We spent about 14 days in hospital- entirely. Mom and I almost fully and dad went home a couple of times to check on the house and my other sister who was at home with her baby. We established a routine of sorts those days.
5:30 am was waking up time when the nurses came in, to change sheets and check Blood pressure and do blood tests if any.
Between 5:30 and 6 am : Mom got hungry once she was out of the Intravenous fluid and we tried to give her tea but she wouldn’t tolerate it, so we took to giving her Horlicks which she liked
Between 6- 7 am : We tried to sleep some more
7 am : Usually the onco surgeon came on his rounds at this time, so we needed to be up. Mom would have combed her hair and put on her dentures by this time. My mom has long locks of hair.
7:30 am : Breakfast for mom
8: am : Dad went to have his breakfast at the cafeteria ( canteen) while I waited with mom
8:30 am : When dad came back, I went to get my breakfast and buy some things that we wanted, like a newspaper, or fruit or sugar or a new towel or anything that turned up. Its amazing how little my needs were during these days.
9 : 10:30 am : waiting for various doctors to come on rounds and checking of drains
10:30 am to 11 am : we set this time apart to help mom with her bath. Months of being sick, had limited her ability to take a bath. Now that she was relieved, we had to establish a pattern for her daily showers. In the beginning she would just sit and I had to do all the work but later she learned to take her shower herself. I saw myself as she might have seen me when she had given me a bath at various periods in my life those days.
11 am : After the bath, was reading time. Mom could read but she preferred that I read for her. She wanted me to read from her favorite vernacular magazine and I revamped my reading skills in my native language through these reading sessions. I think sick people enjoy being read to. I have only read about people reading for old people and this was a first for me. Reminded of Jo of Little women reading for her Aunt. We grew close during these reading sessions. Sometimes mom would prefer just to talk- or pass on gossip. They were enjoyable times
Between 12 : 12:3o : Lunch arrived but mom preferred to eat later. The initial days she would refuse to eat. Nothing seemed to taste the same anymore. I despaired of getting her to eat anything. I nearly cried but in secret. I prayed with my whole heart to help her keep a mouthful of food inside. Those were desperate days. Out of the blue on day 4 after the surgery, she said, she could drink Horlicks if I wished. We clutched at the straw she threw us and got her what she wanted.
After lunch, all of us dozed for a bit till tea time.
From tea time, we started watching TV, read books, and when she was able walked mom with her walker around the room or even outside the room. The stitches hurt and it was painful to watch a once active woman struggle to walk. The vein that had been cut inside her abdomen led her right leg to have swelling, in addition to the deep vein thrombus she developed in the ICU.
Try reading out to a person in need. It really gives you a feeling of fulfillment. They don’t mind what you read, its like they just want to hear a human voice.