zen.org Communal Weblog

April 22, 2011

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I Want Ya, Tomorrow

Filed under: — brendan @ 20:30 IST

Today was pretty harsh, so I’m looking forward to starting over tomorrow.  Elana and the boys came in to visit today, but a jerk playing the role of security guard downstairs, for the first time in seven weeks claimed the boys weren’t allowed to come up to St Anne’s Ward (the cancer ward) to see me.  He argued with E that the ward should have called down to him if they were meant to visit.  This back-and-forth went on for a few minutes (at least).

E didn’t put up with it and just walked away, bringing the boys up.  (A nurse said the security guy should have called them.)  Patrick was in a weird mood when I saw them come into the room because of this, and it took some effort to get him past it.  Finally we were playing cards and he had his nice, newly-cleaned teeth smile on his face.  Eoin was scribbling in his activity book after trying and bailing on cards.  Elana was (I hope) relaxing in the chair a little, while the three guys were on the bed.

Unfortunately the visit didn’t end well; another patient had told the nurses that they were concerned about children being on the ward (fear of infection), so they had to leave about a half an hour earlier than we’d been planning.  (This never happened before when the boys were in to see me.)  The situation was really rough on both E and me.  Something of a shock, which we’re still processing, since it just put the stage lights blazing down on the fact that they’re at home and I’m not.

Processing and recovering: that’s what we keep doing (or are expected to be doing).  Not easy.

Invisible headphones

The guy filling in for Miss M (the amazing catering staff member for the hospital) while she’s got a couple of days off made it clear he’s listening to something I can’t hear.

“Cuppa tea?” he asked.

“Sure, with milk, thanks!”

“Sugar? Milk?” he continued to ask.

“Umm, just milk please.  And can I get a pack of the ginger nut biscuits as well?” (As well as the ones you just put down on the tray.)

“Sure.”  He comes in, puts down the ginger nut biscuits, and walks out holding the first packet, picked back up off the tray.

I wonder what he was listening to?

Smoke signals gone modern

Having moved beds, I’m now in a room a short distance down the hall from the nursing station.  One interesting difference presented itself compared to where I’ve been for the last few weeks.  People put on their thin plastic aprons and latex gloves—protecting patients from catching anything off the nurse or doctor’s clothing–outside in the hall before coming into the room.  Pulling the plastic out of the container on the wall isn’t particularly quiet, so we can hear the noise before anyone comes in.  Just enough time to hide the booze.

Geekfest morning

I’ll save you the technical details here (already in another blog post), but I succeeded in getting around the really crazy Web filtering which is place when using the hospital wifi Internet connection.  This means I’ll be able to stop seeing error Web pages with big red words telling me I’m not supposed to access information like “Multimedia Content” (mp3s), “Advocacy Organizations” (the EFF at eff.org), or “Freeware Downloads” (pretty much anything you can download for free).

Primary schools in Ireland use the same sort of filtering service, with different levels of coverage deciding what’s okay to see and what isn’t.  Apparently the hospital is more worried than teachers and principals.

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