Yesterday I ordered some respiratory supplies for Maggie. The people at California Home Medical are very patient with me as I try to describe what I need. I'm sure they all have names and numbers but I describe them in my own way, i.e., "those bottles that screw onto the mist machine and that little tube adapter thing that allows me to connect the oxygen tubing to the mist." Sometimes it takes a while, but I always get what I need.
I only wish I had things where the nurse can get what they need. Maggie's room is full to bursting and we have so many supplies in the house that the overflow is stored in the basement. It is uncanny. The nurse always discovers that she needs something the moment I get undressed to go to bed or, failing that, the moment I drift off to sleep. It's as though the universe knows I'm off duty.And upstairs. And whatever is needed is two flights down in the basement.
Last night the nurse and I exchanged pleasantries as she readied herself for the night. I asked, "are you all set: and when she said yes, I went to bed. I was changed and moving toward the bed when I heard "Sally, don't you have any more suction catheters?"
Arrrgh! I guess she was NOT set.
I started to get redressed when I imposed on Tim who was watching a movie in his room. I told him exactly where they were because I had a late night call for supplies on Saturday night too and saw a whole box them. He wasn't thrilled, but he scampered down the two flights of stairs for me and brought the nurse what she needed.
This morning I needed to grab some supplies for the school nurse and I saw everything out of place and several boxes opened. The picture gets about half of the supplies. Obviously, I wasn't that clear when I told Tim where to find what he needed, but to his credit, he figured it out on his own and didn't call me for help. Kudos to him for that.
Saturday night I had been in bed about 15 minutes and had just drifted to sleep when the phone rang. The nurses call from their cell phones to the house phone in the night if they need help. I was up with a start and ran down to see what the problem was.
It was the mist bottle on the air compressor not working. I generally have several of those in my enormous stash of supplies downstairs. That took me to the basement at midnight looking through boxes of tubes and filters for the various machines. There were diapers, pads, suction catheters, urinary catheters, suction canisters, wipes, feedings, and feeding bags, g-tube supplies, oxygen tubing galore and various bibs and bobs to make everything work together. But not a single mist bottle. Nothing.
I tried to think of a way to rig up things so she could get the mist she needs. Straight oxygen without the mist is very drying and she has to have the oxygen. I was looking in all the boxes and trying to be creative when the nurse called down and said "Never mind, I got it to work, it just wasn't on properly."
I let out a heavy sigh and went back to bed, now wide awake and unable to sleep. Thank God for my Kindle Fire and Words with Friends. Steve, who never fully woke up from that call mumbled, "Is she ok?" I looked over at him, jealous of his closed eyes and relaxed state, and said,
"She's fine, but I am slowly going out of my mind."
He didn't respond. He was back to sleep.