Saturday, November 12, 2011

Who am I, and Why am I Here? (Kim's Brain Surgery)

We were moved from room to room, or floor to floor, 5 days out of 8, which meant different nurses each time.  Plus the shift changes.  When I come to visit Kim, I usually checked with his nurse to make sure he’s presentable before I went into his room.  They all have asked who I am, and I just say “Laurie”.  After his surgery, one of the nurses asked me a whole bunch of questions about him, and she puts the answers into the computer.  When she asked if he had a Living Will made out, I said I didn’t know, but that I was his Durable Power of Attorney for Medical Issues.  She asked how I was related.  I said that I wasn’t, that I was just a friend, he used to live down the hall from me.  She looked confused and asked if he had any family, and I said yes.  She asked why they weren’t here, and I told her I thought it was lack of finances.  She then asked if Kim and I were Significant Others.  Nope.  She continued to add the information into the computer. 

Why Am I Here?  After 5 or 6 versions of the same conversation, I started to feel… wrong.  Then the phone calls to his family that I made for the first few days made me feel bad.  Maybe my imagination was working overtime, but I thought I sensed some resentment and/or confusion from them as to “Who Am I, and Why Was I Here”.  After all, if Medicaid could pay for me to be here, then why not one of them instead?  I was starting to feel guilty, and Kim couldn’t help me out cause he’d just had brain surgery - just remembering my name was all he could do, much less have a discussion about family dynamics.  Also, my own family and friends, for the most part, thought I was an idiot for doing this. They were kind about thinking I'm on idiot, but an idiot nonetheless.

Why Was I There?  As I said in a previous post, it all started because he came over and asked me to check the Internet for train or bus tickets to Seattle.  I did.  When I asked who was going with him, he said “no one”.  In that macho man way - he don’t need nobody, by hell.  I looked up how much it would cost for me to drive him, and discovered it would be cheaper to drive rather than pay for 2 tickets on the bus or train.  So I volunteered to drive him.  I love to drive.  My life is boring.  That is all there is to it.

And then we survived a car wreck/roll over together.  That tends to bring people together.


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