Seeing Charles in the ICU

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Gordon took me over to Durham general about 11:00 a.m. I learned the ICU can be visited four times a day for a half hour at a time. I’d missed 9:00 a.m. and Gordon took me back for 12:30 p.m.

Our partnership has no meaning in North Carolina. I’m not a relative. What got me in was being the ‘contact person’ the doctor recorded when Charles was in the ER.

Charles was too heavily sedated to know that I was there. I positioned my body where he’d see me if he opened his eyes. Nothing else I could do really so I just stood there for a half hour.

One of Charles’ doctors was present; finally I got to hear that he was out of the coma. His brain and spine weren’t damaged. He’d swallowed his vomit and machines were doing his breathing. Until they had him breathing under his own power they couldn’t be certain there wasn’t other neurological damage.

Gordon took me back for the 5:30 p.m. visit. The nurse said he was doing some of his own breathing now. One more worry gone. I spoke to him a little. A couple of times his eyebrows moved, once an eye opened for a moment. He probably never knew I was with him.

My little fellow was surrounded with instruments and monitors, tubes pumping medicine and fluid in, tiny clumps of vomit out. A familiar site. But only from TV and the movies. My sweetheart always looks frail and vulnerable. But never more resting there his life maintained by machines. He’s receiving an amnesiac, thankfully he’ll never remember being in the ICU.

Not wanting the ecommerce to pile up on Gordon I went into work for a little while. I spent as much time on the porch smoking as I did working. Even tasks performed by rote took concentration.

Gordon invited to come watch a movie. I’m too wrenched out and too preoccupied with feelings about my life with Charles to want company. Ordering a pizza is really a waste of money but there isn’t anything to eat here and it is too dark and cold for me to try getting to Winn-Dixie.

Hope I can soon say that Charles and I have talked and that I know all will be well.

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Seeing Charles in the ICU
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