stepped out a nurse was just coming along to see about me. When she saw I was okay she went about her business and I walked back to my room alone.
I was a fugitive. I’d escaped bed rest. I was walking and it felt good. So good. Then I had to stop and rest as my chest felt very heavy and I was a wee bit unsteady and that wasn’t so good. I was okay though. I got back to my room all by myself and washed my feet. I’d forgotten to wear shoes to the shower room and hospital floors are absolutely filthy.
Until I experienced bed rest and being tethered to machines I didn’t realize it’s a treat to walk to a shower.
Later than day I was moved to the cardiac unit at the University of Alberta hospital. I had a private room with my own shower. Much as I appreciated walking, having my very own shower was even better.
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