The husband was fidgety and feisty, he told Susan very clearly I don't want to stay here one more day. Susan assured him that he wouldn't.
A short while earlier nurse Kelly told Susan there was a bed waiting for the husband in the hospice located on the grounds of the little caring hospital. Susan fully understood what hospice was yet felt relieved. The husband would be comfortable.
Radiologist Assistant Joe came to insert the husband's PICC line and had to temporarily disperse all the visitors from the room. Everyone reconvened in the waiting room where they ate and told stories and laughed until nurse Kelly was dispatched to come get Susan.
We need you.
The RA had been unable to insert the PICC line into the right arm but had located a nice big vein in the left arm, however the husband refused to let him continue.
Susan leaned in at the husband's bedside and gently explained all the benefits the PICC line would have for him.
The husband said tomorrow. Susan told him that waiting till tomorrow was not practical.
The husband repeated tomorrow.
Susan said if he allowed RA Joe to inserted it today he would feel better immediately.
Susan was not giving up. When she promised to stay with him while the PICC line was inserted he agreed.
Susan held the husband's hand while RA Joe got to work rolling out a sterile blue barrier across the husband's body exposing only his head and the portion of his left arm on which he would be working. The procedure took approximately ten minutes and afterward Susan thanked the husband for being so reasonable.
The ambulance drivers arrived to transport the husband on his short trip across the parking lot to the hospice. He shook the one driver's hand and pointing to the other inquired How's he doing?
All the family and friends said their goodbyes to the staff, cleaned up the waiting room and headed over.
The first thing that Susan noticed when she walked in to the hospice was an enormous fish tank with gigantic colorful fish. It was really pretty and very relaxing with stools set up in front of the tank assumedly for folks to lose themselves in the calming serenity of the beautiful fish. Just past the tank was a lobby style living room and beyond that a large, well organized kitchen with plenty of seating. There was also security at the door.
The family and friends camped out in the living room while the husband was being settled into his room. Susan sat with nurse Samantha, completed paperwork including answering the question as to whether there was anyone Susan did not wish to allow see the husband.
She said there was not.
Susan's son had been sick all day with an infected tonsil and a cough that sounded like plague. He was breathing and coughing all over everyone, Susan tried to get him to wear the disposable mask she grabbed from the hospital but he refused. She made a comment that included some curse words and banished him from her sight. He fell asleep on one of the couches.
The family took turns going in & out of the husband's room. He was much more comfortable and ultimately able to turn on his side and fall asleep. The twins came to see their grandpa, watch the fish and play in the TV room. As the evening wore on the husband's friends started arriving, they weren't accustomed to seeing their formerly burly friend reduced to a hospice patient and were a pretty shaken up bunch. The husband found it difficult to speak but he recognized everyone and smiled or made funny faces.
One of their longtime friends met Susan in the hall. He handed her a check 'to help' he said. Susan took a look at it and sobbed in his arms.
That night while Susan took her little family home the husband's grown daughters stayed with their dad and sacked out in his room.